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TULARE, Calif. (May 17, 2021) – Only Hollywood could write a script as thrilling as what occurred last weekend for Dominic Scelzi, who won all four main events during the prestigious Peter Murphy Classic.
The victories – two in the 410ci winged sprint car division and two in the 360ci winged sprint car class – pushed Scelzi’s season win total to a career-best nine triumphs. His previous season high was eight trips into Victory Lane, which occurred in 2019.
“We’re seeing a progression of getting better, of zoning in and getting faster,” he said. “This was a weekend where everything fell together. The car was outstanding all weekend long and we picked up four trophies.”
Scelzi invaded Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, Calif., on Friday. He advanced from fifth to third place in his first 410 heat race before winning his second heat race from third. Scelzi then maneuvered from fifth to second place in the dash to garner the outside front row starting spot for the main event.
“The track was really slick at that point,” he said. “You had to be right around the lip of the top or putt around the bottom. I felt like you could get some momentum built up around the top. We got the jump on the start, but Kasey (Kahne) stayed with us and slid us into turn three. I turned under him and led the first lap. About 10 to 12 laps into the race the track started getting abrasive. I tried to save as much tire as I could. I slowly moved down the track lap by lap. We were fortunate to lead on all 30 laps and get the win.”
Scelzi was just as efficient in the Sprint Car Challenge Tour division that night. He set quick time during qualifying out of the 39 drivers. A run from fourth to second place in a heat race preceded dash and feature victories.
“They had reworked the track since it took rubber in the 410 feature,” he said. “We went into the bottom of the first corner, hit the grease and slid up the track. We fell back to third. We had a restart a lap later. I passed for second and the second-place car spun in the grease. That put me to second on the restart. At that point the track had gotten worked in again. It was super, super slick against the curb. I got racing with the leader for a couple of laps and got by him with 10 to 12 laps to go. Then with four or five laps to go it started laying rubber again. We stuck in that and led to the finish. That was the first time I’ve ever won two features in the same night.”
The triumph was Scelzi’s fourth with the series, which is tied for the second most on the all-time victory list.
Action shifted to Thunderbowl Raceway on Saturday. Once again, Scelzi set quick time during King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Series qualifying. He added heat race, dash and feature victories to sweep the night for his 10 th career series triumph, which paid $11,000 – tied for the most Scelzi’s won in a race.
“We battled with Bud (Kaeding) in one of my best races of all time,” he said. “It was pretty special. The 410 portion is the Peter Murphy Classic. We won the 360 in 2019 and then again this year, but this was my first 410 win during the event.
“The outside was a little better to start on. We raced pretty hard the first couple of laps before he got clear of me. He led until Lap 15 when I slid him into turn three and the yellow flag came out. After that he maintained about five to seven car lengths in front of me. With 11 laps to go we had the last restart. I timed it and was able to slide him into turn one. We dueled it out until the last five laps. I slid him in turns one and two. He was able to turn it under me. He started to slide me in turn three. I turned under and slid him back off the exit of turn four, like we each threw a slide job. That got us the space we needed to ride off into the sunset.”
The cherry on top was his performance during the 360 portion of the night, qualifying second quickest in his group, winning a heat race, placing second in the pole shuffle and winning his fourth straight feature.
“At that point all the pressure was off,” he said. “It seemed like the fans were behind the run of going 4-for-4. It was fun for me to go out there and, ‘Hell, let’s try to do it again.’ (Michael) Faccinto led the first 10 laps. I got by him in turns three and four. I ran around the top the majority of the race. It laid rubber and I moved to the bottom. The last few laps I struggled to get by lapped cars so I just stayed patient on the bottom.”
Momentum is on Scelzi’s side as he tackles a pair of races this weekend beginning on Saturday at Petaluma Speedway in Petaluma, Calif., with the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Series. Scelzi will then head to Placerville Speedway in Placerville, Calif., to race on Sunday.
QUICK RESULTS –
May 14 – Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, Calif. (410 sprint car) – Heat race #1: 3 (5); Heat race#2: 1 (3); Dash: 2 (5); Feature: 1 (2).
May 14 – Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, Calif. (360 sprint car) – Qualifying: 1; Heat race: 2 (4); Dash: 1 (1); Feature: 1 (1).
May 15 – Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif. (410 sprint car) – Qualifying: 1; Heat race: 1 (4); Pole shuffle: 1; Feature: 1 (1).
May 15 – Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif. (360 sprint car) – Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 1 (3); Pole shuffle: 2; Feature: 1 (2).
SEASON STATS –
22 races, 9 wins, 17 top fives, 21 top 10s, 21 top 15s, 21 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Saturday at Petaluma Speedway in Petaluma, Calif., with the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Series and Sunday at Placerville Speedway in Placerville, Calif.
MEDIA LINKS –
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“Maria with FK Rod Ends started helping us out in 2012 and from the beginning has been an all-hands-on-deck supporter of our race team,” Scelzi said. “She’s been great and FK Rod Ends as a company is stellar. I wrecked a lot when I first started and their great product held up to the test.”
Scelzi would like to thank Scelzi Enterprises, Red Rose Transportation, Inc., Whipple Superchargers, Red Line Oil, Fuel Delivery Services, Inc., Roth Motorsports, NAPA Auto Parts, Todd Jorgensen, Schoenfeld Headers, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Auto Meter, K&N Filters, Sparco, Allstar Performance, Meridian Steel, Kenny’s Components and Worldwide Bearings for their continued support.