(10/29/2022 – Alex Nieten) Bakersfield, CA… If there’s a NARC Fujitsu General Sprint Car race at Kern County Raceway Park, Shane Golobic can be counted on the be at the front as much as you can count on the sun to rise in the east and set in the west.
On Saturday night, Golobic led all 30 laps of the Fujistu Feature en route to his third series victory in five starts at the Bakersfield bullring. The other two attempts resulted in podiums, meaning Golobic owns an eye-popping 1.6 average finish in NARC competition at the facility. The Rocklin gasser’s trio of KCRP triumphs puts him atop the track’s NARC win list.
The victory also comes a week after Golobic claimed his third Trophy Cup championship. It’s been a good seven days for the driver of the Matt Wood Racing/NOS Energy Drink No. 17W.
“I love this place,” a jubilant Golobic said in victory lane. “I think the worst I’ve run is like second or third. I’ve got a few wins, so I always love coming down here. It makes the drive a little bit more worth it all the way from Rocklin. When you win, it definitely makes it a little bit easier.”
Golobic led the field to green courtesy of his win in the Sunnyvalley Bacon Dash with Corey Day alongside.
The race got off to a rocky start as a flurry of stoppages interrupted the early laps. Yellows for Craig Stidham and Dominic Scelzi and a red for Willie Croft (he was unharmed) all happened within the first five laps.
After the Scelzi caution, the race got into a rhythm as Golobic jumped ahead with Day in pursuit. The cars at the very front of the field stayed mostly in line on the hooked up surface, but a few drivers made some moves further back as Cole Macedo charged into the top-five, and Justyn Cox roared into the top-10 from the tail.
Golobic entered traffic around the halfway point of the feature. He and Day sliced through lapped cars, and Golobic masterfully handled the traffic. Just as it seemed Day would be able to close in, Golobic would put another car between them. With the track as fast as it was, Golobic knew the slower cars could make or break his race.
“I kind of knew lap traffic was going to be where the race was won or lost,” Golobic explained. “In our case, that would’ve been us losing the race if I didn’t make the right moves there or just got caught up behind anybody. Luckily it all went pretty smooth.
“The pace slows down so much in traffic with slower cars,” Golobic added. “And I know both Corey (Day) and Justin (Sanders) are really aggressive racers in traffic and they’re going to make moves so you better do the same. I just had to pick them off one at a time, try and make good, smart decisions, and we were able to do that.”
After working through heavy traffic, one final yellow flew with just seven laps to go setting up a quick blitz to the finish. Even though it put Day on his tail, the clear track proved to be too valuable as Golobic pulled away and comfortably claimed his 14th career NARC victory with a 1.234 second advantage.
“We’ll have a couple of NOS Energy Drinks to get us home and be able to crawl into bed and see my kids in the morning,” Golobic said with a smile.
Finishing runner-up was Corey Day aboard the Jason Meyers Racing/Four CCCCs Construction No. 14. The 16-year-old is on a roll in NARC competition as the result marked his third straight series podium and sixth in his last 10 races dating back to June. The second-generation racer owns a 2.9 average finish over that span.
“I really didn’t need that yellow there,” Day said of what might’ve helped him win. “We we’re getting through lap traffic, and he got hung up behind one of them and I got to him, and then he’d get back away and get to another one and I’d get to him. Right as I got close to him to where I could probably have tried to make a move there was a yellow.”
Completing the podium was a hard-charging Justin Sanders. The Aromas native wheeled the Mittry Construction/Farmers Brewing Co. No. 2X from eighth to the top-three for his seventh NARC podium of the year.
“I’m happy with the podium” Sanders said. “I felt like I had one of the best cars. I could pass guys kind of high and low and got on the outside of Corey there on that last restart but couldn’t make a move. The bottom was still a little too fast.”
Completing the top-10 was Tim Kaeding, Cole Macedo, Bud Kaeding, Carson Macedo, Justyn Cox, Ryan Timms, Max Mittry.
FUJITSU GENERAL USA FEATURE (30 laps): 1. Shane Golobic 17W 2. Corey Day 14 3. Justin Sanders 2X 4. Tim Kaeding 83 5. Cole Macedo 121 6. Bud Kaeding 69 7. Carson Macedo 21T 8. Justyn Cox 42X 9. Ryan Timms 5T 10. Max Mittry 2XM 11. Mitchell Faccinto 12. Ryan Bernal 22 13. Billy Aaron 26 14. Burt Foland Jr. 4 15. Dylan Bloomfield 83V 16. Jo De Wees 63D 17. Craig Stidham 36 18. Dominic Scelzi 41 19. Willie Croft 29
METTEC TITANIUM LAP LEADERS: Golobic 1-30
SWIFT METAL FINISHING HARDCHARGER: Justyn Cox 14th to 8th
ARP FAST QUALIFIER (20 Cars): Ryan Bernal – 11.935
BROWN AND MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS HEAT ONE (10 laps): Stidham, Scelzi, Mittry, Bernal, Cox, Aton, Montgomery (DNS)
KIMO’s TROPICAL CAR WASH HEAT TWO (10 laps): Co. Macedo, Golobic, Day, Timms, Faccinto, Croft, De Wees
DIRT.TRAVEL CLUB HEAT THREE (10 laps): T. Kaeding, B. Kaeding, Ca. Macedo, Sanders, Bloomfield, Foland Jr.
SUNNYVALLEY “POWERED BY BACON” TROPHY DASH (6 laps): Golobic, Day, Scelzi, T. Kaeding, Bernal, Stidham