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Dominic Scelzi claimed a $11,000 payday at last year's Peter Murphy Classic. (Donna Peter Photo)

NARC King Of The West Season In Review

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After the disappointment of last year’s pandemic-shortened season, the NARC King of the West Fujitsu General USA Sprint Cars resurged this past year with a 21-race schedule punctuated with the crowning of a new champion.

The first quarter of the campaign offered a good indicator of how the year ultimately played out.

The four who proved to be the strongest competitors of the full-time roster all delivered strong starts to the season. D.J. Netto began his title defense by dominating the season opener at The Stockton Dirt Track and followed it with top 10 finishes the next four races.

Dominic Scelzi scored the year’s second event by claiming the Peter Murphy Classic and the $11,000 check that went with it. Outside of a DNF at Ocean Speedway, Scelzi finished no worse than fifth in the opening five events and picked up his second victory at the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial Race.

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Bill Aton won his first ever NARC feature at Santa Maria Raceway and was named the series Rookie of the Year. (Donna Peter Photo)

Though he didn’t win a race in the opening fourth of the season, Bud Kaeding’s consistency led him to the best overall start of any driver.

Through five races the 2017 series champion had tallied a pair of podiums, four top-fives and an average finish of fourth.

Bud’s brother, Tim Kaeding started the year with four consecutive top-10s including a win in Ocean Speedway’s Pombo-Sargent Classic, his 70th career NARC victory. TK’s win made it so a “Kaeding” owns a win in all five decades of the Pombo-Sargent Classic’s history.

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DJ Netto (88N) and Tim Kaeding finished the season second and third, respectively, in the final NARC King of the West standings. (Donna Peter Photo)

As July’s four races unfolded those same four drivers continued to jockey at the top of the point standings.

Bud Kaeding went from unshakeable consistency to feast or famine in the next four races with finishes of third, 18th, sixth and 17th.

Tim Kaeding picked up another win at Petaluma Speedway but followed it with a DNF the next weekend in Watsonville.

The two-time series champ recovered during the following week’s doubleheader at Tulare and Santa Maria with two top 10 finishes that kickstarted his best stretch of the season.

Netto collected a trio of top 10 finishes, but had to settle for 13th in Watsonville after an incident.

Scelzi also had issues at Ocean Speedway but bounced back the next week with a win at Tulare, the start of a historic podium streak for the Fresno racer.

Over that same stretch of races, Sean Becker earned his first NARC victory in seven years by taking the checkered flag at the Howard Kaeding Classic. The month’s final event at Santa Maria Raceway saw Billy Aton snag his first career series victory.

The Fastest Four Days in Motorsports ushered in the second half of the campaign and began with the new pairing of Justin Sanders and Paul Silva in the Works Limited No. 57 winning at Merced Speedway.

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Sean Becker drove David Vertullo’s No. 83V car to a $6,900 winners payday at the Howard Kaeding Classic. (Donna Peter Photo)

The next night Mitchell Faccinto earned his first series victory since 2018 at Ocean Speedway.

Dominic Scelzi and Sanders then capped the speedweek with triumphs at Stockton and Petaluma. Scelzi earned the points title for the FFDM with podium finishes each night, stretching his top-three streak to six and widening his point lead.

Colby Copeland, in the Vanlare machine, came home second in the FFDM standings by finishing no worse than eighth in those races.

Scelzi and Sanders split the two nights of the Louie Vermeil Classic, making it four wins in a row for the duo.

Scelzi’s third-place result on night two brought his podium streak to eight in a row as he continued to near his first title.

Meanwhile, Tim Kaeding earned his seventh- and eighth-straight top 10 finishes at The Louie, as he continued to climb toward the battle for runner-up in points, while Netto and Bud Kaeding struggled with incidents.

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Justin Sanders was a dominate force in the middle of the season after teaming up with Paul Silva in the Works Unlimited No. 57. (Donna Peter Photo)

September concluded with 15-year-old Corey Day earning his first series victory at the same track his father, Ronnie Day, scored his final victory, at Hanford’s Keller Auto Speedway.

Scelzi’s podium run was snapped, but only by a single spot, as he finished fourth.

October opened with the twin 20-lap features at the Morrie Williams Memorial in Hanford, where Scelzi earned his career-best sixth win of the year.

The second main event produced a first-time winner when Mitchel Moles wheeled the Roth Motorsports machine from 11th to victory lane.

Tim Kaeding stretched his top 10 streak to 11 straight with eighth- and third-place finishes in the pair of features.

A few weeks later, the series made its third consecutive trip to Keller Auto Speedway for the first Anthony Simone Classic.

Shane Golobic took his first trip to victory lane of the season after a mid-race pass on Sean Becker to claim the $10,000 prize.

Following the A main, a handful of drivers took wings off to compete in a race honoring the versatile Anthony Simone.

The recently crowned All-Star Circuit of Champions title winner, Tyler Courtney, won the 15-lap race to become the first NARC non-wing winner since 1985.

