(7/3/23 – Ben Deatherage) Petaluma, CA … The high-powered 950-horsepower NARC sprint cars will return to Petaluma Speedway on Saturday, July 8th to battle at the Salute to Baylands Raceway Park. This will mark the 16th event on the NARC campaign and final appearance of the season for the traveling series at the North Bay 3/8th mile clay oval.
“Petaluma is a special place with all the history that I have there, my family has there, and all the great fans that show up and support the place,” said local Penngrove driver Chase Johnson. “NARC puts on an excellent show at Petaluma, and the fans always pack the place so I’m expecting a full grandstand. It’s also a great opportunity to race in front of all my local sponsors and supporters.”
The event pays tribute to the now-defunct Baylands Raceway Park, a racing facility in Fremont that was a major player on the Northern California racing scene. Opening in 1981, it produced notable track champions such as Jimmy Sills, Jimmy Boyd, Dave Bradway Jr., and Ed Organ. Thirty-three NARC-sanctioned events were held at the facility, with Steve Kent winning the final event on October 8th, 1988, before the track was permanently shuttered.
There will be a special autograph session at 4:00 p.m. featuring former Baylands stars from the past. Among them will be drivers Lee James and Rich Forsberg, along with car owners Vern Kornburst and Paul Torzilli. Many others are expected to join. Dennis Mattish, who penned the “History of Baylands Raceway Park” book will also be on site. (Book available at https://www.amazon.com/Baylands-Raceway-Park-Fremont-Strip/dp/0988186144)
It should also be noted that Petaluma Speedway recently underwent a track reconfiguration in June. It is expected to widen and enhance the racing surface for the top 410 sprint car drivers on the West Coast. Companion divisions on Saturday include the Redwood Dwarf Car Association, Mini Stocks, and 600cc Micro Sprints.
After an incredibly successful Northwest swing, Clovis teenager Corey Day expanded his point lead from a slim eight points to a healthy 45-marker advantage over Dominic Scelzi. Day finished eighth in the Jason Meyers Racing #14 entry on May 20th in his most recent Petaluma NARC outing. He will be looking to improve on that performance.
But Scelzi, the two-time defending NARC champ from Fresno, is looking to cut the championship points gap. He has been fantastic at Petaluma on the last two visits, winning both at the historic venue. Can he make it an incredible three in a row?
With only six events left on the schedule, it is no doubt crunch time for the Scelzi Motorsports #41 team in the fight for the 2023 King of the West title as Day looks to continue to build on his advantage.
Who to Watch
Justin Sanders finished on the Petaluma podium during NARC last visit to the track. Driving the Redding, CA-based Demo Mittry-owned #2X, the Aromas pilot is coming off a huge $82,000 payday at the Jim Raper Memorial Super Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway.
Bud Kaeding performed wonderfully in May at Petaluma, when he finished second and was in contention for the victory. Based out of Campbell, he is looking for another good run on the adobe clay. Kaeding has scored three NARC wins at Petaluma Speedway, with the most recent triumph coming in 2017, the year he won the series championship (the others were in 2008 and 2015).
Johnson, as stated above, has a lot of laps around Petaluma. He will be a force to reckon with as he will be back in his family car and reunited with potent crew chief Ivan Worden. Chase was the 2012 360 Sprint champion and is a two-time NARC winner at his home track (2017 and 2019).
Roseville’s Justyn Cox is due for another victory. Cox picked off an $18,000 payday in April for his first career NARC victory. He has been running up front in the Bates-Hamilton Racing #42X and is currently fourth in the points standings.
Oakley teenager Dylan Bloomfield will be back in the Vertullo #83V. Even though he was eleventh the last time NARC was in town, Bloomfield has gotten a massive amount of racing under his belt in the previous month that no doubt will be beneficial on Saturday.
Benicia’s Billy Aton is looking to have another positive Petaluma result. Aton had one of his best runs of 2023 when the series last was at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds track. He is looking to bounce back after a nasty crash oat the Super Dirt Cup.
Andy Forsberg, the 2021 track champ, powered his way to a fourth-place drive in May. Despite only a handful of appearances with the tour, the Auburn phenom is a driver you do not want to discount from winning as he has hit the “pay dirt” three times this year in 360 competition.
Also slated for action are Arizona native Nick Parker, Campbell veteran Burt Foland Jr., Stephen Ingraham from Fair Oaks, Angelique Bell from Sacramento, and several others.
Fan & Competitor Info
Petaluma Speedway is located at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds on 100 Fairgrounds Road in Petaluma, California. Tickets are priced at $25.00 for Adults and $22.00 for Juniors/Military/Seniors (65+), $10.00 for Children, and Children 5 And Under are FREE. Online ticket purchases can be made at www.myracepass.com. For more information, log on to https://www.petaluma-speedway.com/.
The Pit Gates open at Noon. The driver’s meeting will be held at 3:45 p.m. Front gates open at 4:00 p.m.
ARP Qualifying is set to begin at 5:00 p.m., with racing at 6:00 p.m.
The NARC 410 Sprint Series is the leading 410 Sprint Car tour west of the Rocky Mountains. Since 1960, they have enthralled countless thousands of fans at tracks up and down the Pacific Coast. For more information, visit their website at www.narc410.com or social media pages.
The Salute To Baylands Raceway Park event at Petaluma Speedway can be viewed live on Floracing.com.
The NARC 410 Sprint Car Racing Series is also sponsored by Hoosier Racing Tires, Floracing.com, and NAPA Auto Parts. Associate and product award sponsors include Automotive Racing Products (ARP), Beacon Wealth Strategies-Raymond James Financial, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Bullet Impressions, D & D Roofing, Diversified Machine Inc., Johnstone Supply, Kaeding Performance Center, Kimo’s Tropical Car Wash, KSE Racing Enterprises, Lifeline LLC, Maxim Racing Products, Mettec Titanium, Pyrotect, Safecraft Safety Equipment, Saldana Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, Scelzi Enterprises, SCI Racing Products, Starr Property Management, Sunnyvalley Bacon, System 1 Ignition, Ultra Lite Brakes, Williams Roofing, Wilwood Disc Brakes, and Winters Performance Products.
NARC 410 SPRINT CAR SERIES
CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS
(AFTER 15 EVENTS IN 21-RACE SERIES – 7/2/23)
- Corey Day, Clovis – 1972
- Dominic Scelzi, Fresno – 1927
- Justin Sanders, Aromas – 1913
- Justyn Cox, Roseville – 1911
- Bud Kaeding, Campbell – 1889
- Dylan Bloomfield, Oakley – 1842
- Billy Aton, Benicia – 1765
- Nick Parker, Tucson, AZ (R) – 1765
- Chase Johnson, Penngrove – 1761
- Tanner Holmes, Central Point, OR – 1483
- Joel Myers Jr., Sebastopol – 1465
- Cole Macedo, Hanford – 1354
- DJ Netto, Hanford – 1321
- Shane Golobic, Fremont – 1238
- Colby Copeland, Roseville – 1072
- Burt Foland Jr. (R) – 980
- Joey Ancona, Concord (R) – 892
- Kaleb Montgomery, Templeton (R) – 876
- Karl Hoffmans, Australia – 816
- Andy Caruana, Australia – 799
July 15th – Ocean Speedway (Watsonville) – Howard Kaeding Classic
August 26th – Stockton Dirt Track – Champions Classic
September 30th – Kings Speedway (Hanford) – Morrie Williams Twin-20’s Memorial