Photo by Tim Holland

King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series Notes & Pertinent Info

Rounds seven & eight at Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway 

“Chris & Brian Faria Memorial Weekend” 

Tulare, California – Saturday & Sunday May 25 & 26 


With six rounds complete in the 2013 racing season the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series will charge into its first outing of the year in the Central Valley this coming Memorial Day Weekend at Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway. The double-header event on Saturday & Sunday May 25 & 26 will pay tribute to brothers Chris & Brian Faria, who both lost their lives far too soon. 

Chris Faria was an up and coming driver who was the youngest of five children to Danny Sr. & Arlet Faria. He grew up on their farm in Tipton and was known as the prankster of the family. Chris unfortunately lost his life at the age of 21 during a farming accident and his memory has been kept alive with a memorial race at the Thunderbowl Raceway ever since. 

Brian was the oldest of the five Faria children and was taken from us in January of 2006 during an accident while driving on a highway. Brian enjoyed helping out with the track preparation at the Thunderbowl Raceway, as he drove the water truck and the grader among other things. The “Chris & Brian Faria Memorial” has become a cornerstone of the track schedule and is always a special night for the Faria family. 

On Saturday night immediately following the races and once the front stretch interviews are completed there will be a free concert in the grandstands featuring Nashville recording artist Jon Webber. The beer booth will remain open after the races and soft drinks will also be available. Amigo’s Mexican Restaurant will also be in the grandstands selling tacos and burritos during the concert, so we invite everyone to stay after the races, hang out and listen to some great music to commemorate Memorial Day Weekend. 

Current King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series point leader Rico Abreu goes into this weekend as the defending “Chris & Brian Faria Memorial” winner aboard his potent Paul Silva wrenched Abreu Vineyards No. 24 machine. The St. Helena, California racer is off to a blazing hot start in 2013, having claimed five podium finishes in the first six events of the KWS season, including two victories. Over the last few weeks Abreu has racked up the dough, taking home $16,000 over that span. 

“I can’t wait for Tulare this weekend,” said the 21-year-old third-year Sprint Car driver, who also won opening night of the Trophy Cup last October in Tulare. “The Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway is my favorite track to compete at, because you can usually move around and it’s a lot of fun to bang off that wall. Paul Silva and my guys have been working hard and giving me great cars every week. We’ve been on a roll to start the season and hopefully we can continue that on Memorial Day Weekend.” 

Sacramento’s Kyle Hirst will bring the locally based Roth Enterprises No. 83jr into the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway sitting second in the King of the West 410 standings. The one-third mile clay oval is a home track for car owner’s Dennis & Teresa Roth and the 25-year-old Hirst will look to give them a win this weekend. Last Friday night in Fernley the second generation driver appeared to be on way to his second victory of the year, until Abreu made a final corner charge to steal that opportunity away. 

Fresh off his first King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series win of the year last weekend Chico’s Jonathan Allard comes into the Thunderbowl ranking third in the standings and has closed to within just six-markers of Hirst for the runner up spot. The wheel-man of the Williams Motorsports No. 0 sprinter captured the “Chris & Brian Faria Memorial” in 2003, at the time driving for car owner Rick Wright. Allard was also the 2010 “Trophy Cup” champion at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl and will be gunning to get on a hot streak this weekend. 

Sacramento’s Willie Croft is off to the best start of his Sprint Car career and invades the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway maintaining the fourth spot in the KWS points, just nine-digits behind Allard for the third position. The newlywed has driven the Clyde & Marion Lamar owned Tri-C Machine to a pair of wins already this season and has claimed three consecutive podium finishes in King of the West competition. “Double Down” very nearly won a Golden State/ KWS 410 main event at Tulare in ’07, but was passed by Brent Kaeding with just a few laps left that night. 

