TULARE, Calif. — Mitchell Faccinto led all 30 laps Thursday night at Thunderbowl Raceway to take the $4,000 winner’s check, but perhaps more importantly, earned 100 points toward his quest for a Trophy Cup title.
Faccinto started on the pole in the 24-car grid after transferring from a B main by finishing fourth, the final transfer position. The A main inverted 12 by points, which worked well for the former micro sprint racer.
An 88-car field of winged 360s jammed the Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway pit area and were split into two qualifying groups.
Each group has a fast qualifier so tied at 150 points after qualifying were Shane Golobic (13.613) and Tim Shaffer (13.921).
Heats were for the fastest 40 in each group, inverting six by time. The heat winner plus the highest point car from each heat advanced to the A main. Heats offered 36 points for a win with a 3 point drop.
Preliminary mains followed eight heats and a last chance qualifier for 81st and higher in qualifying. The C main was straight up by points and moved the top four to one of a pair of B mains. The B mains inverted 6 by points and moved the top four from each to join the 16 heat race cars that qualified for the A main. Accumulated points determined the A main lineup, inverting 12 by points.
The three-eighths-mile track offered a top and bottom line and Faccinto stuck to the bottom throughout the race. Gio Scelzi ran second with Jac Haudenschild third until a car bounced off of the turn-four berm on lap 15 and Haudenschild pitted with a flat right-rear tire following the skirmish.
That elevated Justyn Cox to third and G. Scelzi began throwing sliders at Faccinto into turn three. Several times Scelzi completed the pass but a crossover move by Faccinto allowed him to retain the lead at the line.
Dominic Scelzi used the same turn-three slider maneuver to take third on lap 25 and follow his younger brother to the line for an all micro sprint graduate podium. Gio started fifth and Dominic 10thand used the top line to join Faccinto for the top three.
Several drivers battled issues during the evening as Kasey Kahne’s ride had engine woes during qualifying. Shane Golobic drove most of the main with chassis problems, Blake Hahn broke an axle after seven laps of the main and Haudenschild’s flat tire ruined a promising run.
Friday will repeat the opening night format except the two qualifying groups are switched and the order within each group is reversed.
Mitchell Faccinto, Giovanni Scelzi, Dominic Scelzi, Cory Eliason, Rico Abreu, Justyn Cox, Tim Shaffer, Jason Solwold, D.J. Netto, Shane Golobic, Tanner Thorson, Bud Kaeding, Ryan Bernal, Matt Peterson, Michael Kofoid, Steven Tiner, Kasey Kahne, Willie Croft, Kalib Henry, Jac Haudenschild, Kaleb Montgomery, Cole Macedo, Colby Johnson, Blake Hahn.