NARC NEWSLINE – MAY 21, 2022, By Jim Allen … Let’s be honest, chasing championship points is by far the hardest thing to do in motorsports. It takes mettle, perseverance and a never-ending personal sacrifice by not only the driver and car owner, but for everybody involved with the team. Some view it as fun, like a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Others have done it long enough that it has become a J – O – B. Either way, you need a team that loves demanding work and long hours because it will consume a lifetime.
The man who did it the best in the Northern Auto Racing Club’s history books was Brent Kaeding. His impressive resume’ featured 13 NARC championships, 13 more King of California titles and his induction into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. In one word, that’s called a “DYNASTY.” He dominated like Tiger Woods did in his heyday. It was all about fighting and clawing for top five finishes, and always being in position to take advantage of luck if it happened to come his way. And when a top five just wasn’t possible, just finishing anywhere but last was the mission. BK, Billy Albini, and the Hogs set the standard for sprint car racing in California, the same way Michael Jordan did in basketball.
So where is all this leading? After MJ came LeBron. Each generation has its own stars and heroes, and we might be in the preliminary stages of witnessing the making of another dynasty. True, the NARC Fujitsu General Sprint Car Series has only four races under its belt this season, but it’s hard to ignore that Dominic Scelzi, Jimmy Carr, and his crew are up to something good. A pair of feature wins at the Peter Murphy Classic, a runner-up at the season opener and a third-place outing at the Tarter Memorial is worthy of that attention. Championship hangover? Forget about it! The Scelzi Motorsports #41 team is out having fun, which produces momentum and that becomes almost unbeatable.
Scelzi’s efforts last weekend at the Peter Murphy Classic were like a sprint car version of Groundhog Day. (For you millennials who don’t know what Groundhog Day is, it was a movie in 1993, where everyday repeated itself, but only got better. Goggle it.) He became the first driver to deposit a pair of $11,000 paydays from the PMC! His win on Saturday came after starting 12th and doing the proverbial fighting and clawing to the front. When Corey Day and Justin Sanders got together and crashed during a heated battle for the lead, Scelzi was in position to take advantage of luck when it happened to come his way. Sound familiar?
As a final parting note, Dominic Scelzi‘s pit crew needs a nickname. Any ideas?
THE FASTEST FOUR DAYS IN MOTORSPORTS: Many of us circled this blast of NARC Memorial Day weekend races on the schedule immediately after it was announced. Well, it’s finally here, meaning it’s time to head North for a Thursday, May 26th outing at Southern Oregon Speedway. This will be followed by a Friday show at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR and a two-day Timber Cup finale at Grays Harbor Raceway on May 28-29th. And since it is the Pacific Northwest, we always had a rain date in our pocket (Monday, May 30th if needed.) The weather in the PNW is always sketchy, but we knew that in advance. For added incentive, there is a $40,000 bonus on the line for any driver who can win all four races. Three out of four races still earn a $5000 kicker, so NARC teams are focusing in on the possibilities.
I know I have covered most of this before, but here are some of the Fastest Four Days in Motorsports basics: Camping is available at all three tracks. Race car haulers can stay in the pit area overnight. … Tickets for all three facilities are available online and presales are looking good right now. … There is an Elma Raceway Hall of Fame barbecue at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 29th at Grays Harbor Raceway. It will be held in the Borden Building (AKA … the Dog Barn). Drivers eat free and donations are accepted. … At 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, all the NARC teams will convoy to Elma High School to stage for the Elma’s Salute to the Red, White & Blue parade. The parade will start at 1:00 p.m. and will go on a leisurely jaunt through downtown, before race teams get herded right back into the pit area. … Among the teams committed to make the trip are Mitchell Faccinto (Tarlton 21), Billy Aton (Aton 26), Joel Myers Jr. (Vertullo 82V), Bud Kaeding (BK Racing 69), Dominic Scelzi (Scelzi 41), Willie Croft (Croft 29), Shane Golobic (Wood 17W), Justin Sanders (Mittry 2X); Max Mittry (Mittry 2XM), Colby Copeland (Antaya 16A), Logan Forler (Forler 2L), Tanner Holmes (Holmes 18T), Garen Linder (22), and others!
