"PACIFIC COAST NATIONALS" AT TULARE NOVEMBER 14-15 The USAC National and Lucas Oil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will compete for over $70,000 in prize money in the November 14-15 "Pacific Coast Nationals" at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif.
"PACIFIC COAST NATIONALS" AT TULARE NOVEMBER 14-15
The USAC National and Lucas Oil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will compete for over $70,000 in prize money in the November 14-15 "Pacific Coast Nationals" at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif. The two-day program at the 1/3-mile dirt oval at the Tulare Fairgrounds marks only the second time the USAC Sprint cars have competed there and the fifth appearance of USAC at Tulare.
The winner of Sunday's "twilight" feature will earn a paycheck of $12,500, while minimum feature-start money is $700. Saturday night's standard USAC/CRA purse offers $4,000-to-win.
Cory Kruseman won the 2007 USAC/CRA race at Tulare and is excited about the Pacific Coast Nationals. "It's about damn time," he says, referring to the revival of the Pacific Coast Nationals. "I can't think of a better place to do this. It's one of my favorite tracks. It's a nice facility, where the promoter cares about the people and he always comes around to thank you for being there. The surface stays good and you can drive the track in the old west style -- "drive it in hard and back it in."
The Pacific Coast Nationals were conceived by the late J.C. Agajanian and debuted in 1962 at Ascot Park in Gardena, Calif. Following Ascot's closing in 1990, the event moved to Kings Speedway in Hanford, but was discontinued after 1995. Past winners of the event, which has experienced format and headlining division changes, include Jim Wood (1962), Jim Cox (1963), Marshall Sargent (1964), Dick Fries (1965), Bobby Adamson (1967), Bob Hogle (1968), Gene Brown (1972), Rick Ferkel (1973), Clark Templeman (1974), Ron Shuman (1976, 1977, 1983 and 1994), Buster Venard (1978), Dean Thompson (1979, 1980, 1982 and 1985), Sammy Swindell (1981), Bubby Jones (1984), Brad Doty (1986), Steve Kinser (1987 and 1988), Brad Noffsinger (1989), Rip Williams (1990) and Mike Kirby (1995).
Race organizer Steve Faria is excited about the "Pacific Coast Nationals" finding a home at his track. "We are honored to host the event," he said. "Non-wing racing has a bright future here and with Kevin Miller's leadership and perspectives I think USAC is headed in the right direction. This event will be good for California and we were really disappointed following last year's USAC rainout." Thunderbowl Raceway derived its name from a track which operated in the 1940s on the south side of Tulare but was disbanded. Steve and his staff reconfigured the track in 1993, then expanded it in the late-1990s, but auto racing on the grounds actually dates back to right after the second World War.
"USAC's goal is to present signature motorsports events for our participants and fans and I believe this will be a keystone event on our 2009 calendar," says USAC President/CEO Kevin Miller. "We look forward to working with Tulare in creating a "destination" for race fans in mid-November. The Pacific Coast Nationals has a rich tradition and we look to build upon that to give western race fans an extremely exciting entertainment product. We expect it to play a pivotal role in the battle for 2009 USAC championships."
The first USAC appearance at Tulare in 1988 saw P.J. Jones victorious in a Midget race. The following year, Robby Flock and Sleepy Tripp won USAC Midget races there and Wiley Miller won a USAC TQ Midget feature.
The scheduling of the Tulare program for Saturday and Sunday allows ample time for travel for USAC teams participating in Thursday's (Nov. 12) "Copper World Classic" Silver Crown and Midget races at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway.