(11/5/23 – Ben Deatherage, Photos by Joe Shivak) Stockton, California … Less than twenty-four hours after the final NARC 410 Sprint Car Series event had concluded, teams and series officials gathered for a delightful brunch at the Brookside County Club for the 2023 Championship Celebration awards banquet. It was a great way to recognize all the outstanding individuals on the tour, both on and off the track.
Master of Ceremonies Jim Allen put the final touches and recapped an entertaining sprint car season that featured 20-events at 13 different dirt oval tracks in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Day is Crowned
Corey Day took the NARC series by storm in 2023 aboard the Jason Meyers Racing/Meyers Constructors/Four C’s Construction #14 KPC. The Clovis teenager tied the modern-day NARC record for most wins in a season with nine feature triumphs. Those included three during Fastest Four Days In Motorsports, along with that title, the Anthony Simone Classic, the first two prelims of the Jim Raper Memorial Super Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway, and additional wins at Kings Speedway, Thunderbowl Raceway, and The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park.
“This is what we set out to do as a team this year was to race for a championship, and this is the first won since Jason ran for a championship,” commented Day. “I’m glad we could put the team together as we did and do it with such success we were strong all season, and that’s what counts.”
In addition to the nine wins, Day was a podium and top five finisher 15 times and was among the top ten on 17 occasions. He topped the charts by leading the most METTEC Titanium laps with 160 circuits led. On two occasions, the champion was a heat race and a Sunnyvalley Bacon Trophy Dash winner, passed a total of 57 cars, and earned a Williams Roofing Hardcharger Award.
“I’m proud of my guys, Shane (Bowers, crew chief), Stefan, Eddie, HP, Kenny, Preston, and Jason, and everyone that comes to the races every weekend and works really hard and works all the hours in the shop and put their hearts and souls in this to see us succeed and it’s awesome, I’m glad I could get a championship for these guys.”
Top Point Earners Honored
Along with Day, the remainder of the drivers who secured a spot in the Top 10 of the standings and thus a chunk of the point fund were also recognized.
2nd – Justin Sanders: Justin Sanders was the runner-up in the standings when all the dust settled. The Aromas, CA, racer managed to score two huge feature wins, including the $62,000 finale of the Jim Raper Memorial Super Dirt Cup and the first feature of the Morrie Williams Memorial at Kings. Upon completing the second main event, he would eventually be the overall “Morrie” champion.
The Mittry Motorsports fielded MittryConstruction.com/North County Plastering/Farmers Brewing #2X Maxim earned the most ARP Quick Time awards with four, and was a six-time heat race winner. Sanders paced the field for 82 METTEC Titanium laps, while passing 47 cars to earn a pair of Williams Roofing Hardcharger awards. Additionally, he was victorious in a Sunnyvale Bacon Trophy Dash to compliment his eight podiums, 14 top five, and 19 top ten finishes.
3rd – Dominic Scelzi: The 2021 and 2022 NARC champion would hold on to third place in points after a tight battle in the final two legs of the season. The Fresno pilot hoisted three feature winner checks in the Spring, including the $11,000 to win the Peter Murphy Classic at Kings, Antioch Speedway’s Contra Costa County Clash, and a victory at Petaluma Speedway. Scelzi had seven podiums, 12 top fives, and 14 Top 10 postings in main event action.
The Scelzi Motorsports/Whipple Superchargers/Red Line Oil #41 Maxim took home the most bacon with seven Sunnyvalley Bacon Trophy Dash wins and a club-high seven heat race triumphs. For his heat race accomplishments, he earned an additional $500 from Jim Taves of Kimo’s Tropical Car Wash. Scelzi also led 120 METTEC Titanium laps and managed to earn a pair of Williams Roofing Hardcharger honors and accumulated 44 overtakes.
4th – Justyn Cox: Returning to the NARC 410 Sprint Car Series for the first time in several seasons was Justyn Cox. Now calling Roseville home, Cox topped the field at Tulare with an incredible $18,383 payday at the Dennis Roth Classic finale. Despite it being his only triumph, he made three podium appearances, was among the top five on five nights, and had 16 finishes in the top ten.
The Bates-Hamilton Racing-owned Benefit RFP/Lippert Construction/Monzingo Construction #42X Maxim was at the front of the field for 42 METTEC Titanium circuits, earned one ARP quick time award , and bested the field in six heat races. Cox passed the third-most amount of cars with 48 successful passes and earned the Williams Roofing Hardcharger award on two nights.
5th – Bud Kaeding: Wrapping up the top five point in the NARC standings was Campbell, CA chauffeur Bud Kaeding. Kaeding had an impressive second-place finish at Petaluma in May. The 2017 NARC champion placed among the top five a total of six times while earning 15 top ten placings. The Kaeding Performance/Alviso Rock/Al’s Roofing Supply #69 Maxim had four heat race victories and overtook 46 competitors in main event action.
