Gio Scelzi Gets $10,000 Asparagus Score

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Gio Scelzi (41) storms under Mitchell Faccinto at the Stockton Dirt Track. (Joe Shivak photo)

STOCKTON, Calif. — Gio Scelzi waited until two laps to go to pass Mitchell Faccinto and win the opening night of the Asparagus Festival at the Stockton Dirt Track on Friday night.

The Fresno, Calif., hot shoe drove the family owned Scelzi Enterprises No. 41 to a $10,000 payday.

Faccinto had led the first 28 laps after starting second and had to settle for a disappointing runner-up finish.

Scelzi, who started third, waited until the leader had to deal with slower traffic and made a bold pass coming out of the second turn of the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds oval.

Faccinto and polesitter Ryan Robinson led the 24-car field to starter Ed Entz’s green flag. It was Faccinto’s blue Western Metal No. 37 who would grab the lead exiting turn two.

The race would eventually slow with a caution on lap six when Cole Macedo and Sean Becker tangled in the third turn. Becker would go to the work area for repairs while Macedo would restart in the rear.

After a double-file restart, Willie Croft and Justyn Cox bumped coming out of the fourth turn. The two cars slowed dramatically, but caused no caution flag. Croft would exit the race, while Cox’s No. 8r suffered bottom front panel damage that later caused a yellow-flag period.

The race went red on lap 10 when Andy Forsberg took a violent flip on the frontstretch near the flag stand.

The double-file restart put Scelzi right next to Faccinto, but the Hanford’s youth No. 37 once again held off Scelzi’s challenge when the yellow lights immediately came on for Colby Copeland, who stopped on the backstretch and forced another restart.

This time, the cars would take the green in single file order.

Cox would cause the next caution when he pulled off the track due to the previously damaged under panel which was dragging the track. Several mid-pack battles were developing, including the battle for sixth between the Kaeding brothers, Bud and Tim.

Kyle Offill would lose the right front wheel assembly and spun in the third turn to bring out a lap 18 caution. It would be the race’s final slowdown, and the last 12 laps were a high-speed battle between Faccinto and Scelzi.

The two caught slower traffic and Scelzi jetted past the leader with a bold pass going down the backstretch.

Thirty-seven cars were in the pits for the first of two nights of racing under the Sprint Car Challenge Tour.

The finish:

Gio Scelzi, Mitchell Faccinto, Shane Golobic, Tim Kaeding, Rico Abreu, Kyle Hirst, Bud Kaeding, Tony Gualda, DJ Netto, Ryan Robinson, Jason Statler, Tanner Carrick, Justin Sanders, Nathan Rolfe, Geoff Ensign, Cole Macedo, Blake Carrick, Sean Becker, Kyle Offill, Colby Copeland, Justyn Cox, Andy Forsberg, Willie Croft, Garen Linder.