(9/4/2021 – Alex Nieten) Chico, CA… By leading all 30-laps of the Fujitsu Feature on night one of the Louie Vermeil Classic at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway, Dominic Scelzi earned his fifth series victory of the year, matching his career-high for a single season.
The result also marked his 18th overall feature win during his dream 2021 campaign and his seventh consecutive race standing on the NARC-King of the West Fujitsu Sprint Car podium at the end of the night.
Scelzi’s biggest challenge of the night would come right as the green flag dropped and Scelzi led into turn one from the pole position. Third starting Mitchell Faccinto capitalized on a great initial start to swipe the lead from the point leader down the backstretch. Scelzi, though, aimed his Whipple Superchargers/Red Rose Transportations No. 41 to Faccinto’s inside coming out of turn four and beat him to the line to lead the opening lap. Shortly after Scelzi reclaimed the lead, the first of a flurry of race stoppages came out for contact between Justin Sanders and Kalib Henry that sent Henry on a wild flip outside of turn one. Both drivers were okay.
The adage “cautions breed cautions” proved true after the first red flag as just a few laps later Corey Day and front row starter Andy Forsberg tangled sending Forsberg over and heavily damaging Day’s Tarlton Racing machine. Following that issue, Bud Kaeding tumbled in turn three after contact with Ryan Robinson, ending BK’s night. Michael Ing slid to a stop in turn four shortly after BK’s issue, and a spin by the USAC/CRA portion winner, Carson Short, on lap twelve ended the avalanche of yellows. With curfew looming, the call was made to go to single file restarts for the remaining 19 circuits. All drivers involved in the incidents were okay.
A trio of drivers survived the early mayhem to put together strong charges. By the lap twelve restart, Tim Kaeding had gone from 22nd to 7th, Billy Aton from the rear to 11th and Shane Golobic from 10th to third.
Racing resumed with 19 to go, and Scelzi set the pace on a low line favored racing surface. He tiptoed around the bottom and distanced himself from second-running Willie Croft. Meanwhile, Croft had to deal with the NOS Energy Drink/Elk Grove Ford No. 17W of Golobic who was glued to Croft’s tail tank.
Even lap traffic couldn’t slow Scelzi during what continues to be a year for the history books. Scelzi patiently negotiated the slower cars, spotting opportunities to sneak to their inside on the straightaways before completing each pass in the turns, giving himself more of a cushion from Croft every lap. Eventually, Scelzi crossed the finish line with nearly a two second advantage to claim his first NARC-KWS victory at the Butte County bullring. Including lap money for leading all thirty circuits, the win netted Scelzi $5,750.
Croft held on to the runner-up spot to secure his second podium of the year aboard the Holey Smokes BBQ/Amerikote Powder Coating No. 29.
Golobic rounded out the podium with his fifth top-three finish of the year and continued his recent trend of charging toward the front. Over the last five Fujitsu Feature events, Golobic owns a net position change of plus-33.
The remainder of the top-10 was Kyle Hirst, Mitchell Faccinto, Tim Kaeding (from 22nd, earned Swift Metal Finishing Hardcharger), DJ Netto, Tanner Carrick, Colby Copeland and Billy Aton.
FUJITSU GENERAL USA FEATURE (30 laps): 1. Dominic Scelzi 41 2. Willie Croft 29 3. Shane Golobic 17W 4. Kyle Hirst 0 5. Mitchell Faccinto 37 6. Tim Kaeding 42X 7. DJ Netto 88N 8. Blake Carrick 38B 9. Colby Copeland 16A 10. Billy Aton 26 11. Austin McCarl 88 12. Justin Sanders 57 13. Sean Watts 98 14. Sean Becker 83V 15. Michael Ing 21X 16. JJ Ringo 2 17. Carson Short 7 18. Joel Myers Jr. 46JR 19. Mark Tabor Jr. 38N 20. Ryan Robinson 56 21. Bud Kaeding 69 22. Andy Forsberg 92 23. Corey Day 21 24. Kalib Henry 5J
HOOSIER TIRE LAP LEADERS: Scelzi 1-30
SWIFT METAL FINISHING HARDCHARGER: Tim Kaeding 22nd to 6th
ARP FAST QUALIFIER (31 cars): Willie Croft 11.384
BROWN AND MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS HEAT ONE (10 laps): Forsberg, Croft, Robinson, Bloomfield, Ing, Day, Clark, Cornet
FUJITSU GENERAL USA HEAT TWO (10 laps): Sanders, Faccinto, Becker, Short, Ringo, Strole, Aton
FLORACING.COM HEAT THREE (10 laps): Attard, Golobic, B. Kaeding, Hirst, Copeland, McCarl, T. Carrick
KAEDING PERFORMANCE HEAT FOUR (10 laps): Scelzi, B. Carrick, Netto, Watts, Myers Jr., Tabor Jr.
PYROTECT SEMI (12 laps): Henry, Day, T. Kaeding, McCarl, Tabor Jr., Aton, Cornet, Strole, Clark
SUNNYVALLEY “POWERED BY BACON” DASH (6 laps): Scelzi, Forsberg, Faccinto, Croft, Attard, Bloomfield