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Scelzi Wants More At Peter Murphy Classic

FRESNO, Calif. — At last year‘s Peter Murphy Classic, Dominic Scelzi celebrated the most sentimental victory of his career amid a dominant weekend.

Having just claimed the $11,000-to-win NARC Fujitsu General Sprint Car portion of the event, Scelzi parked on the frontstretch of Tulare, Calif.‘s Thunderbowl Raceway where none other than a tearful Peter Murphy himself waited to greet him with a hug.

Murphy, who nearly lost his life in a sprint car accident in 2013, has long been one of Scelzi‘s best friends and played a key role in encouraging the Fresno, Calif. driver to persevere through his toughest days in racing.

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

After the emotional victory lane last year, Scelzi strapped into his 360 sprint car and won that race, too, completing a clean sweep of the two-night, four-feature event. And this coming weekend Scelzi is hungry for more checkered flags in what he‘s described as one of his favorite events.

“Last year was a dream come true,” Scelzi said. “It couldn‘t have gotten any better, so looking forward to this weekend obviously the goal has got to be the same. We‘re going to do our darndest to go in there and go four for four.”

This year‘s running will mark the eighth edition of The Peter Murphy Classic, which begins on Friday at Thunderbowl Raceway with the finale set for the following night at the Murphy-promoted Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, Calif.

The event has already blossomed into a fan and competitor favorite in The Golden State, and an adjustment this year has added to the prestige. In previous years, the Sprint Car Challenge Tour 360 sprint cars would headline one night and NARC the other. This weekend NARC and SCCT will compete on both nights at both tracks.

“I think it‘s incredible that the race seems to continue to grow every year,” Scelzi said. “Now we‘re back to two nights, but it‘s two nights at two different tracks with the two top series in California, which I think is wonderful.”

Scelzi will roll into the weekend with both the numbers and momentum in his favor.

On the statistical side, the 25-year-old won six of the nine sprint car races contested at Thunderbowl Raceway last year across 410 and 360 competition, including both NARC events. At Keller Auto Speedway Scelzi owns a trio of NARC victories, including one in each of the past two seasons and a pair of SCCT triumphs.

Scelzi celebrates on top of his car after scoring his 50th career victory. (Devin Mayo Photo)

“Over the last, I want to say, three years they‘ve been two of the best racetracks for me overall,” Scelzi claimed. “So, I‘m excited to get there. I know with Hanford‘s reshaping that‘s changed quite a bit, but at the end of the day I‘m excited to get back to two racetracks that we‘ve had a lot of success at.”

Looking to the reigning NARC‘s champion‘s most recent results this year, his stock has been rising heading into the Peter Murphy Classic.

Less than two weeks ago Scelzi made his first trip to victory lane in 2022 at Chico, Calif.‘s Silver Dollar Speedway. The next night he finished third with NARC in Chico to claim the early season point lead in his bid for back-to-back series titles.

And while another championship is important to the Californian, Scelzi has his eyes set squarely on victory rather than consistency as he looks to return to his dominant 2021 form, when he led the nation with 22 sprint car wins.

“I know we‘ve got points on the line both nights with NARC,” Scelzi said. “But in reality we‘re more worried about rolling in there and trying to win races.”

From the emotion of last year‘s Peter Murphy Classic and Scelzi‘s mindset entering the 2022 edition, this event goes way beyond chasing points and a long-term focus.

The Peter Murphy Classic provides Scelzi an annual opportunity to show the former racer how much he appreciates their friendship and continued efforts for sprint car racing with two nights of putting forth every ounce of talent he has. And what better way to fully honor his friend than by taking home the trophies in the event that Murphy himself works so diligently to organize?

“I‘m up for the challenge, and I know my guys are,” Scelzi said. “The Peter Murphy Classic, every year, it‘s one of those races I can‘t help but look forward to.”

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