Eddie Tafoya Jr. Comes From the Back to Finish Eighth in Shortened Perris Auto Speedway Main

In what can best be described as a bizarre night, Eddie Tafoya Jr. came from the back of the pack to finish eighth in last Saturday’s Avanti Windows and Doors USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series main event at Perris Auto Speedway. The race was called complete at the end of 20 laps leaving fans to wonder where he would have finished if it had gone the full 30-circuits.

BO2I5267.jpgEddie Tafoya at Perris Auto Speedway on June 22nd. Kenny Lonngren photo.

Tafoya, who was racing at the track closest to his Chino Hills, California home, was the 10th fastest car of the 22 on hand in qualifying. The quickest of his two laps on the clocks was a 17.848. The time sent the affable racer to the first heat race on the hot evening. Starting on the inside of row two in the 10-lapper, he placed fifth.

During the afternoon, the thermometer was registering at over 100 degrees at the 28 year old track. In addition, the wind was blowing. By the time the eighth series 30-lap main event of 2024 was ready to push off, the wind was still blowing, and the temperature was 80 degrees. When the 22-car field of 900+ horsepower cars began the race, a problem that rarely exists at the track reared its ugly head. That problem was copious amounts of dust.

Early on, veteran racer Tafoya, who started the main event in 10th, got caught up in somebody else’s mess. After a quick trip to the work area, he returned to the battleground but had to restart the race at the back. While the dust had settled during the yellow flag period, it came up again as soon as the race resumed. Despite issues seeing, Tafoya managed to steer the car, which is a fan favorite with its red foil trim, forward. He was one of the few cars making passes, and he found himself impressively back up to eighth spot. However, that was as far as he was going to get. As conditions were not improving, series officials called the race complete at 20-laps.

While it would have been interesting to see where 26-year-old Tafoya would have finished had the race not been shortened, it was an impressive performance in less-than-ideal conditions. It also gave him six top 10 finishes in the last 10 Southern California A mains he has started. Included in the top 10s is a second place at the grand reopening of the Santa Maria Speedway on June 15th.

Saturday’s finish saw Tafoya close to within 10-points of the driver currently ranked seventh in the championship standings. With more than half the season remaining, the 2019 series Rookie of the Year will surely rise higher in the point battle before the season ends.

Tafoya gets this weekend off, but he will be back at it on July 5th when the USAC/CRA Series heads to Santa Maria for the first time since 2022.

Friendly Tafoya is always happy to meet the fans in the pits after every race. He will sign autographs, pose for photos, and sell his beautiful 2024 team shirts. For fans who cannot attend the races, the team shirts are available at www.specialty-fasteners.com.

Fans can follow Tafoya on Instagram @eddietafoya51.

Tafoya and the #51T team would like to thank Specialty Fasteners, Inland Rigging, BR Motorsports, King Racing Products, Gasper Transportation, CMI Precision Machining, Owen’s Insurance Services, Keen Concrete, DRC Chassis, and Rider Racing Engines for supporting its racing program.

Eddie Tafoya PR