TULARE, Calif. — Though he now spends much of his time racing across the country, Gio Scelzi was born in California and honed his skills in the Golden State. He made sure to remind everyone of that fact in World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car victory lane Friday night at Thunderbowl Raceway.
“California over the Outlaws,” the Fresno, Calif. native boasted after surviving an intense 35-lap main event.
The triumph kicked off the six-race spring California swing for the Outlaws and marked Scelzi’s fourth series win and the first in his home state.
The remainder of the top-10 included a handful of interesting names and noteworthy finishers.
- Claiming the runner-up spot was David Gravel.
The Big Game Motorsports pilot continued his hot start to the season as he chases his first series title. With his second-place result, Gravel has earned top-five finishes in five of the six features this season and finished in the top 10 in all six races. The 2019 Knoxville Nationals champion owns a 3.5 average finish in the young season.
- Making his first appearance at the Thunderbowl since winning the 2013 Trophy Cup was Kyle Larson.
The reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion charged from ninth to complete the top three, marking his fifth WoO podium in his last eight starts dating back to last year.
- Three-time and defending World of Outlaws champion Brad Sweet claimed the final spot in the top five.
The Grass Valley, Calif., native continued his recent stretch of consistency at Tulare with his sixth top-five in his last seven starts.
- After an eventful night, the sixth position was claimed by James McFadden.
An incident in his heat race put McFadden in a hole early in the night, but the Australian rallied with a main event drive from 21st to sixth.
- Last year, All Star champion Tyler Courtney debuted at Tulare in the Trophy Cup driving for Roth Motorsports. He returned to the third-mile track this weekend aboard the Works Limited No. 57.
“Sunshine” finished his first night in a 410 at Tulare with a ninth-place effort, his 15th career WoO top-10.
- Leading the way for California natives who still primarily race in the Golden State was Shane Golobic, who rounded out the top 10.
Golobic now owns top-10 finishes with the in his last four World of Outlaws starts.
“Top 10 with the Outlaws is nothing to hang your head about,” Golobic said. “The track did get better. It got slick and wide in (turns) three and four and kind of choppy with some character in (turns) one and two. I had fun, for sure. You’ve got to race really hard with these guys or you’re going to go backward.”
- Another notable name in the rundown was Kaleb Montgomery.
Montgomery made his WoO debut and locked up a slot in the 24-car feature by claiming the fourth spot in his heat. Though, he pulled off track on the 19th circuit, just earning his way into the show on a night where 32 cars signed in was an accomplishment.