HANFORD, Calif. — Seventeen-year-old Corey Day outgunned race leader Justin Sanders in an entertaining NARC 410 Sprint Car Series season opener during the 30-lap NAPA Auto Parts Anthony Simone Classic at King Speedway.
It was Day’s seventh career series victory and it was worth $10,000.
Day started sixth in the 25-car grid aboard the potent Meyers Constructors No. 14 sprint car and wasted no time powering his way to the front. Sanders, who started on the pole in the Mittry Family sprinter, quickly built a comfortable gap over the rest of the field before the first stoppage on lap four.
However, he would have his hands full on the restart with a Day who had already moved up to the runner-up spot..
Day overtook Sanders coming to the line on lap seven. However, another caution flag appeared before the circuit was completed, and Sanders reclaimed the lead. The third and final incident of the feature was with six laps completed. From there on out, it would be a fierce dogfight with twenty-four clicks running incident free.
As lapped traffic became a significant factor, Sanders had to make critical passes with the tail end of the field. Day also quickly dispatched the slower cars and kept Sanders in his crosshairs. With laps running down quickly, Day made his winning move on the 23rd circuit.
From there on out, the Clovis teenager was dominant building a significant lead as he raced to the checkered.
“That was probably the best we’ve ever been here in Hanford; we were lights out,” said Day. “I had a feeling we were going to have a long green flag run there.
“I have to give huge hats off to Shane (Bowers),” continued Day. “It was on rails, and we struggled all night with car speed. I was having to drive it hard to keep up with the pace they were setting.”
Sanders had to settle for second, chased by the Works Limited machine driven by Shane Golobic. Chase Johnson powered from 14th to end the night in fourth, while defending series champion Dominic Scelzi rounded out the top five.
A non-winged, non-points feature was run at the very end of the night. It is the second time that NARC has sanctioned a wingless event since 1985. Ryan Bernal dominated the topless 15-lapper for his first ever NARC victory. Bernal, running for car owner Keith Day, would pace the field the entire distance to win his first NARC-sanctioned event.
“I felt so at home being in a non-wing car,” commented Ryan, “hats off to Peter (Murphy, promoter at Kings Speedway) for changing stuff up. It’s great to add something extra for the fans to see.”
Corey Day and Chase Johnson were second and third at the finish line.
Feature (30 laps): 1. 14-Corey Day; 2. 2X-Justin Sanders; 3. 57-Shane Golobic; 4. 24-Chase Johnson; 5. 41-Dominic Scelzi; 6. 0-Tim Kaeding; 7. 42X-Justyn Cox; 8. 18T-Tanner Holmes; 9. 69-Bud Kaeding; 10. 2K-Kaleb Montgomery; 11. 21-Sean Becker; 12. 22-Ryan Bernal; 13. 88A-Joey Ancona; 14. 12B-Dawson Faria; 15. 10-Mauro Simone; 16. 37-Michael Pombo; 17. 4-Jake Hodges; 18. (DNF) 83V-Dylan Bloomfield; 19. (DNF) 36-Craig Stidham; 20. (DNF) 115-Nick Parker; 21. (DNF) 83-Mitchell Faccinto; 22. (DNF) 29-Willie Croft; 23. (DNF) 17-Kalib Henry; 24. (DNF) 88N-DJ Netto; 25. (DNF) 2XM-Max Mittry