CONCORD, N.C. — One more year.
That’s what Dominic Scelzi is giving himself to travel the United States racing sprint cars. After that, the California driver says, he’ll be finished criss-crossing the country and will instead focus on racing in his home state.
“Next year is going to be my last year traveling,” Scelzi said during the Can-Am World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. “I work during the week with our family business now. I’ve been given the go-ahead to race as hard and as much as I want to next year, but then at the year I’ve got to go to work full time.”
The 22-year-old Californian works for the family business, Scelzi Enterprises, and his responsibilities have expanded in recent years. As a result, Scelzi said he needs to spend more time focused on his day job.
“It’s bittersweet, because I do love traveling, but being a part of the family business and being more and more involved over the last year and a half has gotten me really hungry to learn more and take on more of a control role,” Scelzi explained. “I’m excited about that.”
Scelzi has enjoyed success on the road and at home. Two years ago, he won the SPEED SPORT World Challenge at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway, which earned him a spot in the Knoxville Nationals A-Main for the first time in his career. He qualified for the Nationals A-Main again this year.
“We’ve made it (the A-Main) twice. That’s two more times than I expected to make it,” Scelzi said.
This season Scelzi has split his time between the family-owned No. 41s and the Roth Motorsports No. 83, which was based in California, earning eight wins along the way. Driving for the Roth team, Scelzi won five King of the West by NARC Fujitsu Sprint Car Series events and finished third in the standings.
“Our whole goal traveling was to learn as much as we possibly could and see where I stacked up against the big guys,” Scelzi said. “My ultimate life goal is to win a World of Outlaws race. We’ve come very close over the last three years. We haven’t done it. That’s my goal. Until we do that, I’m not going to be happy with any accomplishment.
“I like to look at looking making the Knoxville Nationals the last two years, winning the World Challenge. We won the first Louie Vermeil (Classic) with wings on it. We’ve won the California Dirt Classic,” Scelzi noted. “There are a lot of big races we’ve won over the last three years and I feel it’s been a constant build up. We’ve had lulls, but even in the lulls we’ve had brightness. We’ve had a constant build up to what I imagine is next year.”
Scelzi has a lot to look forward to next season. Though he’s not yet sure if he’ll be back in the Roth Motorsports No. 83 to chase the King of the West title again, he does know he’ll be working with veteran crew chief and mechanic Jimmy Carr with the family team. Carr recently left Tony Stewart Racing and moved to California, where he will work with the Scelzi Motorsports team.
“Next year traveling is going to be huge, but still the focus on California is there,” Scelzi said. “I want to build the NARC series up. I want to build racing in California up. I have nothing bad to say about California racing. To be one of the quote-unquote big names or a guy like Tim Kaeding or Bud Kaeding, guys like that who have won a lot of races in California, I don’t mind being one of those guys.”
While his focus beginning in 2021 will be on his home state, Scelzi said it’s a safe bet he’ll still make trips to Knoxville Raceway for the Knoxville Nationals most years. He admits he’ll miss traveling, but part of him believes the time is nearing for him to stay closer to home.
“Before I always felt like I was home and it was a hinderance because I’m watching the guys I want to beat and the guys I want to race without racing,” Scelzi said. “Now more so I’m getting to that age where I really do enjoy being home and I really love the family business. I’m not upset racing at home.
“I am going to miss the traveling for sure, but I’m going to say my chances are pretty high that if I had to bet on it, we’d probably end up at the Knoxville Nationals every year. Maybe the week before for the 360 Nationals. I don’t want to rule out traveling completely, but Knoxville will probably be my only trip of the year.”
Scelzi noted he’s working to get in better shape and wants his competitors to know he and his team mean business when they roll into a track.
“I’m working as hard as I can. I’ve just started a weight program. I’m even drinking light beer right now,” Scelzi said with a laugh. “I’m going to try really hard to get down to what I weighed three or four years ago before I broke my back. I want to get in shape and I want to mean business. When I come to the race track, I want every guy in the pit area, whether it’s an Outlaw race or a NARC race or whatever it is, to know we have a shot.”
Next year may be his last season on the road, but odds are high that Scelzi will always be smiling when he climbs into a race car.
“As long as I’m racing a sprint car, I’m pretty happy,” Scelzi said.