(5/15/21) Joe Shivak & Jim Allen, Tulare, CA … A Peter Murphy Classic win has been on Dominic Scelzi’s bucket list for a long time. According to Scelzi it was Murphy who kept him interested in continuing his racing career after suffering a broken back in a sprint car accident. And in a fitting conclusion to a successful race night, Murphy was the first person to greet Scelzi on the front stretch of the Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway on Saturday night after his win in the 30-lap NARC King of the West Fujitsu Sprint Car feature.
Scelzi’s red and white No. 41 Wimple Superchargers/Scelzi Enterprises sponsored car picked up the $11,000 top prize in the Seventh Annual race becoming the seventh different winner. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic there was no race held in 2020.
Polesitter Scelzi and Bud Kaeding brought the 24-car field to the green flag and immediately the two veteran drivers waged a back and forth battle which saw the lead change at each end of the track until Geoffrey Strole brought out the caution when he stopped on the apron of the first turn. During this caution, Rookie of the Year contender Kyle Offill pitted and returned to the track after a visit to the work area.
Once restarted, the two top guns traded slide jobs once again as their battle resumed. The race tightened up even more when the red flag appeared for an upside-down Austin McCarl in the second corner on lap19. He was unhurt. When racing resumed Kaeding and Scelzi’s battle was even more frantic with the freight train of Shane Golobic, Kyle Hirst and 11th starter Willie Croft in hard pursuit. Scelzi’s slide job final stuck for good on the 24th circuit and he threaded his way through traffic the rest of the way to score the emotional victory.
“I got hurt here and I was looking to redeem myself,” said Scelzi. “Peter (Murphy) provided the inspiration and my team gave me the car to do the rest. It been a great weekend and I’m glad I could do this in front of full grandstands. Thank you!”
Golobic, aboard the Elk Grove Ford entry, and Croft got past Kaeding in the waning laps to fill out the podium. Croft efforts came aboard his Amerikote-sponsored ride. Kaeding was fourth and Hirst rounded out the top five.
The balance of the top ten included Tim Kaeding, Sean Becker, Justin Sanders, DJ Netto and 20th starter Billy Aton. Aton claimed the Swift Metal Finishing hardcharger award for his work.
Scelzi’s was the only driver in the 24-car field to qualify in the 13-second bracket to earn fast time. That earned him $1100 from Kimo’s Tropical Car Wash, Norm Martin, and ARP for his work. Overall for the weekend, he won the Sprint Car Challenge Tour 360 race and Kings of Thunder 410 features on Friday at Hanford, and the Kings of Thunder 360 and NARC King of the West races on Saturday.
FUJITSU FEATURE EVENT (30-laps): 41-Dominic Scelzi, 17W – Shane Golobic, 29 – Willie Croft, 69 – Bud Kaeding, 0 – Kyle Hirst, 42X – Tim Kaeding, 83V – Sean Becker, 16A – Justin Sanders, 88N – DJ Netto, 26 – Billy Aton, 27 – Mitchell Faccinto, 21P – Robbie Price, 93 – Kalib Henry, 83 – Kasey Kahne, 14 – Corey Day, 18T – Tanner Holmes, 2 – JJ Ringo, 98 – Sean Watts, 01 – Mitchel Moles, 36 – Craig Stidham, 88 – Kyle Offill, 21 – Austin McCarl, 76 – Kenny Allen, 09S – Geoffrey Strole.
(ED NOTE: It was originally reported that Willie Croft won the hardcharger award (11th to 3rd.) It was actually Billy Aton, who went from 20th to 10th. We apologize for the mistake.)
HOOSIER TIRE LAP LEADERS: Kaeding 1-23, Scelzi 24-30.
SWIFT METAL FINISHING HARDCHARGER: Billy Aton 20th to 10th.
KIMO’S TROPICAL CAR WASH/ARP FAST QUALIFIER : Dominic Scelzi – 13.963 seconds
BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS FIRST HEAT (8 laps): Scelzi, McCarl, Netto, T. Kaeding, Stidham, Price, Henry.
FUJITSU GENERAL USA SECOND HEAT (8 laps): B. Kaeding, Golobic, Watts, Sanders, Aton, Moles, Offill, Day.
FLORACING.COM THIRD HEAT (8 laps): Becker, Kahne, Hirst, Faccinto, Allen, Croft, Ringo, Strole.
SUNNYVALLEY BACON/NORM MARTIN “AUSSIE POLE SHUFFLE;” Becker beat Kahne; Becker beat Hirst; B. Kaeding beat Becker; B. Kaeding beat Golobic, Scelzi beat B. Kaeding.