Murphy & Crew Gearing Up For Opening Day In Hanford

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Peter Murphy is hard at work preparing Keller Auto Speedway for the upcoming season of racing. (Devin Mayo photo)

HANFORD, Calif. – The opening race of the season at Keller Auto Speedway is fast approaching and new promoter Peter Murphy, along with the assistance from several individuals and companies, is hard at work getting things ready for the big night.

One of the adjustments racers and fans will notice on Feb. 22 is a slight change to the track surface from the last couple seasons. Murphy and his crew comprised of Scott Woodhouse, Don Chambers and Larry Davis Farms are working to lessen the width of the track, bringing it back to more of an old school Kings Speedway surface.

Murphy spoke about the changes and noted that making the track surface less time consuming to re-work during race programs is one of the reasons for doing so.

“I believe that bringing the track surface back to where it used to be will allow us maintain it better and save on time with track prep during events. Like all race tracks it’s going to be a work in progress, but I’m confident in my guys Scott Woodhouse and Don Chambers. One of the goals I have for Keller Auto Speedway is to get the races completed by 10pm. We want to keep the fans happy and give them time to visit with the teams in the pits after each show.”

The retired sprint car racer turned promoter has announced that Keller Motors and Budweiser are also returning as major partners of the Keller Auto Speedway. He welcomed the support from his brother-in-law Preston Cross of Four C’s Construction as well.

Murphy stated that he is keeping the schedule the same as it was announced prior to him taking over, with a few changes that will be sure to delight fans and racers. New to the mix will be four non-sanctioned winged 410 sprint car events that have been added to the slate.

The Kings 410 Sprint Cars will converge at the speedway on May 9 for the Prelude to the Peter Murphy Classic, followed on June 27 for the Tribute to Kenny Tackeuchi, the Tribute to Morrie Williams on Oct. 9 and the $21,000-to-win Tom Tarlton Classic on Oct. 30.

The 35th annual Cotton Classic will also be part of the action and sanctioned by the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu 410 Sprint Cars, while it morphs into a Prelude to the Trophy Cup.

“When we took over the track, they had already put the schedule together, so I didn’t really want to change what was in place,” Murphy commented. “I’m looking forward to adding in some additional Winged 410 Sprint Car events though on May 9, June 27, Oct. 9 and Oct. 30. The first one will work as a prelude to my Classic that takes place in Tulare the following weekend and then the next two will pay homage to a pair of people that were not only special to me, but the entire racing community. The final 410 event acts as a grand finale and will pay $21,000-to-win the feature.”

More details regarding the Tom Tarlton Classic and all other Kings 410 sprint car shows will be available soon.

Murphy also wanted to extend his appreciation towards previous Keller Auto Speedway Promoter’s Bubby and Corey Morse.

“I definitely want to thank Bubby and Corey for everything they did at the speedway and for allowing me this opportunity to take over the track this year,” Murphy said. “I’m excited to jump into it and will certainly work my hardest to help make Keller Auto Speedway the best it can be. I’m very fortunate to have a lot of great people surrounding me to make it possible.”

Opening night at Keller Auto Speedway on Feb. 22 will feature the Kings of Thunder Winged 360 Sprint Cars, the Van De Pol Western RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars and Dirt Modifieds (A-Mods). It marks the start of back-to-back weeks to open the campaign, with the KoT 360’s and Dirt Modifieds returning on Feb. 29, plus IMCA Stocks and the Central Valley Mini Stocks.

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