(6/22/19) Stockton, CA, By Jim Allen … Sean Watts pulled off what seemed to be the impossible by beating the best King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Sprint Car Series drivers to score his first series career victory in the Salute to First Responders headliner at the Stockton Dirt Track.
Watts, piloting his own Billet America/Kaeding Performance Center Maxim, ran a mistake-free race from the pole and led all but the first lap of the 25-lap headliner. His march to victory lane was slowed by five caution periods and a red flag for Willie Croft with 10-laps remaining. Croft steering box broke and he took a nasty spill down the front straightaway that completely destroyed his car. Luckily, Croft was only bruised in the accident.
Seventh starter and King of the West-NARC championship point leader DJ Netto methodically worked his way through the frontrunners on the rough track to take the runner-up spot from Dominic Scelzi with eight circuits to go. Netto methodically reeled in Watts five laps later and pressured for the lead, but Watts answered the call with flawless laps around the 4/10’s mile oval.
Netto began experience motor issues in the final two laps, but held on to secure the runner-up spot in the Netto Ag/Rotella Shell 88N. Scelzi motored to third in the Roth Motorsports KPC and was one of the first drivers to congratulate the winner.
“I didn’t even know he was there,” admitted Watts in victory lane, when asked about Netto applying pressure in the final laps. “I was just extremely focused on what I had to do and I finally got here (victory lane.)
“I don’t know if this win has set in yet,” continued the calm winner, “but I know it took a lot of hard work from my team to get here and I thank them all.”
It was a clean sweep night for Watts, who also claimed his heat race and the Sunnyvalley Bacon dash. Watts earned $3200 for his endeavors.
Bud Kaeding aboard the Alviso Rock Maxim and 11th starter Jason Statler in the DF Rios Maxim rounded out the top five. Ryan Bernal, and Matt DeMartini were the only other survivors running at the checkered. DeMartini first ever top 10 finish earned him the Swift Metal Finishing hardcharger award after starting 19th in the starting grid.
Scelzi and Chase Johnson captured the other two heat races.
FUJITSU FEATURE EVENT (25-laps): Sean Watts, DJ Netto, Dominic Scelzi, Bud Kaeding, Jason Statler, Ryan Bernal, Matt DeMartini, Shane Golobic, Willie Croft, Mark Barroso, Jonathan Allard, Geoff Ensign, Gary Paulson, Nathan Rolfe, Kenny Allen, Tom Estenson, Chase Johnson, Richard Brace Jr.
LAP LEADERS: Jonathan Allard 1; Sean Watts 2-25
ARP FAST QUALIFIER: Shane Golobic – 14.149 seconds
BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS FIRST HEAT (10 laps): Sean Watts, Jonathan Allard, Shane Golobic, Matt DeMartini, Mark Barroso, Mitchell Faccinto, Geoff Ensign.
FK ROD ENDS SECOND HEAT (10 laps): Dominic Scelzi, Jason Statler, Bud Kaeding, DJ Netto, Kenny Allen, Gary Paulson
SPEEDSHIFT TV/MVP THIRD HEAT (10 laps): Chase Johnson, Willie Croft, Ryan Bernal, Nathan Rolfe, Richard Brace Jr., Tom Estenson
SUNNYVALLEY BACON DASH (6 laps): Sean Watts, Jonathan Allard, Dominic Scelzi, Bud Kaeding, Shane Golobic, Willie Croft