After nearly a month off since opening the season in the USAC National Sprint Car Series, Eddie Tafoya Jr will return to where it all started for him in sprint cars, Perris Auto Speedway, for the “20th Annual Sokola Shootout” this Saturday, March 18th. It is the final race for Tafoya before he heads out on the road to rejoin the national series in Texas beginning on April 27th.
The long layoff was not in the original plans for the 25-year-old Chino Hills, California resident. After making the main event at the Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida on February 18th, Tafoya and his crew returned to Southern California. Plans were to be back in action with the USAC/CRA Series at the Central Arizona Raceway. However, rains early in the week left the racing facility just like the swamps Tafoya toured in his off days in Florida, and the two-night show was canceled.
In 2022, Tafoya qualified for all nine USAC/CRA main events in Perris, which is only 35 miles away from his home. Three of those races were at November’s Oval Nationals and included the top drivers from the USAC National Sprint Car Series. Of those nine appearances, the handsome driver placed in the top 10 five times and was in the top five on two occasions. His best finish at the track which is located 77 miles east of Los Angeles, came on June 25th when he placed fourth. His best finish in the USAC/CRA Series in 2022 came when he placed second at the Cocopah Speedway on January 28th.
At the 2022 “Sokola Shootout, Tafoya finished eighth in the 30-lap main event. That came a little over a month after he was clobbered by another car and ended up in a heap against the turn one fence in the A main at the “So Cal Showdown.” Fortunately, he climbed out of the car unscathed, but the machine was destroyed.
After this week’s “Sokola Shootout,” Tafoya and the team will have over a month off before getting back on the track with an ambitious five-race, 10-day schedule. The five races will take place on three different tracks. Like many races on his 2023 schedule, the three tracks will all be new to Tafoya. The first of the five will be at Rocket Raceway in Petty, Texas. Following that event, Tafoya and crew will head 90 miles south to the famous Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite for two nights on April 28th and 29th.
The journey will continue when the team heads 1000 miles northeast to Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Ohio for the annual “Let’s Race Two” weekend. There, Tafoya and the remainder of the USAC National stars will race two straight nights on a program that will include the legendary World of Outlaws. Like Devil’s Bowl, Eldora is near the top of most sprint car fan’s and driver’s bucket lists.
Tafoya qualified for two of the four main events during his February swing through Florida. One race was canceled by rain and Tafoya missed one show with fuel line problems on the great-looking #51T. In the two main events he qualified for, he placed 13th at Volusia Speedway Park on February 14th and was 21st at Bubba Raceway Park four days later. He is currently 22nd in USAC National Sprint Car points.
Tafoya’s great-looking shirts and hoodies are available online at www.specialty-fasteners.com.
Tafoya has a great YouTube channel at the following link https://www.youtube.com/shorts/1hrmC5L80EU.
Fans can follow Tafoya on Instagram @eddietafoya51.
Tafoya and the #51T team would like to thank Specialty Fasteners, DRC Chassis, Ryder Racing Engines, Simpson Safety Products, Bell, Benic Enterprises, BR Motorsports, PSC Powder Coating, Magik Graphics, Gasper Transportation, Owen’s Insurance Services, and Weld Wheels for supporting its racing program.
Eddie Tafoya Pr