CALI NOTES: Championship Weekend and USAC Invasion
Justin Sanders was one of two NARC-King of the West sprint car winners last weekend in California. (Photo by Joe Shivak)
STOCKTON, Calif .– A pair of NARC-King of the West events were at the center of the Golden State last weekend.
Shane Golobic won the first Anthony Simone Classic on Friday. The Fremont, Calif. Native’s triumph marked his first 410 win since November 2019.
Golobic also hit a milestone on Friday, earning his 50th career podium with the series.
– After leading the first 12 laps, Sean Becker was content with second place.
The result was encouraging for him and the Vertullo Motorsports team as they had not been on the NARC-King of the West podium since early July.
– Cory Eliason finished in the top three, making his first start of the year with the series after spending much of his year competing full time with the All Star Circuit of Champions, where he ultimately finished second to points.
Eliason became the 21st person to win a podium this season, the most since 2016 for the series.
– Other notable finishers include 15-year-old Joel Myers Jr., who finished fourth; All Star Circuit of Champions hub Tyler Courtney, who won sixth place in his series debut; and another 15-year-old, Corey Day, who finished seventh.
– The evening ended with a special 15-lap wingless race sanctioned by the NARC and Courtney became the first wingless NARC winner since 1985.
– Saturday took the teams south on the Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park, where Justin Sanders claimed his fifth series victory of the year and his fourth in 10 races since joining forces with Kevin Kozlowski and Paul Silva.
– Dominic Scelzi took second place to claim his 13th production podium in 2021, the most riders in a season since 2013.
– Golobic took third place to complete a proper sweep of the podium by arguably the three strongest drivers on the West Coast this year. Sanders’ triumph gave the trio a total of 50 wins in 2021.
– This Saturday, the NARC-King of the West and Sprint Car Challenge Tour 360 sprint cars will conclude their seasons at a joint event at the Stockton Dirt Track with the 38th annual Gary Patterson tribute.
– Scelzi just has to drive into the pit lane at Stockton and claim points to clinch his first NARC-King of the West title.
Scelzi currently holds the record for three-eighth mile series wins, collecting three checkered flags on 19 visits made by NARC-King of the West.
– The battle for second place in the standings could be played out in the last round this weekend.
2019 Series champion DJ Netto holds a slim two-point advantage on two-time series titlist Tim Kaeding. Just nine points from Kaeding is his brother, Bud Kaeding.
The trio will compete for second place on a track where they have all won an event in the series since its inception in 2013.
Currently sixth in points, Billy Aton should wrap up rookie of the year honors this weekend.
– In the Sprint Car Challenge Tour, Ryan Robinson holds a comfortable 47 point lead over Colby Copeland heading into the final.
This year will be the first time anyone other than Kyle Hirst has been the Sprint Car Challenge Tour champion.
– By switching to SoCal and taking off, the 25th edition of the Oval Nationals is set to begin this Thursday at Perris Auto Speedway as the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars and AMSOIL USAC CRA Sprint Cars approach the end of their seasons.
Brady Bacon of Oklahoma leads the national series to the famous half mile. In his quest for a fourth title with the nation’s best non-winged streak, Bacon is currently 64 scorers ahead of Kevin Thomas Jr.
On the CRA side, Damion Gardner is on the verge of winning his eighth consecutive championship and his ninth overall with the California series. Gardner is also looking to become the first four-time winner of the Oval Nationals.
– Looking even further, the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series will soon be invading the Golden State for a long list of holiday shopping.
They will visit Bakersfield Speedway for the first time on November 16. The eagerly awaited second edition of the Hangtown 100 is scheduled for November 18-20 at the racy Placerville Speedway. The inaugural event in 2019 drew nearly 60 competitors to the red earth of Placerville.
After Placerville, the series travels to Merced Speedway for a pair of events the two days before Thanksgiving. Both evenings will be supported by 360 sprint cars and, as recently reported, will feature the sprint car debut of NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott.
The season will end with the historic Turkish Night Grand Prix at Ventura Raceway beach on November 27.