D.J. Netto Is Hanford King Of Thunder

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D.J. Netto won Saturday's King of Thunder sprint car feature at California's Keller Auto Speedway. (Devin Mayo photo)

HANFORD, Calif. — D. J. Netto picked up the opening round of the new King of Thunder 360 Sprint Car Series at the Keller Auto Speedway on Saturday night.

The hometown youth piloted his familiar Netto Ag No. 88n, leading all 30 laps of the feature at the King’s Country Fairgrounds dirt oval.

Fellow Hanford native Mitchell Faccinto finished a close second, followed by Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi.

Faccinto drove the blue No. 37 sponsored by the Western Metal Company while Scelzi was in the No. 83 Roth Motorsports owned car he will campaign this season. Polesitter Tucker Worth and Scott Parker filled out the top five.

The event kicked off a 14-race series to be held at the Hanford oval and the nearby Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway. The new series will be contesting for a $10,000 championship prize and the winner will be crowned the inaugural “King of Thunder.”

Netto and Worth led the 23-car field to the start with Netto’s stout No. 88N getting the lead going into the first turn. The race would go 10 laps before the first caution caused by Kaleb Montgomery who stopped coming out of turn two.

Cole Macedo who started mid pack had just passed Faccinto for the runner up spot. On the restart Macedo went into the first turn too hot, got sideways and a slow roll over in front of the full field bringing out the race’s first red flag.

The race track would go red again on lap 24 when Craig Stidham and Grant Duinkerken crashed hard going into the first turn. Both drivers were able to walk away but Stidham’s brand new race car looked to be destroyed.

The last six laps were run incident free with Faccinto initially challenging Netto for one lap but then having to settle for the runner-up finish.

Kyle Rasmussen won the 25 lap IMCA Western RaceSaver sprint car feature over Mike Schott and Brooklyn Holland.

The Sport Mod feature was won by Michael Johnson.

The finish:

D.J. Netto, Mitchell Faccinto, Dominic Scelzi, Tucker Worth, Scott Parker, Zane Blanchard, Mathew Moles, Bud Kaeding, Danny Faria, JR, Jace VanderWeed, Jared Faria, Joey Ancona, Jesse Love, Vaughn Schott, Craig Stidham, Grant Duinkerken, Landon Hurst, Geoffrey Strole, Cole Macedo, Brendan Warmerdam, Tanner Boul, Kaleb Montgomery, Chris Ennis.