Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation fires-off this Thursday

By Gary Thomas

Tulare, CA – October 16, 2017…Excitement & buzz is floating through the air as one of the biggest weeks in California Sprint Car racing has arrived, which means only one thing, it’s time for the 24th annual Trophy Cup at Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare.

The Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup is not only known for featuring some of the best racing seen all year long, but it’s also well regarded for being held to benefit one of the truly great organizations around, the Make-A-Wish Foundation. With the Trophy Cup donating $150,000 at last year’s event it brought the total amount of donations up to a staggering $1,420,000 since the event was created back in 1994.

This weekend marks the 13th occasion that the Trophy Cup will be held at Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare. The overall winner of the event after Saturday’s main event is concluded will be guaranteed $20,000 in winnings for the weekend. All teams that compete in this year’s edition will be eligible for next season’s 25th anniversary special that features a $200,000 total purse, with $25,000 in winnings going to the champion and $5,000 in winnings just to start the final night’s A-main.

Past Trophy Cup winners entered this for this weekend include defending champion Shane Golobic of Fremont, along with three-time winner Tim Kaeding from San Jose, two-time victor Jason Meyers of Clovis, plus single-time winners Bud Kaeding from Campbell, Willie Croft of Roseville, Chico’s Jonathan Allard and Fresno’s Craig Stidham. 

Driver’s looking to take home the Trophy Cup for the first time will include Paradise, California’s Kyle Hirst; Kingsburg’s Cory Eliason; Fresno’s Dominic & Gio Scelzi; Lemoore’s Carson Macedo; Brownsburg, Indiana’s Joey Saldana; Altoona, Iowa’s Terry McCarl; Nashville, Rutherford’s Rico Abreu; Tennessee’s Paul McMahan; Hanford’s DJ Netto; Dover, Missouri’s Danny Lasoski; Penngrove’s Buddy Kofoid; Warrnambool, Australia’s Jamie Veal; Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox; Watsonville’s Justin Sanders; Roseville’s Sean Becker & Colby Copeland; Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto; Minden, Nevada’s Tanner Thorson; Visalia’s Steven Tiner; Salfordville, Pennsylvania’s Freddie Rahmer and many more.

“It’s been great to see the fan support continue to grow at the Trophy Cup year after year, which has simply been amazing to watch,” said Thunderbowl Raceway promoter Steve Faria. “The extra events on the fairgrounds have definitely created a happening at the event and one that people mark down on their calendar every season. I know we are looking forward to it and hope everyone else is too. Dave Pusateri and his entire team do an outstanding job with everything and I know we’re honored to host the Trophy Cup for the 13th straight year.”

All the special events are returning once again, including the Thursday Chili Dog Night sponsored by Taco Bravo, the Taco Bravo Fiesta Night on Friday and the Saturday afternoon spaghetti feed sponsored by La Villa Delicatessen. The post-race parties start 20 minutes after the checkered flag, while the spaghetti feed goes from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. A DJ will be on hand for music, with drinks available for purchase inside.

A Friday morning breakfast sponsored by the Tulare County Fairgrounds is also going to occur from 8am to 11am. A donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation at the door during all these events is appreciated.

Thursday’s Chili Dog Night will feature Karaoke with drivers and fans, while Friday’s Fiesta Night will showcase the “Not So Newlywed Game” with your favorite racing couples. During Saturday’s Spaghetti Feed there will be a corn hole tournament that will award a solid $750 to the winning team and $250 for second place. The cost is $40 per team and signups will take place at the T-shirt booth.

Tickets continue to be on sale for the Trophy Cup with all seating in the house reserved during the weekend. Grandstand tickets cost $45 on Thursday and Friday and $50 on Saturday. Bleacher tickets are $40 on Thursday and Friday and $45 on Saturday. Kids 6-12 are half price and 5 & under are free.

A seating chart is available at and tickets can be acquired by calling 559-688-0909. The pit gate opens at 10am this Thursday October 19, with the drivers meeting at 3:30pm sharp. Qualifying is scheduled for 4:45pm, with first race at 6:15pm. The ticket trailer and will call opens at 10am. Front gate opens at 3pm.

To keep track of all the latest happenings from the 24th annual Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup be sure & follow the official Twitter account of the event

Final top-10 in Trophy Cup points last season: 1. Shane Golobic, 455; 2. Kyle Hirst, 442; 3. DJ Netto, 435; 4. Willie Croft, 423; 5. Jason Solwold, 421; 6. Henry Van Dam, 417; 7. Steven Tiner, 416; 8. Aaron Reutzel, 412; 9. Bud Kaeding, 410; 10. Mitchell Faccinto, 409.

Special thanks to all our partners for making things happen at the Thunderbowl Raceway including Merle Stone Chevrolet, Budweiser, Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, Roth Motorsports, KRC Safety, Western Metal Company, Southwest Contractors, Double “D” Towing and JD Heiskel & Company.

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.