Shaking off the frustration of making a 4,375-mile round trip only to get rained out at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway, Eddie Tafoya Jr. returns to sprint car action when the Amsoil USAC/CRA Series visits Scott Schweitzer’s Bakersfield Speedway on Saturday night, May 14th.
Saturday will only be the second time that Tafoya has made the 150-mile trip north to the famous track that is celebrating its 77th anniversary this year. In 2019, the year Tafoya won the USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year award, he made his initial trek to “The Fastest 1/3 Mile High Banked Clay Oval In The West” and he made a favorable impression. On that night, Tafoya, who makes his home in Chino Hills, California, turned in a qualifying time of 12.963. That was the ninth fastest of the 17 cars on hand. He followed that up with an eighth-place finish in his heat. In the main, “Mr. Smooth” started 10th and finished sixth in one of his most impressive performances during his rookie season.
“It is good, I ran sixth there my rookie year,” Tafoya answered when asked if he liked the Bakersfield Speedway. “That was my best finish that year. Hopefully, we can have some good luck there and get some good finishes going.”
“We just have to change a couple of little things we had set up for Eldora,” the well-spoken driver continued while returning from the Midwest. “We have to change it back for our home set up and we will be on our way.”
Bakersfield Speedway is similar in size to the Mohave Valley Raceway where Tafoya finished third in the main event three weeks ago. That was his second-best finish of 2022 and was only surpassed by a runner-up finish at Arizona’s Cocopah Speedway on January 29th.
Tafoya comes into Saturday’s race fifth in USAC/CRA Series points. Through the first eight races of the 2022 campaign, he has been in the top 10 five times and in the top five twice. His main event finishing position average thus far this year is 9.375.
Fans who would like to attend Saturday’s USAC/CRA race at Bakersfield can find the track at 5001 N. Chester Ext., in Bakersfield (93308). The track website is http://www.bakersfieldspeedway.com/ and the office phone number is (661) 393-3373. The pit gate will open at 2:00 pm, spectator gates at 4:00, and racing will start at 6:00. Adult tickets are $20.00. Seniors and military get in for $18.00. For kids 6-12 it is $5.00 and children 5 and under are free.
After this week in Bakersfield, Tafoya will return to the home digs for the annual “Salute to Indy” at Perris Auto Speedway on May 28th.
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 making the 2022 season possible.
Fans can follow Tafoya on Instagram @eddietafoya51. The same contact point can be used to purchase his great-looking shirts via mail.