Jason Solwold Controls Trophy Cup Opener

Jason Solwold won Thursday's Trophy Cup opener at California's Thunderbowl Raceway. (Joe Shivak photo)

TULARE, Calif. — The 24th annual Trophy Cup opened its three-day event at Thunderbowl Raceway with a 90-car field jamming the pit area. After 30 tough laps of the challenging three-eighths-mile track, Jason Solwold captured the win from eighth starting spot.

The field was split into two groups for qualifying with each half having its own fast time driver, a 150 point award with a one point drop per position.  Each group ran a heat with the top four inverted and the winner and the high point car advancing to the feature.

Preliminary mains followed heats and a pair of B mains moved the top four from each to combine with the 16 heat race transfers to form a 24-car main.

The top 12 in points were inverted, putting Jason Meyers and Michael Kofoid on the front row.

Kofoid led a lap before Meyers used the back stretch to drive past the 15-year-old leader with Carson Macedo in thirrd. Three laps later Kofoid used the bottom of turns three and four to regain the lead, putting team cars of Meyers and Macedo behind him.

Disaster struck the leader coming out of turn four on lap 12 when contact between Kofoid and Craig Stidham led to a right rear shock failure for Kofoid and a tumble for Stidham.

Meyers accepted the lead following Kofoid’s misfortune and Solwold passed Macedo for second on lap 13 after Macedo slid up the track in turn four.  Solwold then used the bottom of the backstretch on lap 16 to speed past Meyers for the lead.

Once in front, Solwold comfortably led the last 14 laps while Meyers cruised in second.  The battle was for third among Macedo, Dominic Scelzi and Joey Saldana. A top side effort out of turn four allowed Saldana to run third for a couple of laps, but Macedo used the low line in the same turn to regain the spot with nine laps remaining.

Solwold went on to take the checkers with Meyers and Macedo next across the line in team cars. Saldana settled for fourth, ahead of Dominic Scelzi.

Solwold’s win paid $3,500 along with 100 additional points.

The finish:

Jason Solwold, Jason Meyers, Carson Macedo, Joey Saldana, Dominic Scelzi, Steven Tiner, Chase Johnson, Shane Golobic, Willie Croft, D.J. Netto, Geoff Ensign, Andy Gregg, Sean Becker, Mitchell Faccinto, Mason Moore, Colby Copeland, Michael Kofoid, Bud Kaeding, Gio Scelzi, Justin Sanders, Craig Stidham, Matthew Moles, Terry McCarl, Tanner Thorson