By JIM ALLEN
BAKERSFIELD, CA – Shane Golobic and his new Tarlton Motorsports team wasted no time proving they will be a force to be reckoned with on the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Sprint Car Series tour, capturing the 30-lap season opener at the Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park on Sunday.
Making his first appearance in the potent Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino KPC wrenched by Paul Baines, Golobic started third and blew past polesitter Willie Croft on the second lap to take the lead. At that point, the headliner became a high speed game of cat and mouse in lap traffic as Golobic held off the repeated challenges of Croft and Dominic Scelzi to pace the final 29-laps.
“I got a real good start and managed to get past Willie (Croft) early on,” said the happy winner in victory lane. “However, lap traffic was really tough. I had to make room a couple of times because I knew he was back there waiting for me to make a mistake.”
Golobic’s winning margin at the checkered was 10-car lengths and a one lapped car buffer.
Croft and Scelzi engaged in a thrilling wheel to wheel battle for the second spot, swapping the position on the tenth, thirteenth and fifteenth laps. Croft, who earlier captured the Sunnyvalley Bacon Trophy Dash, would end up claiming the runner-up position in his Amerikote/Holey Smokes BBQ Eagle. Scelzi drove the Gary Scelzi-owned SE Inc./Panella Trucking sprinter to the show position.
Fast qualifier Kyle Hirst was within striking distance of the leaders with eight to go, but had to settle for fourth in the Roth Motorsports H&R Livestock Transport KPC.
Tanner Thorsen was the man on the move at Kern County Raceway Park. Starting 15th in the grid, Thorsen sliced and diced his way to a fifth place finish in Clyde Lamar’s Tri-C Machine Spike chassis. That earned him the Swift Metal Finishing Hardcharger Award.
The second five to cross the checkered were Mitchell Faccinto, defending series champion Bud Kaeding, Gio Scelzi, Chase Johnson & Jason Statler.
Sean Watts brought out the only red flag of the night on the fifth lap of the feature, when his car performed a pirouette in the first corner and turned over. He was unhurt in the accident.
Hirst set a new King of the West-NARC qualifying record, burning a time of 12.406 seconds around the one-third mile oval. He earned a $1000 bonus from Willie Croft Racing for his feat.
KWS-NARC Fujitsu Feature Event (30 laps): Shane Golobic, Willie Croft, Dominic Scelzi, Kyle Hirst, Tanner Thorsen, Mitchell Faccinto, Bud Kaeding, Gio Scelzi, Chase Johnson, Jason Statler, DJ Netto, Dustin Golobic, Tommy Tarlton, Colby Copeland, Jeremy Chisum, Jarrett Soares, Matthew Moles, Nathan Rolfe, Jenna Frazier, Craig Stidham, Sean Watts, Mark Barroso
Lap Leaders: Croft 1, S. Golobic 2-30.
ARP Fast Qualifier: Kyle Hirst – 12.406 (New Track Record)
BMRS Heat 1 (10 laps): Willie Croft, Kyle Hirst, Mitchell Faccinto, Jarrett Soares, Jason Statler, Dustin Golobic, Jeremy Chisum, Jenna Frazier
The Cushion Heat 2 (10 laps): Gio Scelzi, Bud Kaeding, Shane Golobic, Colby Copeland, Tommy Tarlton, Craig Stidham, Nathan Rolfe
PSC Industrial Services Heat 3 (10 laps): Chase Johnson, Dominic Scelzi, Sean Watts, Tanner Thorson, Matthew Moles, DJ Netto, Mark Barroso
Sunnyvalley Bacon Trophy Dash (6 laps): Willie Croft, Kyle Hirst, Shane Golobic, Dominic Scelzi, Mitchell Faccinto, Gio Scelzi