Fresno’s Craig Stidham goes into a track he calls home rounding out the top-five in the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series standings. The former Rebel Cup 360 Series champion has come out strong in 2013 and is fresh off his best outing of the season last weekend in Fernley, which saw him set fast time and finish fourth in the main event on Friday. Stidham looked very impressive last week and will be a strong threat for victory this Saturday & Sunday at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway aboard his KRC Safety Equipment No. 3 mount. 

Completing the top-10 in points going into Tulare this weekend is 2004 Golden State/ King of the West 410 Sprint Car champion Jason Statler of Grass Valley, National Sprint Car Hall of Famer & 13-time series titlist Brent Kaeding from Campbell, King of the West Rookie of the Year contender Cory Eliason of nearby Visalia, Auburn’s Richard Brace Jr. and reigning New Zealand Sprint Car champion Peter Murphy of Sydney, Australia. 

A strong field of powerful 410 Sprint Cars are set to invade the blazing fast one-third mile clay oval this weekend including two-time World of Outlaws champion Jason Meyers of Clovis, Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs, Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi, Carson Macedo and DJ Netto, Fremont’s Shane Golobic, Tipton’s Mike Faria, Visalia’s Danny Faria Jr., Oakhurst’s Doug Gandy, Fair Oak’s Chad Compton, Grass Valley’s Carl Droivold & Pat Harvey, Laton’s Geoffrey Strole, Corning’s Bud Walberg, Coarsegold’s Scott Parker, Elk Grove’s Sean McMahan, Merced’s Mark Barroso and more. 


On Saturday & Sunday May 25 & 26 the front grandstand gate will open at 4pm. Hot laps are scheduled for 6pm, with qualifying at 6:30pm and racing anticipated to start around 7pm. Also on hand during the Memorial Day Weekend extravaganza will be the Vintage Hardtops to give a glimpse of the days gone by. 


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. For directions visit … code=93274

The Tulare County Fairgrounds also features a great campground so we invite everyone to come on down, camp out and make a weekend out of it. Memorial Day Weekend is always a traditional time to camp out and it’s always a fun time at the Tulare County Fairgrounds. 
Another group will also be sharing the fairgrounds so RV Spots will fill rapidly. To make sure you get the best spot available be sure and contact the Tulare County Fairgrounds Office at 559-686-4707. 


Advance tickets for the weekend are on sale and be acquired by contacting the track ticket office at (559) 688-0909. Reserved grandstand seats cost just $20 with general admission bleacher tickets $18. For a seating chart visit the track website at

About the track: 

The Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is a one-third mile clay oval with the all-time track record being 12.651, which was set by two-time Golden State/ King of the West 410 champion Tim Kaeding of San Jose on March 5, 2010. The track has gained a reputation of providing some of the most spectacular and memorable moments in all of California Sprint Car Racing and also hosts the prestigious “Trophy Cup” each October. The King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series will return to Tulare later this year on Saturday September 21 for the “John Anthony Sharp Memorial.” 

Last year’s “Chris & Brian Faria Memorial” at the Thunderbowl:

The “Chris & Brian Faria Memorial” last season also featured a double-header weekend at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway. Opening night saw Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson make a mid-race pass of Easton’s Tommy Tarlton to grab the lead and then hold off a fast moving Jonathan Allard for victory. 

The following night Larson looked to be on way to sweeping the weekend aboard the Paul Silva 57, but a problem with the oil filter left him parked on the infield late in the race. This allowed St. Helena’s Rico Abreu the chance to assume the lead and he would go on to score at the time, his first ever King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series victory. 

Results from last year’s “Chris & Brian Faria Memorial Weekend”

Opening night


Fast time: Cody Lamar 13.361

Heat one: Tommy Tarlton, Jason Statler, Kyle Hirst, Bud Kaeding, Bobby McMahan, Craig Stidham, Doug Gandy, Pat Harvey

Heat two: Evan Suggs, Tim Kaeding, Jonathan Allard, Cory Eliason, Peter Murphy, Sean McMahan, Trey Starks, Danielle Simpson, Geoffrey Strole

Heat three: Kyle Larson, Roger Crockett, Brent Kaeding, Andy Gregg, Mike Faria, Chad Compton, Willie Croft, Rico Abreu

