Lucrative & prestigious $5,000-to-win/ $700-to-start Peter Murphy Classic at Thunderbowl Raceway represents King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series round 13 this Saturday night

By Gary Thomas

Tulare, CA – July 22, 2014…The anticipation has been mounting ever so slightly since the announcement of the Peter Murphy Classic and this Saturday night July 26 the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series is set to finally invade the Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway for the big $5,000-to-win/ $700-to-start showcase.

Saturday’s event not only has a large amount of money on the line, but we’ll of course also be paying honor to popular Sprint Car driver Peter Murphy. Last season the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series had one of its toughest nights in recent memory when Murphy suffered injuries during a main event crash at the Antioch Speedway on July 20.

The result of the accident has ultimately forced Murphy to retire from Sprint Car racing as a driver, having suffered a traumatic brain injury, ligament damage in his neck, shoulder and knees, along with a compressed T-3 vertebra. The Sydney, Australia native continues to recover from the accident and has gathered a large amount of money that’s going towards this Saturday’s event at Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway.

“Originally I wanted to do something at Antioch to help make the night a special one for everybody that was there last year,” said Murphy, who resides in Clovis, California. “The last time we were there it wasn’t a very good ending, so I had planned to change that around this season and make it a memorable one for another reason. With the Antioch event being canceled I’m really glad Steve Faria & Thunderbowl Raceway has picked up the date. I definitely hope all the fans that were in Antioch last season will come down to Tulare for what will be a great night of racing.”

The Peter Murphy Classic this Saturday features the biggest purse of the season for the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series with the $5,000-to-win & $700-to-start A-main! In addition to the beefed up purse there will also be $500 on the line for fast time, $500 to hard charger and $500 to the longest tow! A 360 Sprint Car bonus of $300, $200 and $100 will also be awarded to the three highest finishing drivers utilizing a 360 engine during the night.

The Dash during the night will also have a special twist thrown in. Rather than doing the standard eight car dash where all drivers compete for six laps, the night will see an Australian & New Zealand style Pole Shuffle thrown into the mix.

The eight dash cars will still be determined the same way as always, but drivers will race each other two by two for two laps, until the final pair go at it for a couple laps to determine the pole sitter. The drivers that draw 8 & 7 will race each other first, with the winner going against the driver that draws number 6. The process will go on until there are two drivers left standing.

“I really want this night to be a big one for all the fans and teams,” Murphy said. “The King of the West Sprint Car Series is one of the best Sprint Car tours you’ll find anywhere and Tulare will be great place to host an event like this. I still can’t thank everyone enough for all that they have done for me the last year. It’s been so humbling to have the support from people all over the world. This is kind of a way for me to give back and show how much I appreciate this sport we all love.”

Going into the night Chico’s Kyle Hirst will be looking to rebound after a couple of rough weeks, which has cut his King of the West point lead down to 79-markers. The defending KWS champ picked up victory during the most recent series event at the Thunderbowl Raceway and will trying hard for another on Saturday aboard the Roth Motorsports machine. Hirst is tied with Rico Abreu for the most King of the West wins this season, having scored three so far.

Once down by 126-points just a couple weeks back, Campbell’s Bud Kaeding will look for a strong night to cut even further into Hirst’s lead in the King of the West standings. The driver of the Williams Motorsports No. 0 Sprinter earned his first KWS win of the year on July 12 and will be gunning for number two on Saturday. When Peter Murphy first came to the US to drive, his initial full-time ride was in the Morrie Williams owned ZERO from late 1997-2002.

Coming off a heartbreaking finish last Saturday, Campbell’s Brent Kaeding goes into the Peter Murphy Classic continuing to maintain the third spot in the KWS points. The National Sprint Car Hall of Famer looked to be on way to victory in Placerville until a final corner spin relegated him to a second place finish. Kaeding charged from 17th to seventh during the most recent series event in Tulare aboard the famed Al’s Roofing Supply No. 69 machine.

Sitting just 18-markers behind Kaeding now is last Saturday night’s main event winner Sean Becker of Roseville, who holds down fourth in the standings. The 2005 King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series champion earned a thrilling victory this past weekend and will look to continue the momentum at the Peter Murphy Classic in the Main Motorsports No. 35 mount.

Rounding out the top-five in the King of the West standings is three-time series champion Jonathan Allard of Chico, who had a strong run going in May at Tulare, until a flat tire sent him spinning late in the race. The driver of the Tri-C Manufacturing No. 3c has one KWS victory so far in 2014 and certainly wants number two at the Peter Murphy Classic on Saturday.

A very close & heated battle is still seen between the drivers ranking sixth through ninth in the KWS points, as just 10-markers separate the four drivers.

Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, fresh off his first podium finish of the season, holds onto the sixth position in the standings. The 2004 series champ in fact, is only 16-points back of Allard for fifth after charging from 13th to third last week. Fremont’s Shane Golobic had a tough end to the feature last weekend, but sits just five-digits behind Statler for sixth in the points. The current Civil War & Ocean Sprints point leader ran second at Tulare in May with KWS.

Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi has gained momentum with the season going on and is just two-markers back of Golobic in the points. The 17-year-old last Saturday charged from 17th to fourth in the main event. Only three-markers behind Scelzi is Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan, who finished third at Tulare in May and will look for a solid night Saturday to help move up the ladder. Completing the top-10 in the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series standings is Hanford’s DJ Netto, who has also picked up strength as the season has gone on.

More drivers set to invade the Tulare Thunderbowl on Saturday will include Easton’s Tommy Tarlton, who captured victory in the KWS season-opener at the one-third mile oval, along with Sacramento’s Willie Croft, Fresno’s Craig Stidham, Hanford’s DJ Netto, Lemoore’s Carson Macedo, Fresno’s Cory Eliason, Scott’s Valley’s Evan Suggs, Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto, Princeton’s Mason Moore, Gilroy’s Jarrett Soares, Grass Valley’s Pat Harvey, Fair Oak’s Chad Compton, Auburn’s Richard Brace Jr., Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox, Coarsegold’s Scott Parker, Tipton’s Mike Faria, Winton’s Gordon Rodgers and others.

Reserved grandstand seats for the Peter Murphy Classic on Saturday July 26 will cost $25 with general admission bleacher tickets $20. To reserve your seat contact (559) 688-0909. The front gate will open at 4pm with racing expected to get underway around 7pm. Also in action during the night will be Wingless 360 Sprint Cars to make for a great card of racing.

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. More info can be found at

Upcoming events for the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series after Tulare

Saturday August 2: Stockton Dirt Track

Friday September 12: Santa Maria Speedway
Saturday September 13: Ventura Raceway (MAVTV Dirty 30 event)