Thunderbowl Raceway getting ready for U.S. Western Modified Nationals
By Gary Thomas
Tulare, CA - August 22, 2007...After being dark since late June, the Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway is gearing up for it’s next racing event which will be the huge $20,000 to win U.S. Western Modified Nationals featuring the mighty warriors of the Western States Modifieds. The event will be taking place on September 27, 28 & 29 and the anticipation is mounting as there are a large number of cars already entered for the three night contest. Cars from all around the country are expected for an event that will truly be the biggest modified race in the Western United States.
Over 100 cars have already pre-entered and more are coming in as the days go on. A bevy of California’s best modified drivers are entered including WSM Champ Tim Balding as are quite a few out of towner’s. The Northwest will have a lot of representation with Washington drivers Craig Moore, Josh Muller, Oregon drivers Jon DeBenedetti, Brian Poppa, Monte Bischoff, Jesse Williamson and more. DeBenedetti recently captured the Northwest Modified Nationals at the Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash. Other out of state drivers include New Mexico entrants Stormy Scott, Johnny Scott, Fito Gallardo and Royal Jones. Amarillo, Tex’s Alan Sharpensteen is entered as is Batesville, Akansas driver Jared Landers.
The format for the U.S. Western Modified Nationals is based on a projected 200 car field. The plan is to have heat races, semi mains and an A-main event on Thursday and Friday before running more semis on Saturday and capping it all off with a 40 lap A-main event to crown the champion of the Nationals. If less cars than expected show up, the format will be adjusted to fit that. The winner of Saturday night’s A-main will take home $20,000 and the main event will pay $400 to start.
An exciting side event taking place during the Nationals will be the first tire change challenge, which takes place in the pit area on Saturday at 1 pm. For just a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation fans can enter the pits, hang out and enjoy the tire change challenge. Bring your lounge chairs and kick back before the action becomes intense later in the night. Teams during the competition will consist of three crew members looking to have the shortest time during the challenge. The winner of the tire change challenge will take home $500, second place will receive $400, third place $300, fourth place $200 and fifth place will win $100.
We are also happy to say that 49 truckloads of new clay have been brought in and worked into the existing surface by Steve Faria and Harry Talbott over the last handful of weeks. The old surface was beginning to wear away and wasn’t holding up like it used to. This should bring the Thunderbowl Raceway back to the same great racing everyone has seen over the last number of season’s. A couple different teams are expected to test and tune at the track as well as work the clay in prior to the U.S. Western Modified Nationals.
Tickets are on sale now and will be $10 for bleachers & $12 for grandstands on Thursday, $12 for bleachers & $14 for grandstands on Friday and $14 for bleachers & $16 for grandstands on Saturday. Will call will open up at 11 am, front gate at 2 pm, hot laps at 3 pm and first race will be at 4 pm all three days. For tickets call 559-688-0909 and for a seating chart log onto http://www.thunderbowlraceway.com
For all your news and info on the U.S. Western Modified Nationals visit http://www.westernracer.com
Upcoming events: The next event on tap for the Thunderbowl following the U.S. Western Modified Nationals will be when the World of Outlaw Sprint Series invade the track on October 13. We are pleased to announce that the event will be known as the Dave Helm Memorial honoring the long time car owner. Helm’s two surviving daughters as well as his family will be honored on track during the night. The final event of the 2007 racing season at Thunderbowl Raceway will take place on November 16 & 17 when the Trophy Cup returns to Tulare for the third consecutive year.
The Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds on the corner of Bardsley and K Streets in Tulare. The phone number for Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway is 559-688-0909 and for more info on the track log onto http://www.thunderbowlraceway.com