LAS VEGAS – Gio Scelzi will make both his American racing return and his homecoming with Roth Motorsports during this week’s FVP Platinum Battery Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Scelzi will return to the track where he made his World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series debut a year ago as part of a two-car effort for Dennis and Teresa Roth, alongside teammate Daryn Pittman.
The teenager will have his Midwest car owner, Bernie Stuebgen of Indy Race Parts, as his crew chief while he races with the same Roth team that he cut his teeth with on the West Coast early in his career.
“Running my family car, the Roth cars and Bernie’s cars gives me a lot of experience in different race cars,” Scelzi said. “I’m confident working with Bernie and we know Roth will provide great cars. This is a perfect opportunity to run close to home and it fills my schedule in a good car.”
Scelzi is coming off a banner season, during which he contested a limited schedule with the World of Outlaws and became the youngest winner in series history on the opening night of the prestigious Champion Racing Oil National Open at Pennsylvania’s Williams Grove Speedway.
That kind of success has Scelzi eager to continue his growth this year and confident in those around him.
“Last year was huge for us,” he said. “Having success, whether it’s top fives or top 10s or just running up front, gives you confidence. The year felt like it flew by and now we’re already at next year. I’m really confident going into this season.”
Though this week will mark Scelzi’s season debut in the United States, he already has a victory under his belt in international competition, after capturing the checkered flag in the Presidents Cup on Jan. 16 at Australia’s Avalon Raceway.
Scelzi led 11 of 25 laps in the feature after a back-and-forth battle with James McFadden.
“That’s the first time I’ve really raced in the offseason,” noted Scelzi. “Any time you can stay in the seat and stay active it helps you. I’m looking forward to picking up where we left off.”
Though the competition in the Outlaw field is stiff, Scelzi believes his team can succeed at a high level.
After all, Pittman captured the opening two races of the season in Roth equipment at Volusia Speedway Park during the DIRTcar Nationals earlier in the month.
“We know we’re capable of contending against the Outlaws, and this equipment is capable. Dennis and Teresa always give their drivers everything they need to be able to succeed,” Scelzi told SPEED SPORT in January. “I’m ready to get started again with them and see what we can accomplish together.”
A return to the track where his Outlaw journey began is also something that Scelzi is eager for.
“Last year when I came to Las Vegas, it was all about getting acclimated to everything, because I had never raced with the Outlaws before,” he noted. “The main thing was getting laps and getting used to the speed.
“Now that I have a year under my belt, it’s about showing what we can do. I’m glad to come back to Las Vegas, and hopefully we can leave there with some hardware this week.”