Saldana Looks to Thunderbowl Raceway

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Saldana looks to give Dennis & Teresa Roth a World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series backyard-win at Thunderbowl Raceway March 11 & 12

Past USAC National champs Clauson & Bacon add spice to West Coast Series field 

By Gary Thomas

Tulare, CA – March 2, 2016…Throughout the year’s one of the most accomplished World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series drivers at Thunderbowl Raceway happens to be Brownsburg, Indiana’s Joey Saldana, who returns to the track on March 11 & 12 aboard the locally based Roth Motorsports No. 83 Sprinter.

The World of Outlaws veteran has claimed four series features at the Tulare based facility, which is tied for the most all-time with San Jose favorite Tim Kaeding. Saldana’s World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series wins at Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway all came during his time driving for Kasey Kahne Racing, occurring in 2007, ’09, ’10 & 2011. He was in position for another win last March, until an incident in traffic while leading the feature took that opportunity away.

The man simply known as the “Brownsburg Bullet” ranks sixth on the all-time World of Outlaws win list with 94 career victories. The only drivers ahead of him on the illustrious list are Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell, Donny Schatz, Mark Kinser & Doug Wolfgang. Four of those five are currently in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, a place Saldana looks to end up at the conclusion of his career. The 43-year-old has traditionally been strong in the Golden State, which now carry’s even more importance driving for the Fresno, CA based Roth Motorsports team.

“It would definitely mean a lot to get another win in Tulare, especially now that I’m driving for Dennis & Teresa Roth,” Saldana commented. “The Thunderbowl has been a good track for me over the years and it’s always exciting for the fans. I just think it suits my driving style really well. You have to be aggressive in Tulare, but also have things fall your way in traffic. We were good there last year and then had nowhere to go when things bottled up in traffic. It’s great having the chance to drive for Roth Motorsports this year and with Tulare being their home track, I would love nothing more than to give them a victory.”

The King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series will be co-sanctioning each night with the Greatest Show on Dirt at the Thunderbowl. One of the KWS regulars hoping to battle the Outlaw travelers for victory is certainly Saldana’s Roth Motorsports teammate and two-time series champion Kyle Hirst. The Paradise, CA driver has been oh-so-close to a World of Outlaws victory in the past. Last season Hirst led the King of the West Series with five victories and is a heavy favorite going into this year.

Also competing both nights will be the Wingless Sprints of the USAC West Coast 360 Series. Local favorite “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. captured the series title last year and hopes to open the Thunderbowl season in style. Faria however, will have stiff competition in the form of multi-time USAC National titlist & 2014 Chili Bowl winner Bryan Clauson from Noblesville, Indiana; past USAC National Sprint Car champion Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; the Visalia based Vander Weerd brother’s Richard & Jace, Yorba Linda’s Matt Mitchell and many more.

The weekend is part of Clauson’s “Circular Insanity Tour” and will see him compete with both the USAC West Coast Sprints & the World of Outlaws each night. The 26-year-old grew up in Northern California and has become one of the most versatile drivers in all of Sprint Car & Midget racing. So far in his quest for 200 races this year he has claimed five victories and will look to add on to that total at the Thunderbowl.

Tickets continue to be on sale for the World of Outlaws/King of the West/USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series weekend on March 11 & 12 by calling 559-688-0909. All seating in the house is reserved, with Grandstand tickets $45 & Bleacher tickets $40 each night. The Saturday finale will also see the Western RaceSaver Sprints on the card, as they open their second season of action.

Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds on the corner of Bardsley and K Streets in Tulare, California. From the junction of SR 99 and SR 137, go west on SR 137. At South K go south one-half mile to the Fairgrounds. Camping is also available at the fairgrounds located off turns three and four.

For more info on Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway visit and like our Facebook page at

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