Action packed month of racing at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare begins on Saturday October 4

By Gary Thomas

Tulare, CA – September 23, 2014…One of the busiest months of racing in recent memory at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is fast approaching and it all kicks off with the second annual Harry Talbot Memorial featuring Winged 360 Sprint Cars on Saturday October 4.

The night of competition on October 4 pays tribute to Harry Talbot, who was very instrumental at the Thunderbowl Raceway. Talbot was a right-hand-man to promoter Steve Faria and did everything he could to ensure things went smoothly at the Thunderbowl. He unfortunately passed away last year after an illness and we’ll be paying tribute to him at the Harry Talbot Memorial.

The payout for the Harry Talbot Memorial will be like that of a Civil War Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster event, which is $2,000-to-win and $300-to-start.

On Saturday October 11 the Thunderbowl will host the 29th annual Cotton Classic, showcasing the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series and the USAC West Coast Wingless 360 Sprint Car Series. The always prestigious event was moved to Tulare following the closing of Kings Speedway for the remainder of 2014.

It will mark the fourth appearance of the season for the King of the West 410’s at the one-third mile clay oval and is the penultimate event of the year for the series.

Winners of the Cotton Classic since the year 2000 have been Visalia’s Blake Robertson; Aliquippa, PA’s Tim Shaffer; San Jose’s Tim Kaeding, who has won it three-times including last season; Clovis’ Jason Meyers; Chico’s Stephen Allard, Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson and Chico’s Jonathan Allard, who has captured it three-times.

The 21st annual Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup will then take place on October 16, 17 & 18. The event is quickly gaining the reputation of being the premier Sprint Car showcase on the west coast and the 2014 version is sure to be another epic weekend of racing & fun.

With its unique format the Trophy Cup regularly produces some of the best racing seen all season. Each time a driver hits the raceway for competitive racing there are points awarded, with it all being a lead-up to the 50-lap feature on Saturday night that is completely inverted based on points accumulated up to that part of the event.

Adding to the lure this season is that fact that it will feature Winged 360 Sprint Cars all three-nights to make it an all out battle for the Cup. All cars that start the Saturday A-main are guaranteed $2,000 in total winnings, with the overall champion guaranteed $20,000 in winnings. There are currently 100 entries for the prestigious event.

Returning to the Trophy Cup once again will be the “Taco Bravo Fiesta Night” on Friday and then the Saturday afternoon spaghetti feed. The fiesta night will run from 11pm to 1:30am after the races on Friday and the spaghetti feed will run from noon to 2:30pm on Saturday.

On Thursday night from 11pm to 1:30am after the races there will also be a post-race party featuring hot dogs & chili dogs. Fans and teams are encouraged to attend all the special events. Live music will be performed at all of the eating events by the Midnight Wine Band. As always the Trophy Cup benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation like it has since the very beginning.

“It’s been great to see how much the Trophy Cup has grown each season,” said Thunderbowl Raceway promoter Steve Faria. “These extra events have definitely turned the race into a happening and one that fans won’t want to miss. I know we are looking forward to it and hope everyone else is too. Every year the Trophy Cup seems to get better and having three nights of Winged Sprint Cars with the new format will make it pretty exciting for everyone involved.”

The month of October closes out with another event that was moved from Kings Speedway, with that being the annual Dirt Nationals on October 24 & 25. IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods, Mini Stocks, Hobby Stocks & IMCA Stocks will be on the card and large fields are expected over the double header weekend.

Tickets for all these events can be acquired by contacting 559-688-0909. A seating chart and more info on the track can be found at

The Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds on the corner of Bardsley and K Streets in Tulare, California. From the junction of SR 99 and SR 137, go west on SR 137. At South K go south one-half mile to the Fairgrounds.

Upcoming events:

Saturday October 4: 2nd annual Harry Talbot Memorial (Winged 360 Sprint Cars & Vintage Hard Tops)

Saturday October 11: 29th annual Cotton Classic (King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series, USAC West Coast Wingless 360 Sprints, Legends of Kearny Bowl Super Mods)

Thursday, Friday & Saturday October 16, 17 & 18: 21st annual Trophy Cup (Winged 360 Sprint Cars)

Friday & Saturday October 24 & 25: Dirt Nationals (IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods, Mini Stocks, Hobby Stocks & IMCA Stocks)