2019 USAC/CRA and USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series Rookie of the Year, Eddie Tafoya Jr. of Chino Hills, California, will make his midget racing debut this week at the 34th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The talented driver will be competing in one of the five preliminary nights (Monday through Friday) and will then come back for Saturday’s finale.
For his initial foray into midget racing at the Chili Bowl, Tafoya, 22, will be wheeling the Specialty Fasteners FSC/Esslinger #37 owned by Missouri’s A.J. Felker.
Tafoya, a talented racer who in addition to racing sprint cars has shined in off-road, motocross and shifter kart racing, has chosen the biggest stage to make his midget racing debut. As this piece went to press, 357 drivers from 40 states and six countries have entered the prestigious competition. Joining Tafoya in the race will be drivers from several disciplines of racing including NASCAR, Indy Cars, NHRA, and Off-Road Racing. They are all there with one thing in common and that is to win the coveted Golden Driller winner’s trophy.
Eddie Tafoya Jr. (right) is making his debut at the Chili Bowl in Oklahoma this week.
Fresh off a 2018 championship in the Perris Auto Speedway Young Guns Sprint Car Series, the second-generation driver graduated to the big-time with 410 sprint cars in the USAC/CRA Series in 2020. The up and coming star turned a lot of heads with an early-season sixth-place finish at the Bakersfield Speedway in May. From that point on, his smooth driving and consistency garnered a lot of attention on his drive to the Rookie of the Year Award. Late in the season, he put the finishing touches on the award with a seventh-place finish at Perris Auto Speedway.
Tafoya put an exclamation point on his rookie campaign when he qualified for the final of the 52nd Western World Championships at the Arizona Speedway on November 16th. The field of cars for that event consisted of the best from the USAC National, USAC/CRA and USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series.
The 34th Annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals will take place on the Tulsa Expo Center Raceway inside the River Spirit Expo Center. The 448,000 square foot structure is one of the largest clear-span buildings in the world. Fans who cannot attend but who would like to watch Eddie Tafoya Jr. in action can watch all six nights via pay per view on the Racin Boys Network http://www.racinboys.com/). In addition, Saturday’s finale will be available live to millions around the world on MAVTV.
After the Chili Bowl, Tafoya will be back in action in his sophomore season in the USAC/CRA and USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series at the season-opening race at Arizona’s Canyon Speedway Park on March 6th and 7th. Three weeks later he will be at the 25th Sprint Car season opener at Perris Auto Speedway on March 28th.
Tafoya would like to thank the following sponsors for backing him in last year’s run to the Rookie of the Year Crown. Specialty Fasteners, Circle Track Performance and Sprint Car Driving Experience.
Eddie Tafoya Jr. PR