Kyle Larson & Paul Silva Team Up to Win Thunderbowl Raceway's 20th Trophy Cup Title

 
 
In arguably the most memorable finish in the history of the event, Kyle Larson held on in the Silva Motorsport car to win the race and the overall Trophy Cup title
In arguably the most memorable finish in the history of the event, Kyle Larson held on in the Silva Motorsport car to win the race and the overall Trophy Cup title
Kyle Larson, the 21-year-old Earnhardt Ganassi Racing development driver, and newly crowned 2013 Rookie of the Year in the Nationwide Series, teamed up with Paul Silva to win the coveted Trophy Cup. Both Larson and Silva have longed to add this particular title to their illustrious resumes. And now Thunderbowl Raceway's 20th Trophy Cup, along with Larson and Silva, will forever be linked together in racing history. Larson, from Elk Grove, California, drove the K&N sponsored Silva Motorsports No. 57x Winged Sprint from a second to last place start in the fifty lap "A" Main event, through the highly completive twenty-four car field, to claim both the race and the overall event title in thrilling fashion.
The 2013 Rookie of the Year in the Nationwide Series, Kyle Larson, teamed up with Paul Silva to win Thunderbowl Raceway's 20th Trophy Cup
The 2013 Rookie of the Year in the Nationwide Series, Kyle Larson, teamed up with Paul Silva to win Thunderbowl Raceway's 20th Trophy Cup


"I can't thank Paul Silva enough for the opportunity to drive his car, and come out and finally win this thing," Larson said. "He's never won it as a car owner and crew chief, and I've always seemed to have bad luck, so I'm just really happy for everyone involved."

"Winning the Trophy Cup is a huge deal for my team and me," Silva added. "As a car owner it has been a race that has eluded me for so many years, and to win it in its 20th year is pretty special. The idea that the event is philanthropic, and is doing so much for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, adds even more luster to it. Being such a tough format and having such stiff competition really makes it a marquee event nationwide, and to finally have the trophy in my shop is a great feeling."

The prestigious Trophy Cup brings the best sprint car drivers to Tulare, California each year, and it always delivers with some of the most exhilarating racing of the season. And right down to the wire, the 20th running of the event clearly made good, and exceeded all expectations. When the yellow flag came out for the final time on the 47th lap, it set up quite possibly the most memorable finish in the history of the event.

Once back under green, Larson hounded the race leader ,Brad Sweet, and as the white flag flew he slid in for the lead in the first set of turns, but Sweet was able to turn back down under him and hold the advantage. Drag racing into the final two corners, Larson stayed high with a full head of steam as Sweet went to the bottom, and as they came off the last corner they made contact. Larson got into the wall, but he stayed in the throttle and willed himself across the finish line in first, claiming both the race and the Trophy Cup title.

"It was an exciting last lap," Larson remarked, "we made contact in the final corner, and I just stayed in the gas hoping I could hang on, and it worked out."
Kyle Larson and Paul Silva teamed up for a number of important wins during 2013
Kyle Larson and Paul Silva teamed up for a number of important wins during 2013


Silva's take on the dramatic battle to finish line was, "With the Trophy Cup being such a big race, you have two races going on, not just the physical race, but you also have the Trophy Cup points chase going on. With Brad Sweet out of contention for the overall Trophy Cup title, he was doing what he could to win the race, and Kyle was trying to win both the race and the Trophy Cup. The two of them went at it pretty hard for a few laps and Brad was trying to block another slide-job, but Kyle had a huge run on the top, and it really wasn't malicious. Fortunately Kyle was able to keep his foot in it, and somehow limp across the finish line."

"There is no question that Kyle is a tremendous talent, who can do some pretty special things behind the wheel of any type of race car. And with him being from California, like myself, and growing up racing in front of me, it was really a no brainer to give him a shot in my car when he was available," Silva explains as to how their partnership came to be. "We've now built a pretty close friendship, and when his schedule and my schedule allow, we try to race together at some big events."

The duo's last triumph together was the World of Outlaws feature event at Antioch Speedway back in September. However, what makes the Trophy Cup win even more significant is that there's no telling when Kyle Larson will have an opportunity to race sprints again, as all his focus will certainly be on NASCAR in 2014.

"I am currently in the process of getting ready for 2014," Paul Silva said, "but I have to thank everyone at K&N for the awesome support they provided in 2013."

Silva Motorsports 2013 season by the numbers: Races-22, Wins-6, Top-5's-15-, Top 10's-17

Related K&N News Articles about the Thunderbowl Raceway: Andy Gregg Talks About His Current Season and Looking Forward to The Trophy Cup Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway; Sprint Car Driver Jonathan Allard Eager for World of Outlaws at Thunderbowl Raceway; Terry McCarl Takes Fourth Place at Thunderbowl Raceway; Jason Meyers Makes History at World of Outlaw's Then Wins at Thunderbowl Raceway
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