(4/16/17) Tulare, CA … The exciting 900-horsepower sprint cars of the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Racing Series will headline the two-day Peter Murphy Classic on Saturday night, April 22nd at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway.
The lucrative event is expected to pay the largest overall purse of the season and will field a stellar field of 410 sprint cars aiming to earn the winners share. The 2016 race paid $11,000 to winner and eventual series champion Kyle Hirst of Paradise, CA. Last place paid $1000 to start the 30-lap feature event (final numbers for the 2017 were not available as of press time.)
This is the fourth annual event hosted by Australian driver Peter Murphy, who became a steady fixture and fan favorite on the Northern Auto Racing Club sprint car tour in California during the 1990’s. However, his successful driving career ended prematurely in 2013 after being seriously injured in a violent crash at Antioch Speedway. During his long recovery from multiple injuries, including head trauma, the sprint car community circled its proverbial wagons around the popular driver to provide support.
“The racing community really helped me when I needed them the most during my long healing process,” explained Murphy, who solicits additional sponsorship for his race. “This race is my way of giving back to the fans and to the NARC Benevolent Fund.”
The Peter Murphy Classic also generates revenue for the aforementioned (non-profit) NARC Benevolent Fund. This fund provides support to open wheel racers and their families in times of need. It provides financial support to help offset medical bills and expenses.
“As much as I wanted to get back in the saddle (race car) again, my doctors said absolutely ‘no way.’ It was a serious health risk,” said Murphy, who now lives and owns a sign and graphic business in Fresno, CA. “Giving up racing was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. This event has made it easier and allows me to stay involved with my fantastic open wheel family.”
Among those expected to compete at the one-third mile action-packed clay oval on Saturday is current KWS-NARC championship point leader Cory Eliason of Selma, CA. Eliason captured the KWS-NARC season opener at Kern County Raceway Park (Bakersfield, CA) on April 8th. He already has two A-Main victories to his credit this season, driving both a 360 and 410 c.i. powered sprint car.
Among the other drivers expected to compete on Saturday is defending KWS-NARC series champion Hirst, Lemoore’s Carson Macedo, Willie Croft of Sacramento, Bud & Brent Kaeding of Campbell, Atwater’s Sean Watts and Nathan Rolfe, and Hanford drivers Mitchell Faccinto and DJ Netto.
Pit gates open at 2:00 p.m. Front gates open at 4:00 p.m. Also on the racing card on Saturday night is USAC Non-Wing 360’s & Legends of Kearney Bowl Vintage Cars.
The Thunderbowl Raceway is located at E. Bardsley Avenue & South K Street in Tulare.
ED NOTE: There will be a driver autograph session behind the grandstands from 4:00 – 4:45 p.m.
ED NOTE: Friday’s opening night of the Peter Murphy Classic will feature the Sprint Car Challenge Tour, Winged 360 sprint cars and the Legends of Kearney Bowl
ED NOTE: Race fans can contribute to the NARC Benevolent Fund. Make checks payable to: “NARC Benevolent Fund” and mail c//o Kaeding Performance Center 813 Cristich Lane, Campbell, CA 95008. For more information on the fund, call 408-371-3031.
May 6 – Silver Dollar Speedway – Chico, CA – Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial Race
May 13 – Placerville Speedway – Placerville, CA
2017 KWS-NARC FUJITSU SERIES POINT STANDINGS
(After one event in 17-race Series)
- Cory Eliason, Selma (1) 62
- Carson Macedo, Lemoore 59
- Kyle Hirst, Paradise 58
- Giovanni Scelzi, Fresno 57’
- Bud Kaeding, Campbell 56
- Mitchell Faccinto, Hanford 55
- Sean Watts, Atwater 55
- DJ Netto, Hanford 54
- Sean Becker, Roseville 53
- Michael Kofoid, Penngrove 51
- Matthew Moles, Fresno 50
- Bobby McMahan, Elk Grove 49
- Brent Kaeding, Campbell 48
- Scott Parker, Coarsegold 48
- Chase Johnson, Penngrove 47
- Craig Stidham, Fresno 46
- Willie Croft, Sacramento 46
- Jason Statler, Grass Valley 45
- Nathan Rolfe, Atwater 42
- Taylor Malsum, Seattle, WA 41
The King of the West Fujitsu Racing Series – presented by the Northern Auto Racing Club is co-sponsored by Hoosier Racing Tires. Contingency award sponsors include ATL Racing Cells, ARP Racing Bolts, BMRS, Butler Built, FK Rod Ends, Flowmaster, Fuel Safe Racing Cells, Kaeding Performance Center, KSE Racing Products, Maxim, PAC Racing Springs, Pyrotect, Racing Optics, Saldana Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, SCI Racing Products, System 1 Ignition, Ultra Light Brakes, Weld Racing Wheels, Wilwood Disc Brakes, Williams Roofing, and Winters Performance Products.