TULARE, CA – The high-powered open wheel sprint cars of the King of the West/NARC Fujitsu Racing Series are returning to the Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway on Saturday, May 20th for the Faria Memorial race.
This marks the second of only three visits to the lightening fast one-third mile dirt oval track located at the Tulare Fairgrounds.
The King of the West/NARC series has proved to be one of the most competitive in recent memory, producing four different feature event winners in as many events. Current championship point leader of Bud Kaeding of Campbell, Giovanni Scelzi of Fresno, Cory Eliason of Selma, and Rico Abreu of St. Helena have earned those honors.
However, it’s 15-year old driving sensation Scelzi who is turning heads, not only at California race tracks, but also drawing the attention of motorsports enthusiast across the nation. The Fresno driver, the son of famous NHRA championship drag racer Gary Scelzi, laid claim to his first KWS/NARC victory on Saturday (5/13) at Placerville Speedway in a thrilling photo finish. He only led the final two feet of the 30-lap race in his Fresno-based Roth Motorsports sprint car.
In the process, Scelzi became the youngest winner in series history and now current trails Kaeding in the standings by only three points (235-232) entering the Tulare event.
But don’t be fooled by his young age where most of his high school peers would rather be “hanging out” or playing video games. Scelzi comes to the track with nine-years of racing experience and it shows and is already paying off rewards.
His career kicked off in Jr. Micro Sprints at Lemoore Raceway and Plaza Park Raceway in Visalia. He dominated his class in 2010, winning 24 main events.
Since then, he has graduated through the open wheel ranks into Micro-Sprints and now 410 c.i. 900-horsepower winged sprint cars. Scelzi’s 19-year old brother Dominic also races a sprint car locally and on the national World of Outlaw tour.
“I have learned so much from all of the people at the race track, especially my brother, Dominic, and the Faccinto brothers,” states Scelzi. “Racing is in my blood. I hope to one day race in NASCAR.”
Scelzi is referring to Hanford open wheel racers. Mitchell & Michael Faccinto. Mitchell will also be competing at Tulare.
Thirty-seven year old Kaeding put forth his perspective on Scelzi. “Enjoy this kid while we have him,” explained Kaeding. “He has a ton of talent and he will be off to do bigger things on a national level like NASCAR’s Kyle Larson. Drivers like him don’t come around very often and he is going to be very successful.”
Also expected to compete Saturday will be Carson Macedo of Lemoore; Hanford’s DJ Netto; Penngrove drivers Michael Kofoid and Chase Johnson; Discovery Bay’s Jarrett Soares; Willie Croft of Sacramento; and defending series champion Kyle Hirst of Paradise.
Pit gates open at 2:00 p.m. Front gates open at 4:00 p.m. Also on the racing card is USAC Non-Wing 360’s, Race Saver sprint cars & the vintage cars of the Legends of Kearney Bowl.
The Thunderbowl Raceway is located at E Bardsley Avenue & South K Street in Tulare.
ED NOTE: Hanford driver DJ Netto will be signing autographs for race fans from 4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. near the front gate.
June 3 – Antioch Speedway, Antioch, CA
June 10 – Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway, Tulare, CA
June 17 – Petaluma Speedway, Petaluma, CA
June 24 – Calistoga Speedway, Calistoga, CA
The King of the West Fujitsu Racing Series – presented by the Northern Auto Racing Club is co-sponsored by Hoosier Racing Tires. Contingency award sponsors include ATL Racing Cells, ARP Racing Bolts, BMRS, Butler Built, FK Rod Ends, Flowmaster, Fuel Safe Racing Cells, Kaeding Performance Center, KSE Racing Products, Maxim, PAC Racing Springs, Pyrotect, Racing Optics, Saldana Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, SCI Racing Products, System 1 Ignition, Ultra Light Brakes, Weld Racing Wheels, Wilwood Disc Brakes, Williams Roofing, and Winters Performance Products.
2017 KWS-NARC FUJITSU SERIES POINT STANDINGS
(After four events in 17-race Series)
Bud Kaeding, Campbell (1) – 235
Giovanni Scelzi, Fresno (1) – 232
Cory Eliason, Selma (1) – 224
DJ Netto, Hanford – 222
Michael Kofoid, Penngrove – 214
Kyle Hirst, Paradise – 201
Sean Becker, Roseville – 196
Willie Croft, Sacramento – 192
Jarrett Soares, Discovery Bay – 180
Bobby McMahan, Elk Grove – 172
Carson Macedo, Lemoore – 168
Mitchell Faccinto, Hanford – 164
Sean Watts, Atwater – 162
Shane Golobic, Fremont – 156
Nathan Rolfe, Atwater – 152
Chase Johnson, Penngrove – 143
Dominic Scelzi, Fresno – 142
Brent Kaeding, Campbell – 139
Jason Statler, Grass Valley – 138
Kalib Henry, Chico – 117