Trophy Cup Race Results
Friday - October 21st, 2011
Saturday - October 22nd, 2011
18th ANNUAL TROPHY CUP
Pat and Ray Williams
Haudenschild Cup Champion. Larson Wins Main
by Ron Rodda
Tulare, CA - What appeared to be a Brad Sweet cruise to a 2nd Trophy Cup title became a frantic two lap race between Jac Haudenschild and Jonathan Allard when the 18th Annual Trophy Cup drew to an end on Saturday. Before a packed house at Thunderbowl Raceway, Haudenschild stormed past Allard as the pair left turn two on the last lap to claim the title. Kyle Larson dominated the 50 lap A main to collect the win.
A 64 car field returned for the second night with the top 48 in points divided into six heats with a full inversion. A heat win earned 36 points with a 3 point drop per position. Cars 49 and above in points were split into a pair of D mains, won by Brad Bumgarner and Henry Van Dam.
After his win the night prior, Stevie Smith led points but managed only a 6th in his heat, matched by Allard who was 2nd in points, ten behind Smith. Brad Sweet closed the gap with a 2nd in his heat to tie for the point lead with Smith. Haudenschild was 4th in points before his 5th place heat finish, leaving him still 4th overall. Bud Kaeding took 4th and Randy Hannagan a 5th in their heats, putting Bud 3rd and Hannagan 6th after heat race action for their point standing.
The C main moved the top 4 on to the B and Kenny Allen led all 15 laps to win over Van Dam, Nicole Miller, and Stan Yockey. Van Dam"s drive to 2nd thrilled the crowd, coming from 14th starting, but the Washington state driver was unable to start the B main due to power steering failure.
A very competitive B main was jammed with many drivers used to being in an A main and Roger Crockett won from 5th over Craig Smith, Kyle Hirst, and Steven Kent. Hirst"s drive to 3rd was particularly impressive after restarting at the rear of the field. Due to the A main being completely inverted by points, the four B main transfers are always in the front two rows as they are the lowest point cars. The 50 lap finale has a short open red planned between laps 10 and 35 so teams can add fuel.
Hirst became a DNF after coming on the track as mechanical problems following his B main run ended his night. Craig Smith assumed the pole with Kent alongside with Stevie Smith and Sweet filling the 12 row of the 24 car inversion. Haudenschild and Bud Kaeding were in row 11 while Justyn Cox and Allard shared row 10.
Making a very strong showing in his first Cup race, Steven Kent led 5 laps before Craig Smith drove past him on the top of turn 4 to lead lap 6 with 3rd starting Kyle Larson in 3rd since the green. A spun car in turn 4 on lap 7 collected Cox and Justin Sanders, both who flipped while C. Smith flattened a right rear to give up the lead.
Kent was back on top on the restart but a slider in turn 2 on the 11th lap saw Larson take the lead, a position he held the last 40 laps. A lap 16 yellow became the fuel stop and Crockett used a turn 4 move to take 2nd when the green reappeared. A lap later Shane Golobic moved into 3rd but nobody had any ideas as to how to catch Larson.
Larson went on the win the A main in a dominating drive, Crockett was eventually 3rd, and Kent finished 12 in a very strong first time Cup event. As Larson drove to his win, the race for the $20,000 championship drew the crowd"s attention, a battle that steadily became more dramatic as laps unfolded.
The Trophy Cup finale is always a two race at once affair. The race for the win is accompanied by the race from the back of the pack as the high point cars advance to earn more points and the title. The final main is 150 points to win with a 5 point drop per position. There were realistically seven drivers with a viable chance to win the title when the 50 laps commenced.
Allard needed to finish two spots ahead of S. Smith or Sweet for a back to back Cup title performance. Haudenschild and Bud Kaeding also need a two spot margin but S. Smith and Sweet, being tied in points, had their own battle to handle. By lap 10 is was clear that Sweet was the major player and over the first 30 plus laps Sweet was in control of the point chase.
