(3/4/23 – Alex Nieten) Sacramento, CA… Less than two weeks remain before the NARC 410 Sprint Cars commence their 2023 campaign, and the 63rd season for the historic series promises to be another full of memorable moments.
The 2022 season brought us stories such as a back-to-back champion in the form of Dominic Scelzi, the prodigy that is Corey Day continuing to forge his path, the richest payday in NARC history claimed by Tyler Courtney, and many more. And the stars are aligning for 2023 to deliver even more important pages of the west coast racing history books.
The schedule will take the tour to 24 races at 15 tracks in three states beginning with Silver Dollar Speedway’s Mini Gold Cup on March 18th and concluding with Stockton Dirt Track’s Tribute to GP on November 5th.
Highlights of the calendar include the $10,000 to win Anthony Simone Classic (April 8th), the $8,300 to win Dennis Roth Classic (April 14-15th), the first trip to Antioch Speedway (April 29th) since 2017, $11,000 to win Peter Murphy Classic (May 12th-13th), Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial (June 3rd) another Pacific Northwest trip culminating in the $62,000 to win Dirt Cup (June 22nd-24th), $6,900 to win Howard Kaeding Classic (July 15th), and more.
As the schedule unfolds so will a variety of storylines to watch throughout 2023.
Can Scelzi Three-Peat?
A three-peat has been accomplished by only two drivers in NARC’s more than six decades of competition, and Dominic Scelzi will have the opportunity to become just the third as 2023 gets underway.
Bill Sullivan was the first to claim three consecutive championships when he did so from 1964 to 1966. Unsurprisingly, the lone other occupant of this exclusive list is the series’ winningest all-time driver, Brent Kaeding. BK strung together a whopping nine straight titles beginning in 1993 and concluding in 2001.
Scelzi has been astonishingly consistent during his two championship campaigns. In his 42 series starts over the past two seasons, the Fresno native has posted 10 wins, bagged 26 podiums, and logged a 5.2 average finish. The 25-year-old is the only driver since the turn of the century to earn at least 13 podiums in two straight NARC seasons.
One roster adjustment to the Scelzi Motorsports crew that aligns with “The Dominator’s” elevated performance is the addition of Jimmy Carr. The legendary crew chief came aboard in 2020, and he’s helped make the No. 41 one of the fastest machines on the west coast. Carr will be back in 2023 as he looks to help Scelzi make history.
Bud’s Back for More
Last year Bud Kaeding finished on the NARC points podium for the seventh time in the last eight seasons, and he’s planning to return with hopes of another consistent season.
The pilot of the iconic BK Racing No. 69 is pursuing his second championship after claiming the 2017 title driving for Morrie Williams.
The 2022 campaign proved to be a solid one for the Campbell native as he collected 14 top-10s on his way to a third-place effort in the standings. However, Kaeding will look to finish a little closer to the front in 2023 as his top-five tally was a little less than normal with three.
For the first time since his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2016, Justyn Cox will be chasing a NARC title.
During that season seven years ago, Cox collected 13 top-10s in 19 races on his way to a third-place effort in the points. That year he was driving for his family team, and in 2023 he’ll be behind the wheel of the Bates-Hamilton Racing No. 42X.
Cox is familiar with the BHR crew. The Clarksburg native filled in for an injured Tim Kaeding back in 2018 to help them secure the Sprint Car Challenge Tour owner’s title, and the pairing nearly won Trophy Cup that year.
They reunited in the second half of 2022 following the team parting ways with Kaeding. After some impressive results including Cox’s personal best finish with NARC of second at Keller Auto Speedway, they decided to team up for this year with their sights on a NARC championship.
Sophomore Year Ahead for Mittry
After a successful debut season with NARC that resulted in claiming the 2022 Rookie of the Year honors, Max Mittry is returning for his sophomore campaign.
