NARC NEWSLINE, News, Notes & Quotes from the KWS-Northern Auto Racing Club Sprint Cars, By Jim Allen, (06/02/17)
One thing about open wheel racing, it’s always unpredictable. That’s just one of the reasons why we love it so much. And not just the race results and what can happen on any given lap or corner, but with a little luck, the race program can pretty much be accident free and we can all get home at a decent hour. In a sport that is desperate to attract and keep millennial’s interested and entertained, getting done at a decent hour is a top priority. That part is a work in progress and needs to become extremely predictable!
At Placerville Speedway on May 13th, Gio Scelzi nipped Sean Becker by two feet in the 30-lap feature at 8:46 p.m. I know …, Hawaii Five-O wasn’t even over yet on CBS. And considering that it was Mothers Day weekend, that was a huge WIN! Not just for 15-year Gio, but for all the “not-tired” kids making the rounds through the pits afterwards collecting autographs and racing souvenirs. That’s another WIN for the next generation of sprint car fans. And let’s face it, your MOM probably appreciated getting home early enough to watch Saturday Night Live.
Speaking of Gio, the place went absolutely nuts after he scored his first career KWS-NARC feature in a photo finish. He had been beating on the door all year and finally got it done in his Roth Motorsports KPC. With the exception of Sean Watts who rode the backstretch clay wall and got upside down, this was pretty much a crash free affair. That was headline news after the expensive metal crunching battle-royal at the Bradway Memorial the week prior in Chico.
On a different note, we are entering the heart of the our season. There are five races on the King of the West Fujitsu Racing Series calendar in June – at five different tracks. It’s Antioch on June 3rd; a June 10th show at the Thunderbowl; some sticky Petaluma gumbo on June 17th, and a stellar Ocean Speedway/Calistoga Speedway doubleheader on the June 23-24th. I know everyone wants to fast forward to the KWS/NARC-SCCT “Boys & Girls Club of St. Helena & Calistoga” Dirt Classic at the famous half-mile, but there is a healthy dose of quality sprint car racing leading up to that event. It’s time to grab all of your millennial friends by their battery chargers and lead them to the races.
By the way, with the competition level we are currently experiencing, this doesn’t appear to be a dominate season for any single driver. That’s unpredictable! True, Bud Kaeding is leading the KWS-NARC championship points by being the most consistent, but it will be interesting to see if any driver/team can win three or more races this season. And to think that the likes of Shane Golobic, Carson Macedo, Michael Kofoid, Mitch Faccinto, DJ Netto, Willie Croft and several others have yet to enjoy the thrill of victory lane in 2017.
Placerville Speedway Notes (May 13): We tip our hats to Roseville’s Sean Becker who claimed his 100th career sprint car victory at Silver Dollar the night before. He was inches away from booking number 101, until Scelzi found the high groove to his liking and nipped him in the exciting (and heartbreaking, depending on your perspective) finish. Either way, Becker and car owner Dan Menne are a class act. … Longtime NARC racer Jim Richardson made it to P-ville, but his motor didn’t make it past qualifying. … One of the best interviews in sprint car racing is Andy Forsberg, especially if things are not going the way he designed or planned. Put a microphone in his face and he will tell you exactly the way it is – no holds barred. … Scelzi became the youngest winner in KWS-NARC history at 15 year’s-five months. That bumps Zach Zimmerman who was 16 year-one month. … 23 cars …
… Becker dove under both Willie Croft and Scelzi and stole the initial lead coming out of the second turn on the first lap. He has dominate and led the field until lap 29.999. A yellow with two laps remaining put a target on his back. … Mitch Faccinto, who scored at Kings the night before, finished sixth after starting 13th. Faccinto is making a habit of charging from the back. I just recommend that he start closer to the front instead. … Australian Scott Males was an unexpected visitor in his 25 car. Unfortunately he was a DNF in the feature. That was still worth $500. … The high groove was where everyone wanted to run early on, but it wasn’t very forgiving and most drivers moved down the track surface. However, Bud Kaeding and Scelzi ventured up top again with about five laps to go and rocketed to the front. …
Tulare Thunderbowl Notes (May 20): One of the most popular victories of the night was Jared Faria winning the RaceSaver sprint car event. It was a 25-lap non-stop affair – the first time that has ever happened in that class. The open-header decibel rating in that event was off the charts, rivaling a Led Zeppelin concert I attended many years back. For you millennial’s reading this, Led Zeppelin was a popular rock band in the 1970’s. … 20 410’s in the pits. … Scott Males stepped out of his number 14 sprinter in favor of another “down under” racer by the name of Wayne Rowett. It was his first time in a sprint car in four years. … Cory Eliason and the Antaya Motorsports team hurt a motor in their heat race. They finished fourth in the headliner. … Kyle Hirst became the fifth different winner in as many King of the West events with his Faria Memorial victory. He felt it was way overdue. …
… The most intense racing of the season probably took place between laps 17 and 22. Eliason, Carson Macedo, Shane Golobic and Hirst were swapping positions in every corner. It would have continued to the checkered, but the yellow came out for Gio Scelzi who barely rolled his car into the infield. Apparently Gio hit a rut so hard that his steering wheel wrenched his arm out of its shoulder socket. Safety crews converged on the car and as Gio was climbing/falling out of the car, his shoulder popped back into place. He was in some serious pain. The life of a sprint car racer: Win one week, get beat up the next. Talk about unpredictable. … On the restart, it was Kyle Hirst show the rest of the way. If the race would have continued under green, it’s anyone’s guess what would have happened. I do know that Golobic and Macedo looked really strong. The checkered flag waved at 9:40 p.m. Sean Watts was back in action after he said, “I had to replace just about everything on the car,” after his Placerville flip. … Bobby McMahan finished 10th at Tulare, which was a lot more rewarding than his previous visit when he crashed hard at the Peter Murphy Classic. …Craig Stidham was strong finishing eighth. … You had to feel for Willie Croft. He won the Hoosier Dash despite the fact he was sicker than a dog. His face was 50 shades of gray during the interview. He toughed it out, but ended up 17th in the feature, eight laps off the pace. … Ryan Bernal won the USAC non-wing and the Tulare show was over before 11:00 p.m. for the first time this season. Unpredictable!
For everything KWS-NARC Fujitsu Racing Series related, including race results, point standings, and rule books, go to NARC410.com. Thank you for your support!
Coming to you live from Auburn, California. We will catch up with you at a track near you (in June.) See ya!