11/1/1962 - 10/11/2005
Bruce Sarver began his racing career in 1974 at the age of 12 in Karting. After winning three races in his first year, Bruce was destined to become a professional racecar driver. Bruce became a member of the Bakersfield Kart Club in 1975 and that same year was Rookie Junior Club Champion. Between 1975-1994 Bruce claimed a cumulative 176 major karting event wins. In those years, Bruce earned various championships, such as Central Valley Champion in '79 and '80, '89 and '90; NorCal Champion in '80, '87 and '89; Southern California Champion in '80; Region seven Champion in '87; one California IKF Championship in '78; and Junior Club Champion in '75 and '77. Owner of a Pro Stock Car Team in 1985, Bruce chalked up five race wins at Bakersfield Speedway. With the highlight main event win of the Coca-Cola 100 and three additional victories between 1991-1993, Bruce sold his stockcar team in 1994 to enter NHRA drag racing. 2001 Finished in the top 10 of the Funny Car standings for the second consecutive season; Opened the season with a win at Pomona 1 2000 Joined Alan Johnson as driver of Funny Car team; Won first career event in a Funny Car 1998 Finished 10th in NHRA Winston Top Fuel points. Three semi-final challenges. One final round challenge. One "event top speed" winner. Second fastest qualifier at U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. 1997 Sophomore Season: One final round appearance Five semi-finals. Twenty-one rounds of racing won. Finished 11th in points, missing the top 10 by one round due to a crash in Sonoma. 9th in the bud Shootout points. 1996 Rookie Season in Top Fuel: 13th in points, three semi-final finishes. Fourteen rounds of racing won. Qualified for every race but one. 1995 Attended Frank Hawley Drag Racing School in Gainesville, FL. Completed Course in Alcohol Funny Car. Attended Bud Warmup. Completed six licensing runs in Gary Guinn and Roger Coburn's top fuel dragster. On December 11 2005 the sad news came that Sarver had taken his own life at the age of 43. Only a day earlier, Sarver had personally contacted Gary Scelzi to congratulate him on winning the 2005 NHRA POWERade Funny Car championship. Sarver had attended the last race of the 2005 season, the Auto Club Finals at the Los Angeles Fairplex, where he had spoken to a host of people including racers, fans, and past acquaintances. The impression all were left with was that Sarver was scouting out the possibility of putting a new deal together to return to the NHRA in 2006. But for whatever reasons, within a matter of hours, he was the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.