Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi puts on a dominating performance to earn first career Calistoga Speedway victory at the Boys and Girls Club Dirt Classic
By Gary Thomas
Calistoga, CA – June 24, 2017…Fresh off a two-week run in the Midwest Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi returned as sharp as ever on Saturday night and proceeded to lead all 30-laps at the Calistoga Speedway Boys and Girls Club Dirt Classic with the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards.
Scelzi becomes the seventh different winner in as many races this season with the tour and was never seriously challenged en route to his first career victory at the famed half-mile. Adding in the Kyle Larson Racing full-time bonus money the McColloch RV Repair and Storage No. 17 team went home with a staggering $11,000 for their efforts. The popular win in front of a standing room only crowd also marked car owner Nick McCollogh’s first ever triumph in sprint car racing.
“All I can say right now is wow we just won at Calistoga,” said a pumped up Scelzi to infield reporter Troy Hennig. “To get a win here means more than winning anywhere else because of all the history that Calistoga Speedway has. I love coming here to race and to win here is just surreal. I have to give a huge thanks to the McColloch family and the whole team for giving me the chance to drive this race car. We’ve had speed, but haven’t had the luck and tonight it all came together so I couldn’t be happier.”
Scelzi started on the pole by way of his win in the RacePartsTrader.com dash and immediately rocketed out to a sizable advantage. The 20-year-old driver remained composed throughout a few caution periods and never faltered, taking the Ed Entz checkered flag by nearly two seconds back to runner up finisher and current Sprint Car Challenge Tour point leader Kyle Hirst of Paradise.
Hirst had to fend off the pesky challenges from Rutherford’s Rico Abreu late in the race, but pulled away the last handful of laps to solidify second aboard the Roth Motorsports No. 83 machine. With runner up in points Sean Becker finishing 15th it turned out to be an outstanding points night for Hirst. Abreu crossed the stripe in third, with 12th starter Cory Eliason from Kingsburg in fourth and Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto rounding out the top-five.
Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox made some nice late race moves to come home sixth, while Campbell’s Bud Kaeding, 16th starter Andy Forsberg of Auburn, Fremont’s Shane Golobic and Columbus, Indiana’s Tony Stewart completed the top-10. Becker’s run from 24th to 15th was good enough to give him the Pit Stop USA hard charger award in the feature.
Watsonville’s Justin Sanders captured the Finley Farms B-main and Placerville’s Jimmy Trulli scooped up the C-main. All Star Performance heat one went to Roseville’s Willie Croft, A.R.T. Speed Equipment heat two was picked off by Rico Abreu, BR Motorsports heat three was won by Penngrove’s Chase Johnson and King Racing Products heat four went to Mitchell Faccinto.
Three-time NASCAR Cup champion Tony Stewart began the night by setting LRB Inc. / ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust fast time with a lap of 17.848 around the Calistoga half-mile. A total of 46 cars competed during the night.
The most important part of the event promoted by David and Rico Abreu was certainly the support that it lent to the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga. During intermission on Saturday a whopping $250,000 was donated to the foundation.
The Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards will now get set for a double header of competition over Independence Day weekend. The outing begins on Sunday July 2 with the Jimmy Sills Classic at the Stockton Dirt Track, followed by the final Petaluma Speedway appearance of the season on Monday July 3. More info can be found at www.sprintcarchallengetour.com in the coming week.