NARC NEWSLINE – May 9, 2021, By Jim Allen … It was 498-days in the making, but it finally happened … an actual NARC King of the West Fujitsu 410 Sprint Car Series championship points race took place. And to top it off, it took place in front of a huge crowd of enthusiastic and COVID-free race fans in the grandstands no less. Pinch me, I must be dreaming! Yes race fans, Tony Noceti’s Stockton Dirt Track was the place to be on March 20th for the King of the West season opener. It was like experiencing a flashback to the good ole’ racing days of 2019. FINALLY … racing normality is in sight.
Another good thing happened on this night and that was defending series champ DJ Netto broke a 1365 day streak since his last King of the West victory. In between, Netto has made a habit of posting top ten finishes like he is on autopilot in a remarkable display of efficiency. In fact, he has managed that feat in 90% of the events he competed in and when you take into account the unpredictability of sprint car racing, that has a “WOW” factor. Netto was the only thing in California resembling real high-speed rail as he literally dominated the Stockton field and was never seriously challenged despite three caution flags. It’s hard to believe his last win was at Calistoga Speedway (6/24/17) aboard a crippled Clyde Lamar sprinter with a broken shock. For Netto and his Netto Ag team, that’s a pretty good way to start out a successful defense of a driver and car owner championship. Based on his Stockton performance, it’s safe to say that he should double his four career NARC King of the West victories – this season! For those of you needing a quick Stockton refresher, Rico Abreu set fast time and finished second. Dominic Scelzi had his hands full due to a faulty front wing on his #41 ride after starting on the outside of the front row. The wing flipped up on the very first lap giving him the aerodynamic maneuverability of a piece of plywood. He still held on for a very respectable third place ahead of Shane Golobic and Austin McCarl.
By the way, behind Netto, the racing was great on the new and improved Stockton Dirt Track. Noceti became one with his tractor while the nation was hunkered down with COVID and essentially shortened the track by about 30-yards by changing some racing lines and knocking down some of the banking. More importantly, much to the 410 drivers and car owners delight, he managed to find a cure for the kidney-shaking, dental work-loosening ruts that were standard fare entering the first and third corners. The banking change no longer pitched the cars into the front straightaway fence coming out of turn four. As a result the racing lines were more fluid and no additional dental work was required. Mission accomplished. Nice job!
STOCKTON DIRT TRACK NOTES: Twenty-three 410’s and 28 Dwarf Cars made for an efficient program that had fans heading to the parking lot at 8:30 p.m. … The “check that out” sprint car of the night belonged to Ted Finkenbinder. It was a modern version of the iconic Bailey Brothers 01 sprint car that was piloted by many California superheroes, most notably LeRoy Van Conett. We need more of that. By the way, 31-year old Geoff Ensign piloted the retro ride to a ninth place finish. Ensign said its the best thing he has ever driven. … Four-time series champ Kyle Hirst was the “hired gun of the week” aboard the famed Roth Motorsports 83 car. They dropped out in a very uncharacteristic 21st place. … Unofficially, the Stockton race was the biggest spectator sporting event in California since the beginning of the COVID-crisis and not a single ticket was sold! … 2021 King of the West apparel? Go to onefasttee.com … Justin Sanders and Larry Antaya appeared to be dragging a ship anchor and timed in an unusual 20th fast which made for an easy prediction on who would be the Swift Metal Finishing hardcharger. Sanders 19th to 11th. The team’s rhythm might was disrupted by a trailer tire blow out on the way to the track. … Thank you to eight-time NARC champion LeRoy Van Conett for signing autographs before the event and to the the entire family who sold Salute to LVC t-shirts before the event. That effort raised more than $800 for the NARC Benevolent Fund. Thank you. Have to mention that the late Roy Lee Van Conett’s presence was really missed. … Nice to finally see Mitchel Moles back at a NARC King of the West 410 event. It’s been a while. He’s got the open wheel experience to do great things in a 410. … Rhetorical questions: What is harder? Winning your first championship? Or repeating as champion? …
UPCOMING EVENTS: That sounds so good to say that, I’ll say it again … UPCOMING EVENTS! Just in case you’ve lost your cell phone and have been out of touch with the real world, racing season is back in swing everywhere. For for the NARC King of the West Fujitsu Racing Series, the next one is a big one – The Peter Murphy Classic. With Mr. Murphy promoting Hanford, the two-day show is a little different than in the past. Night one (May 14th) of the PMC will be at Hanford featuring the SCCT and 410 Kings of Thunder sprints. Saturday night’s show will slide down the freeway 23-miles to the Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway for an $11,000 to win NARC-King of the West 410 feature and will be joined by the winged 360 KoT sprint cars. As always, Peter Murphy is throwing in his usual twist and turns including the always entertaining Aussie Pole Shuffle and pill draw. … So far, fast time for that event will pay $500, thanks to the sponsorship by Kimo’s Tropical Car Wash. Automotive Racing Products (ARP) has thrown in another $100. … Friday night tickets can be purchased at https://myracepass.com.
