The 2022 General Tire Spirit Award will be presented to long-time ARCA Menards Series West team owner and West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame member Bob Bruncati during the series’ first of two scheduled visits to Irwindale Speedway on April 1. Bruncati will receive a unique commemorative General Tire helmet, a check for $2,500, and a second check for $2,500 will be given to The City of Hope Medical Center, a charity chosen by the Bruncati family.
“At General Tire, we’ve been fortunate enough to play a small role in two of the four of Sunrise Ford Racing’s ARCA Menards Series West championships,” said Adam Keiser, content specialist for General Tire. “Bob Bruncati’s dedication to the series, and his knack for finding and supporting young drivers are just a few of the reasons we crowned him this year’s General Tire Spirit Award winner. Bob truly exemplifies why we created this award, and we wish him all the best in retirement.”
Bruncati started his career in motorsports owning a super late model which competed regularly at Irwindale. From there, the team expanded into the West Series in 2006, accumulating 346 starts and 40 wins among 12 different drivers.
Bruncati’s Sunrise Ford Racing team – named for the automotive dealerships he and his wife Maureen owned – earned four West championships, the first with Jason Bowles in 2009, then two with Derek Thorn in 2013 and 2018, and the final title in his final season as a West owner in 2022 with Jake Drew at the wheel.
Bowles led the way for Bruncati with nine wins, followed by Thorn with seven, Ryan Partridge with five, Drew with four, Blaine Perkins with three, James Bickford, Dylan Lupton, Michael Self, Trevor Huddleston, and Tanner Reif with two each, and Luis Martinez and Jagger Jones both with a single victory apiece.
Bruncati will continue in the sport with his Junior Late Model initiative, advancing
The General Tire Spirit Award is presented annually to a recipient who displays dedication to and support of ARCA, is uplifting by example, and by such actions earns the respect of the community, displays perseverance in the face of adversity, and maintains a supportive, helpful, and positive attitude even under duress.
Previous winners of the General Tire Spirit Award include Darrell Basham, Jack Bowsher, Andy Hillenburg, Kerry Scherer, Bill Kimmel, Brad Smith, and in 2021, Sarah Burgess. Burgess, along with her husband Adam and their family, relocated from Brisbane, Australia, to compete in a variety of motorsports in the United States, including the ARCA Menards Series West.