Golobic Repeats At Trophy Cup; Bernal Wins Feature

Trophy Cup
Shane Golobic (left) and Ryan Bernal in victory lane at the Trophy Cup in 2017. (Joe Shivak photo)

TULARE, Calif. — Shane Golobic became the second driver to win back to back Trophy Cup titles Saturday night at Thunderbowl Raceway.

Brent Kaeding accomplished the feat in 1998-’99 events at San Jose Speedway. Golobic has now matched that by winning the Trophy Cup title for two consecutive years.

The format for night three has the top 48 in points running six fully inverted heats. The heat wins earned 36 points with a three-point drop per position.

Golobic took a fourth to help his cause, but it was Dominic Scelzi’s third that pushed him into the point lead. The top 20 in points following the heats went directly to the A main while the rest moved to a C or B main.

Scelzi’s point status earned him the 20th starting spot for the 50-lap main that inverts 20 by points. Tanner Thorson, Carson Macedo, and Jason Solwold were tied in points, three behind Scelzi, and filled rows 10 and 9. Golobic started 15th, seven points behind Scelzi for the main that earns 150 points to win with a three-point drop.

Ryan Bernal (56) battles Bud Kaeding at Thunderbowl Raceway. (Joe Shivak photo)

By turn two of the first lap, the race changed its look when a tangle eliminated Jonathan Allard and caused damage to Scezli’s car when both flipped while Macedo, Jason Meyers, and Steven Tiner all pitted to fix various items.

Only Allard was done for the race but the revised lineup now had Golobic 12th on the grid and Joey Saldana started 13th. The race for the Cup title would eventually be between those two.

By lap eight, Saldana was ahead of the other title hopefuls in points and needed only to stay just ahead of Golobic to maintain the lead. With a single point separating the pair, whichever was ahead of the other would be in the point lead.

Golobic got past Saldana on lap 16 but three laps later Saldana returned the favor to regain the point lead. With 15 laps remaining, Saldana had two cars between himself and Golobic and looked as if he was heading for the title. But after a lap-35 restart Golobic erased the two car cushion and then passed Saldana after another restart a lap later.

Once ahead of his challenger, Golobic continued to move forward to finish 4th at the checkers. Willie Croft, car owner for Saldana’s ride, made late race progress and finished third to take second in points, pushing Saldana to third in the final point totals.

At the front of the pack, it was a duel between Bud Kaeding and Ryan Bernal for most of the 50 laps. Following the red with no laps scored, the race had just four yellows plus a mandatory red for fuel after a lap-28 yellow.

Tim Crawley led until Bud Kaeding used a topside drive out of turn four to take over on lap 4. Bernal moved into 2nd on lap 19 and the battle between them started. The racy three-eighths produced some excellent racing between the pair and it was Bernal who led the last 20 laps to win with Kaeding second, then Croft, Golobic and Tim Kaeding completing the top five.

Golobic collected $20,000 for the Cup championship while Bernal won $3,500 for capturing the main.

The finish:

Ryan Bernal, Bud Kaeding, Willie Croft, Shane Golobic, Tim Kaeding, Chase Johnson, Joey Saldana, Michael Kofoid, Gio Scelzi, Cory Eliason, Andy Gregg, Tanner Thorson, Jason Solwold, Carson Macedo, Tony Gualda, Tim Crawley, Jason Meyers, Jason Statler, Geoff Ensign, Kyle Hirst, Steven Tiner, Dominic Scelzi, D.J. Netto, Jonathan Allard

The points:

Shane Golobic 435, Willie Croft 430, Joey Saldana 427, Ryan Bernal 423, Tim Kaeding 420, Bud Kaeding 419, Chase Johnson 417, Tanner Thorson 417, Michael Kofoid 414, Cory Eliason 412