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Eddie Tafoya Wraps Up Indiana Portion Of The 2020 Schedule

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Eddie Tafoya Wraps Up Indiana Portion Of The 2020 Schedule

EDDIE TAFOYA WRAPS UP INDIANA PORTION OF THE 2020 SCHEDULE

By Scott Daloisio

(Chino, CA, October 10, 2020) When the COVID crisis forced young Southern California sprint car racer Eddie Tafoya Jr., to hit the highway to Indiana for most of his racing in 2020, nobody had any idea what the outcome would be.  Competing in the USAC National Series against the best traditional sprint car drivers in the world, Tafoya surprised many and garnered a lot of media attention with his determined efforts in the “Hoosier State.”

The last sojourn to Indiana saw the likable Chino Hills, California resident compete four times in the second half of September.  Things started off at the Terre Haute Action Track on September 18th.   In his first appearance on the big, fast intimidating half-mile in July, he missed the transfer spot to the B Main by two positions.  This time it was different as he transferred straight from his heat race into the A Main.  Starting on the front row of the heat, the 23-year-old led most of the eight-lapper before being passed by two multi-time USAC champions.  He ended up third in the heat and followed that up with a 20th in his first-ever main event on the Action Track.

One night after Terre Haute, Tafoya and the Specialty Fasteners team journeyed to Haubstadt, Indiana’s Tri-State Speedway.  The last time at Tri-State, he fought hard in the B-Main and slipped in and out of the final transfer positions before missing his ticket to the “big dance” by two spots.  That did not happen this time.  Qualifying 21st out of 31-cars, a sixth-place finish in his heat race planted him in the B Main.  He again put on a show in the B snatching the final transfer spot to the main event.  In the Main, he started 22nd and advanced forward to finish 18th.

Tafoya wheeled the #51T into Gas City I-69 Speedway on September 25th.  That night resulted in a disappointing eighth-place finish in the C Main.

Tafoya’s final night in Indiana for the season came on September 26th.  For part of that night, all eyes at the track and those on the Flo Racing live stream were on him.  However, it did not start out that way.  Forty-two cars showed up for the race and Tafoya qualified 41st.  The team simply missed the setup for qualifying and the car was to fast for the track.  In hindsight, that ended up being a blessing for the thousands watching at Kokomo and around the world on Flo. 

The qualifying hiccup meant Tafoya was starting in the back all night long.  In his eleven car, eight-lap heat race, he started dead last and finished eighth.  That meant he had to go to the C Main where he would start in the last row.  It was 10-cars, going 10-laps and only the top four would move to the B Main.  Much to the delight of the crowd, Tafoya sliced and diced his way all the way to a third-place finish and an automatic ticket into the B.

The B Main would be a whole different ballgame.  It presented a tougher and larger field of drivers and cars.  It was only 12-laps and only the top six would move into the A Main.  Nineteen cars started the race and Tafoya was once again in the back row (row 10).  Once the green flag dropped, he was the show.  He deftly started picking off more experienced drivers one by one.  As the laps wound down, the focus was all on the #51T.  He worked his way up to seventh late in the race and made his move for the final transfer spot in turn one.  He steered under the sixth-place car and was about to make the pass when the rear end came around and he slid to a stop.  He had to go to the back for the restart and with virtually no time to get back to a transfer spot, he finished 11th.  As frustrating as that was for him, the determined and skillful drive through the pack permanently etched his name into the minds of the fans watching. 

Tafoya’s 12 races in Indiana competing against the top stars in traditional sprint car racing was a valuable experience.  The 2018 Perris Auto Speedway Young Gun Champion and 2019 USAC/CRA and USAC Southwest Series Champion learned valuable lessons and competed well.  He will be a force to be reckoned with when the 2021 racing season begins on the West Coast.  Local fans will be incredibly happy when they see how much he has learned as a driver.

Even though he is done with the Indiana portion of his schedule, he is not finished yet.  Tafoya and the #51T will be one of the entries when the USAC/CRA and USAC Southwest Series take over the Arizona Speedway on November 13th and 14th for the 53rd Annual Western World Championships.

Eddie Tafoya Wraps Up Indiana Portion Of The 2020 Schedule

Tafoya and his team would like to thank the following sponsors for being a part of the 2020 racing effort.  Specialty Fasteners, Circle Track Performance, Sprint Car Driving Experience, DRC Chassis, Ryder Racing Engines, and Benic Enterprises.

Eddie Tafoya Jr. 2020 Racing Results

1-15-20                Chili Bowl Preliminary Night                       Tulsa, Oklahoma                             6th C Main

1-18-20                Chili Bowl Finals Night                                  Tulsa, Oklahoma                             9th I Main

3-6-20                  USAC Southwest Series Canyon                 Speedway Park Peoria, AZ            10th A Main

3-7-20                  USAC Southwest Series Canyon                 Speedway Park Peoria, AZ            12th A Main

7-24-20                USAC National Sprint Cars                           Gas City I-69 Speedway                 5th B Main

7-25-20                USAC National Sprint Cars                           Kokomo Speedway                         5th C Main

7-26-20                USAC National Sprint Cars                           Lawrenceburg Speedway              19th A Main

7-29-20                USAC National Sprint Cars                           Terre Haute Action Track              7th B Main

8-2-20                  USAC National Sprint Cars                           Tri-State Speedway                         8th B Main

8-27-20                USAC National Sprint Cars                           Kokomo Speedway                         14th C Main

8-28-20                USAC National Sprint Cars                           Kokomo Speedway                         12th B Main

8-29-20                USAC National Sprint Cars                           Kokomo Speedway                         19th A Main

9-18-20                USAC National Sprint Cars                           Terre Haute Action Track              19th A Main

9-19-20                USAC National Sprint Cars                           Tri-State Speedway                         17th A Main

9-25-20                USAC National Sprint Cars                           Gas City I-69 Speedway                 8th C Main

9-26-20                USAC National Sprint Cars                           Kokomo Speedway                         11th B Main

By Scott Daloisio

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