Dash: Brent Kaeding, Tim Kaeding, Tommy Tarlton, Jason Statler, Jonathan Allard, Kyle Larson, Evan Suggs, Andy Gregg

LCQ: Rico Abreu, Willie Croft, Sean McMahan, Chad Compton, Danielle Simpson, Geoffrey Strole, Doug Gandy, Craig Stidham, Pat Harvey, Trey Starks, Cody Lamar

Amain: Kyle Larson, Jonathan Allard, Tommy Tarlton, Roger Crockett, Kyle Hirst, Evan Suggs, Bud Kaeding, Peter Murphy, Bobby McMahan, Andy Gregg, Cory Eliason, Mike Faria, Chad Compton, Brent Kaeding, Sean McMahan, Danielle Simpson, Doug Gandy, Geoffrey Strole, Tim Kaeding, Jason Statler, Rico Abreu, Willie Croft

Night two


Fast time: Roger Crockett 13.800

Heat one: Kyle Hirst, Shane Golobic, Roger Crockett, Cory Eliason, Trey Starks, Sean McMahan, Doug Gandy 

Heat two: Tommy Tarlton, Tim Kaeding, Jonathan Allard, Bud Kaeding, Andy Gregg, Mike Faria, Koen Shaw

Heat three: Willie Croft, Brent Kaeding, Bobby McMahan, Peter Murphy, Cody Lamar, Chad Compton, Geoffrey Strole

Heat four: Kyle Larson, Evan Suggs, Rico Abreu, Jason Statler, Craig Stidham, Pat Harvey, Danielle Simpson 

Dash: Rico Abreu, Willie Croft, Kyle Hirst, Kyle Larson, Tommy Tarlton, Roger Crockett, Bobby McMahan, Jonathan Allard

LCQ: Andy Gregg, Sean McMahan, Trey Starks, Craig Stidham, Cody Lamar, Chad Compton, Mike Faria, Doug Gandy, Danielle Simpson, Pat Harvey, Geoffrey Strole

Amain: Rico Abreu, Jonathan Allard, Tim Kaeding, Tommy Tarlton, Kyle Hirst, Roger Crockett, Trey Starks, Brent Kaeding, Andy Gregg, Peter Murphy, Evan Suggs, Craig Stidham, Chad Compton, Kyle Larson, Cody Lamar, Sean McMahan, Bobby McMahan, Bud Kaeding, Shane Golobic, Cory Eliason, Jason Statler, Willie Croft

Top-10 in King of the West driver standings after six rounds of competition: 

1. Rico Abreu 937; 2. Kyle Hirst 902; 3. Jonathan Allard 896; 4. Willie Croft 887; 5. Craig Stidham 866; 6. Jason Statler 767; 7. Brent Kaeding 755; 8. Cory Eliason 738; 9. Richard Brace Jr. 728; 10. Peter Murphy 722

Winners so far this season with the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series:

Antioch Speedway April 20: Willie Croft 
Placerville Speedway April 27: Kyle Hirst 
Silver Dollar Speedway May 4: Rico Abreu 
Petaluma Speedway May 11: Willie Croft 
Reno Tahoe Fernley Speedway May 17: Rico Abreu 
Reno Tahoe Fernley Speedway May 18: Jonathan Allard

Upcoming King of the West events: 

As noted in a prior release the June 1 date at Merced Speedway has been cancelled with no makeup date being scheduled. 

On Friday & Saturday June 7 & 8 the King of the West 410’s will invade Rattlesnake Raceway in Fallon, Nevada for the very first time ever. The exciting weekend of action will be held in conjunction with the Fallon Octane Fest. Along with Sprint Cars the Octane Fest will also feature the Monster Truck Jamboree including a Freestyle Nevada vs. California Motocross jump show, and the Lucas Oil Drag Races featuring a jet duel in the desert: The Beast jet car vs. Jet-Lagg diesel truck. For more information visit