(4/30/2022 – Alex Nieten) Chico, CA… The legend of Corey Day continues to grow.
The second-generation driver crushed the field in Saturday’s David Tarter Memorial at Silver Dollar Speedway to pick up his third career NARC Fujitsu General Sprint Car victory in just his 15th series start at just 16 years of age. Day led all 35-laps of the Fujitsu Feature en route to what amounted to a $5250 payday factoring in the lap money he earned for pacing every circuit.
With the victory Day put his name next to the likes of Brad Sweet and Gio Scelzi on the all-time series win list, and he was quick to credit his crew for preparing a perfect race car and allowing him to do so.
“I’ve got to credit my dad again,” Day said in victory lane. “This thing basically drove itself tonight. I also can’t thank HP and Eddy enough. They made the five hour trip up here this weekend to help us.”
Day led the field to green in the Four CCCC’s Construction No. 41 with Blake Carrick alongside him. On the first circuit Landon Brooks, making just his third series start, drove around Carrick to secure second. Day distanced himself early on and just as he neared traffic the race’s first yellow flew as Tim Kaeding spun in turn two.
On the restart Justin Sanders jumped onto the podium in the Mittry Racing/Farmers Brewing Co. No. 2X by passing Carrick, but another yellow flew just two laps later as Max Mittry and Austin Wheatley tangled.
When racing resumed Sanders snatched second from Brooks, and a hard charging Sean Becker climbed to fourth after starting 13th. On lap 15 Day faced his only real challenge when, stuck in traffic, Sanders cleared him with a turn three slider, but a yellow for none other than Sanders’ teammate stopping negated the pass.
“I saw his (Sanders) teammate, Max Mittry, go off the edge and slow down,” Day recalled. “I was thankful for that because I knew that if he would’ve gotten the lead he would’ve probably left me. That yellow definitely saved our race there.”
On the restart Brooks stole second back from Sanders while Day drove away. As Day negotiated traffic Brooks began to fade as Sanders, Becker and a surging Dominic Scelzi went by him. Day’s lead continued to grow and grow in traffic as Scelzi began to battle with Sanders for second.
“The track was great,” Day said of what helped him in traffic. “Hats off to Colby (Copeland) and the whole track crew. It was really racy. There was a good bottom, a good top, and you could even roll through the middle there. It made getting through lap traffic a little easier with multiple lanes there.”
Ultimately Day crossed the line with a commanding margin of victory, his lead at the checkered flag a whopping 6.6 seconds, or roughly half the time it takes to circle Silver Dollar Speedway in a sprint car. Day’s David Tarter Memorial victory netted him $5250, and the wise teenager has prudent plans for the prize.
“Put it in the bank,” Day said of where the winnings will go.
Sanders held on to the runner-up spot.
Scelzi completed a solid charge from 10th to third in the Red Rose Transportation/Whipple Superchargers No. 41, his second consecutive podium to start the year in his bid for back to back titles.
“We were really good all feature long,” Scelzi said. “We just got a bad really bad start. We started on the outside, and I didn’t think that was a problem. I just got into (turn) one, and everybody sort of checked up and I kind of played it safe… To come from 10th after my crappy start I’m happy with that, another podium. We’ve got the speed. Guys like Corey and Justin, they’ve done their homework and got better, and it’s made it a lot of fun to race.”
A notable name could be found 15th in the rundown. Making his final Silver Dollar Speedway start in Clyde Lamar’s TRI-C Machine, Paul McMahan drove from 22nd to secure a solid 15th place result in his first Chico appearance since 2017.
FUJITSU GENERAL USA FEATURE (35 laps): 1. Corey Day 41X 2. Justin Sanders 2X 3. Dominic Scelzi 41 4. Sean Becker 16A 5. Tanner Carrick 83T 6. Shane Golobic 17W 7. Ryan Bernal 17WX 8. Kalib Henry 17 9. Blake Carrick 38B 10. Bud Kaeding 69 11. Joel Myers Jr. 83V 12. Mitchell Faccinto 21 13. Landon Brooks 5V 14. Willie Croft 29 15. Paul McMahan 3C 16. John Clark 12J 17. Tanner Holmes 18T 18. Tim Kaeding 42X 19. Chase Johnson 24 20. Michael Faccinto 56 21. Garen Linder 22 22. Billy Aton 26 23. Austin Wheatley 44W 24. Max Mittry 2XM
HOOSIER TIRE LAP LEADERS: Corey Day 1-35
SWIFT METAL FINISHING HARDCHARGER: Sean Becker 13th to 4th
ARP FAST QUALIFIER (30 cars): Max Mittry 12.525
BROWN AND MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS HEAT ONE (10 laps): Golobic, Wheatley, Brooks, Faccinto, Kaeding, Mittry, Johnson, McMahan
KIMO’s TROPICAL CAR WASH HEAT TWO (10 laps): Scelzi, Carrick, Sanders, Faccinto, Holmes, Linder, Foland Jr.
DIRT.TRAVEL CLUB HEAT THREE (10 laps): Becker, Henry, Croft, Clark, Aton, Fielding, Strole
KAEDING PERFORMANCE HEAT FOUR (10 laps): Bernal, Day, Carrick, Myers Jr., Kaesong, Kent, Bell
SUNNYVALLEY “POWERED BY BACON” TROPHY DASH (6 laps): Day, Carrick, Brooks, Henry, Sanders, Croft
STARR PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SEMI (12 laps): Mittry, McMahan, Johnson, Linder, Kent, Forler, Foland Jr., Strole, Bell, Fielding