One of the most unique and enjoyable races of the season is without a doubt the Trophy Cup at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif.
The race, which celebrates its 20th running Oct. 17-19 features a huge purse, a unique format that sees the top 24 drivers in points inverted for the feature, and most importantly raises money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Dave Pusatari and his group do a great job promoting and putting on this event every year. The race pays a lot of money and those kinds of things, but in my opinion that is not what draws people to this event. It is the fact that Dave and his team along with Steve Faria and his staff at the Tulare Thunderbowl work hard to put on a thrilling event that is surrounded by a family atmosphere that is benefiting a great cause.
Dave and his team work tirelessly to promote the spaghetti feed, silent auctions, t-shirts, and a great racing event that keeps the fans on the edge of their seats every year. We have all heard the expression that the word “FUN” needs to be in there somewhere and at the Trophy Cup you are never disappointed. You will find a similar environment at Terry McCarl’s events at Oskaloosa every year.
The format for the Trophy Cup creates a suspenseful atmosphere with the top drivers coming from the tail on Saturday night. This is made possible by Steve Faria’s group providing a great racing surface and by a rules package that continues to allow room for teams to make improvements and keep their cars where they can operate well in traffic. Every time you take a race and say we are going to invert the whole field a lot of us will complain because it is pretty hard to pass like that in sprint car racing anymore with all of the parody in the rules. Fortunately, the Trophy Cup promoters have done a good job with the rules and not limiting what you can run with the wings and the tires making
I think it is fair to say the Trophy Cup is the biggest sprint car race in California now. They are going to have 90 cars, so by the numbers it is the biggest. The race will pay $20,000 to the winner, so by the payoff it is the biggest. They will have a crowd that is near capacity as well over the three nights. Most of all the fact that the race proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation makes it by far the race with the biggest heart!
The fact that the race raises money for the Make-A-Wish foundation helps immensely. It is not like they are there just to get your money. They really make it a neat event and they keep the focus on what the race is all about. It is about raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Because of that, the fans, car owners, and racers get behind it. They have done a great job of getting everybody involved. We all do what we can to help, whether it is donating stuff for auctions, being part of the spaghetti feed, or donating money. One year we donated half our earnings from the race. Everybody gets involved and that really makes it one of the country’s unique races. Like with everything in life, a great TEAM can always achieve more than a great MAN. I am looking forward to another great year at the Trophy Cup this year where the fans, car owners, racers, and the promoters will once again donate over $100,000 to the Make-A-Wish foundation. I guess you could actually say that the race pays $120,000 to the winners!