6th – Dylan Bloomfield: Racing for Dave and Debbie Vertullo, Dylan Bloomfield wowed many fans in his first entire season with the NARC 410 Sprint Car Series. The Oakley teenager was twice a top five finisher, including a fourth-place run at Southern Oregon Speedway and grabbing fifth at the July Salute To Baylands Raceway Park event at Petaluma.
In addition to the top five efforts, the Starr Property Management/Air 1 Racing/Gary Silva Ranches #83V Maxim was among the top ten in six features. Bloomfield earned just a single ARP fast time honor and a B Main victory. After completing all the races, he managed to pass 38 total cars.
7th – Billy Aton: Making the journey from Benicia for every race, Billy Aton was once again a staple on the NARC tour. He finished in the top ten in the finishing order on six nights, including a season-best of seventh at Petaluma in July. The Plant Reclamation/Transport Products Unlimited/Legacy Glass #26 XXX had an excellent outing at the Morrie Williams Memorial by placing ninth and eighth in the Twin 20 features.
Aton won a Sunnyvalley Bacon Trophy Dash and a heat race as well. He also earned a Williams Roofing Hardcharger award, and at the season’s end, he passed 27 total cars.
8th – Nick Parker: Nick Parker followed the entire NARC 410 Sprint Car Series schedule and ended up being the highest-finishing rookie at the end of the season. Recently relocating to Chico from Southern Arizona, Parker learned a lot this year adjusting to 410 competition and was tenth at the July Petaluma event. The Parker Automotive/MetalTec Fabrication/Rock Knocker #115 Maxim topped the field in a heat race and passed 20 cars.
9th – Chase Johnson: There’s no doubt that Chase Johnson’s Salute To Baylands win at Petaluma Speedway was his biggest night of the season. The Penngrove pilot’s home track victory was on the podium three times, had six finishes in the top five, and was among the top 10 at 13 events. The Toyota of Marin, Walnut Creek, and Sunnyvale/Price Family Dealerships #24 Maxim blazed the trail for 12 METTEC Titanium laps and won three heat races.
Johnson collected the most Williams Roofing Hardcharger honors, with five, and had a fantastic total of 84 passes in main event action. He also won a B Main.
Overall, more than $75,000 in NARC point fund money and loyalty bonuses were awarded at the event.
A handful of prestigious awards were also handed out during the proceedings.
The NARC officials were each presented with a plaque acknowledging their years of service with the sanctioning body. This included Pit Manager Darryck Fairbanks, Director of Competion Dan Belton, Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Belton, Technical Inspector Mike Andreetta, Flagman Ed Entz, Infield Official Pat Freeman, Photographer Donna Peter, and Media rep and announcer Ben Deatherage. All combined, there was more than 100-years of NARC experience with this group.
NARC Rookie of the Year: Nick Parker was the highest-finishing rookie in the NARC 410 Sprint Car Series and was recognized for his efforts in earning the award as well as his dedication to Sprint Car racing after relocating to California from his native Tucson, Arizona. The young racer is still learning a lot but has a great teacher in 2017 NARC champion crew chief, Sean Grealy.
Billy Albini Mechanic of the Year: Longtime NARC official Mike Andreetta once again would be the presenter of the Billy Albini Mechanic of the Year award. Jason Meyers Racing crew chief Shane Bowers received the award for his championship-winning season, which resulted in a NARC championship with young driver Corey Day.
Williams Roofing Hardcharger of the Year: Chase Johnson would top the most cars passed category with an aggregate total of 84 successful overtakes throughout the season. It was an overwhelming triumph; Corey Day, with 57, was the second-most overall passes. He also won the most Williams Roofing Hardcharger Awards, passing the most cars in five main events. That earned Johnson an extra $1000 at the banquet.
Dave Bradway Jr. Inspirational Trophy: Shannon Bloomfield received one of the biggest applauses of the entire ceremony when she was announced the winner of the Dave Bradway Jr. Inspirational Trophy. Shannon was critically injured in a devastating RV accident nearly a year ago and through a massive amount of prayers, personal strength, and determination, she’s been able to fight back and make it back to the races to support her son Dylan. It was an emotional presentation.
NARC Benevolent Fund Auction: The annual banquet tradition of hosting an auction for the Benevolent Fund, which raises money for injured racers and their families, was honored.
The tradition of it being perhaps the most entertaining portion of the afternoon was also honored, thanks to Bud Kaeding. This year, his special guest co-auctioneer was championship car owner Jason Meyers. The two became quite the comedic duo and raised (total amount) towards the Benevolent Fund. Including a special “Old Guys Rule” t-shirt promotion by Dominic Scelzi, more than $21,000 was raised for the non-profit fund at the event.