CALISTOGA, Calif. — Dominic Scelzi passed Chase Johnson with only three laps remaining to win Saturday’s King of the West/NARC Sprint Car Series feature at Calistoga Speedway during the Louie Vermeil Classic.
The victory was worth $6,000 for Scelzi and the Dennis and Teresa Roth HR Livestock Transportation KPC team. It was their fourth series win of the season.
Johnson claimed the Sunnyvalley Bacon dash to earn the right to start the 25-lap affair on the pole. He jumped out to a healthy lead and despite some early race cautions consistently held his closest pursuers at bay. Ryan Bernal moved into the hunt and reeled in the frontrunner as the pair negotiated slower traffic midway through the event.
Bernal managed to get past Johnson in the third corner on the 16th circuit and quickly expanded his advantage over the next mile and a half until his right rear tire shredded. This brought out the caution and handed the lead back to Johnson for the restart.
Both Scelzi and Willie Croft immediately jumped into the fray and the front trio battled wheel-to-wheel for a couple of laps until Johnson’s ride sputtered going down the front straightaway. Both drivers jumped on the opportunity to get past the leader. Scelzi would hold on to his advantage and hold off Croft to score the win.
“I got lucky,” said Scelzi. “Chase had a good car for most of the race, until I saw it sputter. That got me fired up because I knew I had a shot. I’m just glad I could get this win for my team at Calistoga. It’s special to win here.”
Croft secured second in his Amerikote/Holey Smokes BBQ sprinter. Eighth starter Bud Kaeding locked down the third spot in the Alviso Rock Maxim.
King of the West by NARC championship point leader D.J. Netto finished fourth in the Netto Ag/Rotella Shell KPC. Bullet Impressions fast qualifier Rico Abreu rounded out the top five in his Abreu Vineyards/McDonald-sponsored car.
Dominic Scelzi, Willie Croft, Bud Kaeding, D.J. Netto, Rico Abreu, Colby Copeland, Mitchell Faccinto, Jason Statler, Sean Watts, Chase Johnson, Nathan Rolfe, Geoff Ensign, JoJo Helberg, Matt DeMartini, Nathan Shank, Shane Golobic, Ryan Bernal, Kenny Allen, Shane Hopkins