INDIANAPOLIS — Dominic Scelzi received his SPEED SPORT Challenge championship ring during the opening day of the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show Thursday at the Indiana Convention Center.
Scelzi earned the ring by winning the SPEED SPORT Challenge on Aug. 10 at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway.
SPEED SPORT President Ralph Sheheen presented the one-of-a-kind ring, which was provided by Jostens, to Scelzi during a ceremony at the SPEED SPORT booth (#4928).
“The excitement Dominic showed after winning the SPEED SPORT Challenge at Knoxville Raceway in August was infectious and I couldn’t be prouder to personally deliver to him his SPEED SPORT Challenge championship ring,” said Sheheen. “Jostens did an incredible job creating this one-of-a-kind ring and Dominic more than earned the right to wear it. We hope he wears it proudly for years to come.”
The California native earned $10,000 and a guaranteed starting spot in the 58th 5-hour Energy Knoxville Nationals A-main, for the victory. The ring is an added prize.
“The race itself was the biggest moment of my life,” Scelzi said. “I felt like I had a pretty good chance on my preliminary night to lock into the Nationals and that didn’t happen due to a part failure. To come back and win the SPEED SPORT Challenge, that feeling alone was unbelievable and something I’ll never forget.”
The ring is truly one-of-a-kind, as it was created for the 25th annual SPEED SPORT World Challenge. However, it has since been announced the race will not return to the Knoxville Nationals schedule.
“The next thing that hits you is you’ve got this amazing ring that is one of a kind that nobody else has and nobody else is ever going to get now that the race is completed,” Scelzi said. “My dad (Gary Scelzi) has four of those rings from (NHRA) championships and I used to wear them around the house and pretend to be a champion in sprint car racing.
“Now to have one that I’ve earned myself, I just can’t put it into words. Usually I have nothing but words coming out of my mouth, but I’m telling you that I’m at a loss for words.”
The ring is made of silver elite platinum, features approximately a carat and a half of diamonds and is a 50 pennyweight in size.
Jostens Vice President – Motorsports Division Curt Bruns said the chassis for the ring was the same chassis used in the rings awarded to the University of Alabama football team following its victory in last year’s national championship game.
“There was only one of them made, just for the champion,” said Bruns. “I gotta admit, it was exciting for me to be a part of it. When Ralph and I ran into each other at the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame banquet, he just said, ‘Hey, would you be interested in doing something like that?’ I said absolutely right from the get go. It’s a big race and it was fun to be a part of.”
Will the ring stay in a box, safely protected, or will Scelzi wear it regularly?
“It’ll definitely be worn,” Scelzi said. “I’m going to wear this thing proudly for the rest of the PRI show. It’ll be worn a lot. If not every day, then just about every day.”