Things changed by lap 33 when Haudenschild got past Sweet as the former Grass Valley resident was slowing and Allard matched the move on lap 39 with a turn 4 pass on Haudenschild. As lap 40 was scored, Allard was leading the point battle and used a slider in turn 2 on lap 42 to take 3rd. It was looking as if Allard was going to post back to back titles, but things were not quite settled yet.
A lap 48 yellow set up one of the most dramatic finishes in the 18 year Cup history. Allard was 3rd, Haudenschild was 4th, and they were nose to tail on the restart. Haudenschild passed Allard on the bottom in turn 1 of the 49th lap, Allard came back in turn 2. and the crossed the line to end lap 49 in a near tie. Had their not been one more lap, a photo finish would have settled the Cup.
The duo entered turn 2 on the final lap side by side, Haudenschild on the top, and he used that ground to get a good push off of the turn to lead Allard down the backstretch, adding a pass on Crockett to finish his final lap. Allard dropped to 4th at the line and Haudenschild had won the Cup title over Allard and Sweet.
The dramatic Trophy Cup reached new levels this year with the largest crowds ever and obvious fan appreciation of the event. The Cup gave $50,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in their continuing effort to support that organization.
The 2012 Trophy Cup has been set, and it will be a three day event on October 18-20. The Thursday show will feature nonwing 360 sprints in a separate night of racing at Tulare Thunderbowl.
Kenny Allen, Henry Van Dam, Nicole Miller, Stan Yockey, Tommy Laliberte, Chad Compton, Brad Bumgarner, Shawn Wright, Clayton Snow, Kurt Nelson, Nick McCollough, Steve Stone, Pat Harvey, Steve Dyer, Billy Butler, Kyle Evans
Roger Crockett, Craig Smith, Kyle Hirst, Steven Kent, Jason Solwold, Sean Becker, Mike Faria, Jason Leffler, Ronnie Day, Craig Stidham, Danny Faria Jr., Yockey, Travis Jacobson, Mark Dobmeier, Cody Lamar, Eric Humphries, Geoff Ensign, Allen, Miller, Andy Forsberg, Andy Gregg, Greg DeCaires, Mike Henry
Kyle Larson, Jac Haudenschild, Crockett, Jonathan Allard, Tommy Tarlton, Shane Golobic, Brad Sweet, Stevie Smith, Peter Murphy, Randy Hannagan, Bud Kaeding, Kent, Trey Starks, Rico Abreu, Tim Kaeding, Bobby McMahan, Jason Statler, Brent Kaeding, Craig Smith, Jayme Barnes, Justyn Cox, Justin Sanders, Evan Suggs
Final points top ten:
Haudenschild 431, Allard 420, Sweet 415, S. Smith 410, Larson 395,
Hannagan 389, Bud Kaeding 389, Crockett 385, Murphy 378, Tarlton 376
Friday - Oct. 21st, 2011
Stevie Smith, Bud Kaeding, Tim Kaeding, Justyn Cox, Brad Sweet, Jac Haudenschild, Randy Hannagan, Rico Abreu, Jonathan Allard, Peter Murphy, Bobby McMahan, Roger Crockett, Brent Kaeding, Shane Golobic, Andy Forsberg, Jason Statler, Trey Starks, Steven Kent, Kyle Larson, Justin Sanders, Kyle Hirst, Craig Smith
A "Full House" at the Thunderbowl
Trophy Cup Winner - Jac Haudenschild
Saturday "A" Main Winner - Kyle Larson
Peter Murphy - Stevie Smith (Friday Night "A" Main Winner)
Jonathan Allard - Tommy Laliberte
Kyle Larson takes the Checkered Flags on Saturday Night
Friday "A" Main Winner - Stevie Smith
Saturday "A" Main Winner - Kyle Larson
Trophy Cup Winner - Jac Haudenschild
and the "Real Winner" is..... The Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation
Dave Pusateri and his loyal Trophy Cup team present a check for $50,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Dave and his Crew have raised well over 500K for the Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation
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