NARC NOTES: Kalib Henry posted his first career NARC top five finish in the McCollough RV 17 at the Peter Murphy finale. It wasn’t like he started up front and just held on. He began his adventure in 17th and earned the Swift Metal Finishing Hardcharger award, finishing fifth … Another driver who continues to impress is Landon Brooks. In his four NARC races aboard the Vanlare 5V sprint car, he has been in the dash on three of those nights. … There was a noticeable change in 410 car counts at the PMC. Thirty-one cars competed on Saturday night. Only 24 in 2021. … Craig Stidham still has “it.” He earned the Swift Metal Finishing Hardcharger award on night one of the PMC. He started 19th and finished fifth. It was his first top five finish since 2017. It was worth $450. …
… Tim Kaeding and the Bates-Hamilton Racing Team took a beating at the PMC. The team crashed both nights and TK was visibly hurt after his second night spill. Friday’s night tumble happened with only two-laps remaining in the Thunderbowl feature. Saturday’s spill was on the other end of the spectrum when he crashed on his second qualifying lap. TK was already second fast time on his first qualifying lap. After sitting in the back of the ambulance for a couple minutes, he actually raced in his heat race, but it was very painful. To quote him directly, “my back is killing me.” By design, TK started the main and pulled in after one lap. It serves as a reminder that this is a dangerous sport. … Tanner Holmes and Joel Myers Jr. also took ugly spills at the Thunderbowl. The 18T team accessed the damage and loaded up and headed back home to Oregon to regroup for the Fastest Four Days in Motorsports. If you haven’t checked out Tanner’s social media efforts, go look. Fun and informative. …The Dave Vertullo team burned the midnight oil and rebuilt to race on Saturday. …
… The fine people at Karsyn Construction in Fresno made things interesting. With Saturday’s show already paying $11,000 to the winner, Karsyn offered up the possibility of doubling it. The offer on the table was to give the top two finishers in the pole shuffle the option to start at the back of the pack. If one of them pulled off the win, it would be a $22,000 payday. Justin Sanders said it wasn’t worth the risk based on his current starting spot in Paul Silva-wrenched #57. … Kerry Madsen message was about the same. He stated that the Roth Motorsports Toyota R&D team is looking to score wins and it’s slightly easier to do it when starting up front. … If you haven’t been to Pete’s Pub at Hanford in the pit area before the races, you are missing out. Fans get a chance to enjoy food and beer, hang at the drivers meeting, listen to interviews, and rub elbows with their favorite drivers. More racing facilities are rolling out the Happy Hour events for fans. We need more of that. …
… What was more fun to watch? Max Mittry during the pole shuffle, or his dad Demo Mittry animated body language as he jumped up and down and flayed his arms while rooting for his son on from the infield. Demo wins this one in a landslide. Speaking of the Pole Shuffle, here is how it went: Max Mittry outran Landon Brooks in the first round and moved on to oust DJ Netto in the second. The veteran Kerry Madsen finally stopped the 16-year-old streak and used that momentum to outrun another 16-year-old Corey Day. Justin Sanders held his own in the Works Limited 57 to win the Pole Shuffle over Madsen … Max Mittry ended the night in sixth – his best career NARC finish. It came in only his fourth start in a 410-sprint car. The future is looking bright.
HOOSIER TIRES: While social media is mostly ablaze with negative opinions and comments on tire availability, teams in California are coping with the current situation. However, you wouldn’t know that if you read the comments of a super-opinionated few.
Are all those in the racing community aware that the supply chain is a little sporadic? Absolutely! Are racing sanctioning bodies, promoters, and Hoosier Tires fighting through the situation? Absolutely! Are all parties actively working on solving this issue? Absolutely! (Today’s word is ABSOLUTELY!)
Most active sprint car teams have always played to their comfort level with a large pile of tires at their disposal. The main difference in today’s world is that most rigs are not hauling around their usual stockpile of 15+ tires – which makes some uncomfortable. However, tire hoarding by just a few teams will only make things worse. If you need an example, just flashback to the toilet paper scenario in 2020. It should be publicized that nobody in California has been sidelined because of a lack of tires. Compliments go out to Hoosier Tire West, who are stepping up and paying gigantic freight bills to express ship tires to the Golden State. It doesn’t make much financial sense to do that, but they are doing the right thing to help the racers. Trust me, they want this issue resolved immediately also. If everybody cooperates and works together, we can make it through the 2022 campaign without cancelling any events. Once again, everybody is working on it and the only thing that will fix it is time to fill the pipeline. Please don’t trash sponsors on social media. It only makes things worse.
As of right now, the NARC tire rule spelled out in the rulebook is still in place. The HTW tire burn off period is in full effect until June 1st. After that, only the H-tire package are allowed. Peter Murphy is adamant that Super Dirt Cup be competed on a level playing field. That means the H-tire package will be the only tire run at the three-day show in late June. Can any of this be changed in the future if something happens? Absolutely, but it will be addressed on a race-by-race basis.
FROM THIS WEEK’S FYI DEPARTMENT: We are missing Sean Watts on this year’s NARC tour. Sean sold his 410 motor to Chase Johnson and needs a motor and sponsorship-backing to return. He still has a 360 so race fans will see him at select events. … The Keller Motorsports team was looking forward to competing in about 20 410 events this season. Unfortunately, early season problem at the Outlaw shows sidelined both of their powerplants. They hope to get them back in August with JJ Ringo behind the wheel. … Colby Copeland’s victory at the April 2nd Stockton season opener was his third NARC win of his career. Corey Day also scored his third career victory of his short NARC career at the Tarter Memorial at Chico. As a follow-up that race, with his impressive flag-to-flag run, Day took home half of the $3500 in lap money up for grabs. Here is the breakdown: Corey Day ($1750); Justin Sanders ($760); Landon Brooks ($570); Dominic Scelzi ($220); Blake Carrick ($140); and Sean Becker ($60). We thank the Tarter Family, their foundation, and all the sponsors who supported this magnificent event. … Speaking of lap sponsorships, all the laps are sold for the June 11th Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial race. However, we are still looking for additional race sponsors. If you would like to get involved, please contact Karen Bradway Tuccelli on Facebook. … Tickets for the June 23-25th Super Dirt Cup are available through the track website. What are you waiting for? This event pays a staggering $50,000 to Saturday nights winner.
Coming to you live from Auburn, CA. See ya!