Last year Mittry planned to run only select NARC events, but some early impressive results motivated him to take on the full campaign. The Redding native ended up earning a solid seven top-10s with a best effort of sixth in May at the Peter Murphy Classic finale. He also claimed quick time honors in just his second series appearance in April at Silver Dollar Speedway.
The 17-year-old will be back aboard the Mittry Racing No. 2XM owned by his father, Demo Mittry.
Bloomfield’s Big Year
At just 16 years of age, Dylan Bloomfield is planning on running a hefty slate of more than 70 races this year, and the centerpiece will be his first full NARC campaign.
The teenager will be aboard the familiar Dave and Debbie Vertullo-owned No. 83V. Bloomfield took over driving duties of the Vertullo Motorsports machine late last year, and after some encouraging results Bloomfield was tabbed the team’s full-time driver for 2023.
The young talent out of Discovery Bay made nine NARC feature appearances last year with the final six of those being aboard the Vertullo car. Bloomfield picked up a pair of top-10s in 2022 including a ninth-place effort in just his third career series start at Stockton in August. His best series finish is currently an eighth at Keller Auto Speedway, which he earned last October.
The Vertullo ride is known for helping cultivate some of sprint car racing’s best talent, and Bloomfield hopes to be the next on the list of drivers who’ve made a mark behind the wheel.
Third Time’s a Charm for Aton?
After his strong 2021 Rookie of the Year campaign, Billy Aton went into 2022 with high hopes, but he unfortunately ran into somewhat of a sophomore slump.
Wild Bill’s numbers dipped a little last season, but 2023 signals a fresh start and a chance to return to 2021 form when he impressed at a variety of tracks during his first full NARC campaign.
The Benicia native will return to the seat of his family-owned No. 26 for his junior year on the tour.
On top of the drivers who’ve already committed, there are plenty of other talented California gassers who may partake in the entire 24-race campaign or a majority of it.
Justin Sanders has won seven NARC features in the last two years, and he plans to tackle as many races as he can in 2023. The Aromas racer will again be teammates with Max Mittry as he pilots a Mittry Racing 2X machine.
Perhaps the nation’s most promising young talent, Corey Day, intends to compete in a majority of the NARC schedule aboard the Jason Meyers Racing No. 14. In just 27 career series starts, the Clovis phenom has already visited victory lane on six occasions. The team is geared up to run the duration of the schedule.
One of the most consistent NARC forces throughout the years, Shane Golobic, promises to be a contender at every race he signs in for. The Fremont native owns podiums in roughly one-third of his career NARC feature starts and also boasts 14 victories.
A car to watch will be the famed Tarlton Motorsports No. 21. They plan to run as much of the NARC campaign as possible with a variety of drivers. The only person currently confirmed for some seat-time in the all-black machine is Cole Macedo as he’ll make a return to his roots with plenty of starts with Tarlton on his 2023 calendar.
Following his personal-best second-place effort in the 2022 NARC standings, Willie Croft is scaling back slightly in 2023, but he still has plenty of NARC action on his schedule. The Colfax driver is currently sitting one win away from double-digit series victories.
Three-time series champion, Jonathan Allard, intends to run a handful of NARC shows in 2023. Last year he reunited with the Williams Motorsports crew, and they combination plan to attend select events again this year.
Many more regular faces in the NARC pit area over the years are sure to make many appearances including D.J. Netto, Colby Copeland, Kaleb Montgomery, Joel Myers Jr., Chase Johnson, Mitchell Faccinto, Andy Forsberg, Tanner and Blake Carrick, and more. Expect to see Pacific Northwest locals take on California’s best when the series heads north like Trey Starks, Tanner Holmes, Tyler Thompson, Logan Forler and others.
Let’s Go Racing
The schedule is set. The drivers are ready after the off-season. The only thing left to do is throw the green flag on the 2023 NARC 410 Sprint Car campaign and see what happens as the pursuit for the next NARC champion unfolds.
Check out the full NARC schedule at https://narc410.com/schedule/.
If you can’t make it to the track, tune into FloRacing to watch the west coast’s best drivers in 2023.