The following weekend, May 22nd to be exact, the series heads north for the black gumbo of Petaluma Speedway. This one will be the Salute to First Responders. Tickets are also sale now at myracepass.com. With Petaluma Speedway fighting for its existence against city planners and developers, we need your full support for this show! This means a full field of cars and a capacity crowd.
NARC BENEVOLENT FUND: A front wing autographed by all of the May 15th competitors at the PMC will be auctioned off in a silent auction to raise money for the fund. All donations to the NARC Benevolent Fund are tax deductible. Additional promotions will be announced soon.
NARC NOTES: We are all going to blink and it will be time for the 30th Annual Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial event on June 12th. Lap sponsorships can be had by contacting Dianne Durica. And just in case you missed it, the Bradway race is now at Placerville in a double-down combination show with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour. … Will somebody give Chase Johnson a 410 ride? … Why is it that corn hole, chase-tag, disc-golf and bowling secure television time, but sprint car racing is forced to live-streaming only? … Although we would rather see you in person, you can catch every 2021 NARC event on Floracing.com. … Kenny Allen and car owner Ed Butterfield plan to tackle the entire 2021 NARC-KWS campaign. … They’ve got a new scoreboard at Santa Maria Raceway. By the way, the two King of the West events at the track this season will feature a HammerDown! Wheelie Contest and a pit crew competition. … Winters is chipping in a $100 product certificate at every 2021 race on the schedule. Brown & Miller Racing Solutions are also kicking in $100 per event. … If you are looking for a technical rule book, it can be downloaded at NARC410.com.
… Shane Golobic approached his March 29th NASCAR debut at Bristol with an even-keel approach. It was an unplanned event made possible by a few stars aligning. Golobic was excited, but stated he had realistic expectations entering the event. He was holding his own but got caught up in some other drivers garbage and his day ended on lap 39. … Who is the best driver racing this season who has NOT won a NARC King of the West feature in their career yet? Just something to keep you thinking! … Sure is nice to see young California sprint drivers representing us well on the national stage. #justsaying … Just in case you missed them, go check out Alex Nieten’s Pit Personality stories on Justin Sanders and Dominic Scelzi at NARC410.com. Good stuff! … Tickets are now on sale for the relocated 13th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic. This year, we will all be headed to Chico for the popular two-day show (Sept 4-5), rather than Calistoga Speedway. Get your tickets at https://hmcpromotions.ticketspice.com/louie-vermeil-classic … By the way, the September 3rd Calistoga Speedway Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony will also be held at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds. Those tickets are not sold online but can be had by calling 916-773-7223.
So with all that said, now that your favorite sport is back in business, make sure you support it at every opportunity. And as Peter Murphy always says … “Bring a Friend.”
Coming to you live from Auburn, CA. See ya!