This message was edited on
November 06, 2006 at
01:54:58 PM by Gary Thomas
2006 Trophy Cup Notebook
By Gary Thomas
First off I'd like to thank Trophy City, Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway and everyone involved that keeps the Trophy Cup going. In my mind the three "must see" winged sprint car events on the west coast are the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, the Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wa and the Trophy Cup at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare.
I have only had the opportunity of attending the Trophy Cup since 2001 and this year's version was the best I have witnessed yet. Here's some notes from the great weekend of racing.
I have to start off by saying something most people already know. Jac Haudenschild is the best show in sprint car racing. The guy was unreal at the Trophy Cup attacking the cushion with absolutely no fear in the world. On Friday night when Tim Kaeding jumped out to the lead, I as well as most people probably thought, "Well this things over." I don't know how many times TK has been passed this year, but I bet it hasn't happened often. After hounding Tim for a number of laps "the Haud" blew around the 83 machine to take the lead. Showing just how good he is however, TK didn't let it phase him and stayed right with Haud until Jac went into turn one a little hot and got the Wright One Construction 35 upside down. Haud then came back on Saturday night and put on one of the single most exciting performances I have ever seen. Starting 13th the Wild Child rode the rim of the Thunderbowl incredibly similar to how he runs the Eldora Speedway in his home state of Ohio. The super performance payed off as Haudenschild won the 40 lap feature and ended up third in overall Trophy Cup points.
What can ya say about Tim Kaeding. It's incredible how talented the guy is and he showed everybody at the Trophy Cup why he has won 17 races this season. After re-inheriting the lead on Friday night TK went on to pick up the feature and then came into Saturday as a pretty big favorite to take the money. Tim started 18th in the 40 lap feature and passed enough cars to finish 2nd and edge out Jason Meyers for his second career Trophy Cup championship and a sweet $15,000 pay day. So much stock is put into qualifying at the Trophy Cup but TK showed that if you pass cars, you can win the cup. Tim qualified 20th quick on Friday but everything payed off by getting his elbows up when race time came. It was an all around great weekend for the Tiner Motorsports team as car owner Rod Tiner also won the big bucks in the Cow Patty Bingo contest held in the campground.
Jason Meyers had possibly the best run of anybody other than Haudenshcild in the feature and lost out on the Trophy Cup championship by inches. Meyers started way back in 22nd and even with a bobble that cost him multiple spots around the halfway point, he still crossed the line in 5th, just a nose length behind Joey Magaruh for fourth. The drama of racing unfolded in the pits however as third place finisher Ricci Faria was found to be light at the scales. This moved Meyers up to fourth, but it wasn't enough because he couldn't finish more than one spot behind Kaeding to win the championship. The reality of this is that the close finish between Meyers and Magaruh at the checkered flag decided who won $15,000. This is just one thing that makes the Trophy Cup so exciting and dramatic.
The only downside to the weekend was the number of cars that got upside down. The Trophy Cup practically mirrored the NST race from a few weeks earlier as the turn one hole claimed a bunch of cars and made for a lot of scrap metal.
I have to say thank you to the Henderson 7n team for the hospitality on Friday night. The polish dogs were great and it was good times hanging out in the hauler till mostly everyone else was gone and the place was silent. Oh and of course it was nice to have Peter Murphy pay us a visit as he was going around looking for some adult beverages. Pete is always good for some laughs.
Thankyou to Leon Thacker for buying my brother and I dinner on Friday. It's been great having you back at the track Leon.
Thanks to Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway and George Hague for allowing me to go on the front stretch and present Jake Vickers the flag we got signed for him. We really appreciated it. Thanks for the service Jake! You'll be missed on that flag stand.
I wish we could have got Grove Hill down on the front stretch to interview him as this was also his last race as a videographer. Big thanks to Grove and Joann for all their work at the tracks through the year's and hopefully we'll still get to see guys at the racetrack every once in a while.
Thanks to all the drivers, teams and crew members that participated in this year's Trophy Cup. You all put on one heckuva show to end the season.
Congrats to Scott Ramsey and Rich Wiseman on winning the 5th annual Trophy Cup bean bag tournament.
I can't believe the season's already over. It seems like it was just yesterday that we all were sitting at home complaining off all the rain outs! I hope all of you have a good and safe holiday season and we'll see ya next year. Oh and good luck to all the drivers going down under to Aussie land to do some more racing.
I'm sure I'll forgot some people to thank but to end I want to thank John and Robbie Padjen, Troy Hennig, George Hague, Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway, all the drivers, crew members and everyone else that helped me out this year. I can't tell you how gratious I am for everything everybody did for me and my friends this year. I had a blast this season and hope 2007 will be just as fun.