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Shane Golobic only won once on the NARC tour this season, but it was a big one: the $10,000 to win Anthony Simone Classic in Hanford. (Donna Peter Photo)

The next night at The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park, Scelzi and Sanders resumed their second-half dominance by finishing one-two. Sanders collected his fifth checkered flag of the year and fourth in 11 starts aboard the No. 57.

The season concluded with Day becoming the first driver since Gio Scelzi in 2017 to earn their first and second career NARC wins in the same season by claiming the 38th Annual Tribute to Gary Patterson at The Stockton Dirt Track.

Dominic Scelzi, meanwhile, wrapped up the championship by completing his qualifying run. Scelzi had built such a large points lead that he only needed to earn show-up points the final night to clinch his first title. Scelzi became the 28th different champion in NARC history.

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15-year old rookie Corey Day won a pair of NARC King of the West feature events this past season, including the season final Tribute to GP at the Stockton Dirt Track. (Donna Peter Photo)

Netto passed Sean Becker with only two laps to go in the season finale to give himself a one-point advantage over Tim Kaeding.

Tim Kaeding finished third while Bud Kaeding and Sean Becker completed the top five in the standings.

Billy Aton finished sixth and earned Rookie of the Year honors. Sean Watts, Justin Sanders, Shane Golobic and Joel Myers Jr. rounded out the top 10.

Overall, the season saw 10 different winners over the 21 Fujitsu features.

Dominic Scelzi tallied the most victories with six, while Justin Sanders settled for second with five.

Tim Kaeding and Corey Day earned a pair of wins apiece, and six drivers claimed a single triumph.

This year produced three first-time series winners, the most since four in 2017.

Justin Sanders topped the Hoosier Tire Laps Led category by pacing a whopping 138 circuits.

Eleven different drivers earned ARP Fast Time honors over the course of the year with Sanders and Netto tying for the most with three apiece.

Dominic Scelzi won the most Brown and Miller Racing Solutions Heat Races with seven.

Scelzi and Sanders each collected 36 pounds of bacon with their series-leading four victories in the Sunnyvalley Bacon Trophy Dash.

Billy Aton drove by 104 cars in feature competition to top the Swift Metal Finishing Most Cars Passed category.

 

NARC King of the West Fujitsu General Racing Series race results

March 20 – The Stockton Dirt Track – Salute to LeRoy Van Conett – (DJ Netto, Netto Ag No. 88N)

May 15 – Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway – Peter Murphy Classic – (Dominic Scelzi, Scelzi Enterprises No. 41)

May 22 – Petaluma Speedway – Salute To First Responders – (Justin Sanders, Antaya Motorports No. 16A)

June 11 – Ocean Speedway – 35th Annual Pombo-Sargent Classic – (Tim Kaeding, Bates/Hamilton No. 42x)

June 12 – Placerville Speedway w/SCCT – 30th Annual Dave Bradway Jr. Race – (Dominic Scelzi, Scelzi Enterprises No. 41)

July 10 – Petaluma Speedway – Salute to Baylands Raceway Park (Tim Kaeding, Bates/Hamilton No. 42x)

July 17 – Ocean Speedway – 11th Annual Howard Kaeding Classic (Sean Becker, David Vertullo No. 83V)

July 23 – Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway – Chris & Brian Faria Memorial (Dominic Scelzi, Scelzi Enterprises No. 41)

July 24 – Santa Maria Raceway – Winged Madness (Billy Aton, Aton No. 26)

“Fastest FOUR Days in Motorsports”

Aug. 26 – Merced Speedway – Thursday Night Thunder (Justin Sanders, Works Limited No. 57)

Aug. 27 – Ocean Speedway – Friday Night Showdown (Mitchell Faccinto, Greenberg No. 37)

Aug. 28 – The Stockton Dirt Track – Champions Classic (Dominic Scelzi, Scelzi Enterprises No. 41)

Aug. 29 – Petaluma Speedway – The Four Day Finale (Justin Sanders, Works Limited No. 57)

Sept. 4 – Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico) w/USAC-CRA – Louie Vermeil Classic (Dominic Scelzi, Scelzi Enterprises No. 41)

Sept. 5 – Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico) w/USAC-CRA – Louie Vermeil Classic (Justin Sanders, Works Limited No. 57)

Sept. 25 – Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford) – Jim Turner Memorial (Corey Day, Meyers Construction No. 14)

Oct. 9 – Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford) – Morrie Williams Legends Tribute – Twin 20’s (Dominic Scelzi, Scelzi Enterprises No. 41 & Mitchel Moles, Roth Motorsports No. 83JR)

Oct. 29 – Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford) – $10,000 to win Anthony Simone Classic (Shane Golobic, Matt Wood Racing No. 41 & (non-wing) Tyler Courtney, Roth Motorsports No. 83JR)

Oct. 30 – The Dirt Track at Kern Country Raceway Park (Justin Sanders, Works Unlimited No. 57)

Nov. 6 – The Stockton Dirt Track w/SCCT – 38th Annual Tribute to Gary Patterson (Corey Day, Meyers Construction No. 14)

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