FRESNO, Calif. – Racing with Roth Motorsports continues to be a Scelzi family affair.
After his older brother Dominic was signed to a King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Sprint Car Series seat with the team last month, Gio Scelzi confirmed Monday afternoon that he will reunite with Dennis and Teresa Roth to race with the World of Outlaws on the West Coast.
The younger Scelzi will compete in both of the Outlaws’ West Coast swings for Roth Motorsports, with plans to run 11 races in the spring before returning for five additional starts in the fall. Scelzi will also race at the Trophy Cup for the Roth family as well.
Scelzi will be a teammate to Roth Motorsports’ full-time World of Outlaws driver, former series champion Daryn Pittman, during the Outlaw races he runs with the organization.
Monday’s announcement was one that Scelzi equated to a homecoming, after he won the King of Kings championship for Roth Motorsports in 2016 and came within a single point of capturing the King of the West-NARC title for the team the next season.
“I have to say a huge thank you to Dennis and Teresa Roth and to Todd Ventura for putting me back in one of their race cars,” Scelzi said. “I’m still amped up and looking forward to my schedule in the Indy Race Parts No. 71 this season, but with Roth being on the West Coast, it worked out to where I could run for them in some of the races that it wouldn’t necessarily make as much sense for Bernie and I to go run with the resources we have.
“I’ve worked there for years. I know where everything is at, I know all the guys who work there and we actually just finished the car over the weekend because I wanted to have it all in order before I left for Australia,” noted Scelzi. “I think Dennis is excited and it’s going to be a great deal, I feel like. It does feel like coming back home, in a way.”
Scelzi’s Midwest and East Coast car owner, Bernie Stuebgen of Indy Race Parts, will travel with him to the West Coast and serve as his crew chief with Roth Motorsports.
That detail is one that Scelzi called “crucial” to maintaining continuity and finding success.
“Bernie being the crew chief for me out west with Roth was one of the deciding factors that led to me agreeing to do this in the first place,” explained Scelzi. “Obviously, they’re different race cars and different motors than what the No. 71 is … but as long as I have Bernie in my pit turning wrenches, I’m confident that we’ll have speed and be pretty good.
“I owe all my success to Bernie. In a way, he pulled me out of the rubble of the Paul Silva deal … after I had all this hype behind me and didn’t perform,” Scelzi continued. “I was down on myself. Racing with the Outlaws, if you have that kind of a slump happen, you question whether or not you’re good enough. We’ve worked hard though, become good friends and found success together. I have no doubt we can continue that out West.”
As far as his goals for the West Coast swing, Scelzi believes he can pick up some victories against the best sprint car drivers in the country.
After all, he’s already done it once, winning his first Outlaw feature last fall during the Williams Grove (Pa.) Speedway National Open.
“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 smiled. “I can’t wait to get started again with them and see what we can accomplish together.”