Fresh off the best season of his young career, Eddie Tafoya Jr. will kick off the 2022 USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series campaign this Thursday Friday, and Saturday, January 27, 28, and 29, at Arizona’s Cocopah Speedway. The races will be the first of three for the Chino Hills, California-based driver on the expanded 32-race series schedule.
Eddie Tafoya Jr., #51T, will open the 2022 sprint car season this week at Cocopah Speedway. Doug Allen photo.
Tafoya comes into the new season after an impressive year in 2021. The 2018 Perris Auto Speedway Young Guns Sprint Car champion, finished eighth in the USAC/CRA Series point standings. In 17 starts in the toughest non-wing sprint car series west of the Mississippi, “Mr. Smooth” recorded seven top 10 finishes, five top-fives, and one top three. His best outing came at Perris Auto Speedway when he placed third on July 17th. That race would have been surpassed by what seemed to be a sure second-place run at the prestigious Salute to Indy at Perris on Memorial Day weekend. However, with less than five laps to go in that yellow flag-plagued main event, Tafoya ran out of fuel.
In addition to his 17 races in the USAC/CRA Series, the now 24-year-old made 12 appearances in Indiana in the USAC National Sprint Car Series, and one open show start at the Bob Darland Memorial. Those treks to the Heartland saw him compete and gain valuable experience on eight different tracks.
This week’s races will be the first for the USAC/CRA Series at Somerton, Arizona’s Cocopah Speedway since 2013. Thus, it will be Tafoya’s first experience on the extremely fast 3/8 of a mile oval.
This year’s 32-race USAC/CRA schedule will see Tafoya, who was crowned series Rookie of the Year in 2019, compete on a minimum of seven western tracks. Perris Auto Speedway, the home track of the now 18-year-old series, will lead the way with 10 different dates including the 26th Annual Heimark/Anheuser Busch Budweiser Oval Nationals in November. Cocopah, Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, California, and the Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California will host three races each. The Series will invade Arizona’s Mohave Valley Raceway for the first time with dates in April and October. Annual stops at the Bakersfield Speedway and at the beach at the Ventura Raceway will take place in May and June. In addition, there are nine races at tracks yet to be announced.
For fans who would like to see Tafoya kick off his 2022 campaign in person, spectator gates will open at 4:00 p.m. each day with USAC/CRA cars on the track for hot laps at 6:00 with racing and qualifying to follow. Cocopah Speedway is located at 3450 West County 15th Street, in Somerton, Arizona (85350). The track phone number is 602-292-7607 and the website is http://www.racecocopahspeedway.com/.
For fans who cannot make it to Arizona for the race, all three nights will be shown on the https://speedsport.tv/.
Tafoya and his team would like to thank the following sponsors for making the 2022 racing campaign possible. Specialty Fasteners, DRC Chassis, Ryder Racing Engines, Simpson Safety Products, Bell, Benic Enterprises, BR Motorsports, PSC Powder Coating, and Magik Graphics.
Fans can follow Tafoya on Instagram @eddietafoya51. The same contact point can be used to purchase his great-looking shirts via mail.
Eddie Tafoya PR