Gio Scelzi Lands World Series Late Model Ride

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Gio Scelzi Lands
Gio Scelzi will drive a late model to open the World Series of Asphalt this weekend at New Smyrna Speedway. (Chuck Stowe photo)

FRESNO, Calif. – Gio Scelzi, who was recently announced as a driver in the ARCA Menards Series West for Bill McAnally Racing, will split his time between the pavement and dirt this year.

His first test comes this Friday and Saturday during the World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna, Fla., where he will pilot a late model for Mark Kraus.

Thursday will offer a practice night before racing gets underway on the weekend.

“If we could run inside the top 10 that’d be a solid effort,” he said. “I think the races are longer so that will be a new experience for me. It will be good to have some laps on the track before the ARCA East race there (on Feb. 10) and get as much experience as I can.”

Scelzi was victorious during his pavement late model debut last September at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, Calif., where he charged from seventh to score the triumph during the 50-lap race.

“It’s a different mentality,” he said. “There’s really nothing you can relate a sprint car to a pavement car. The lap times are slower so you have more time to plan your moves on the track. It’s a different feel as well. The key is to get comfortable quickly and I think that is what leads to success.”

Thursday’s practice will mark his debut at New Smyrna Speedway, which is a high-banked, half-mile oval that opened in 1967. This weekend will also be Scelzi’s first time competing in Florida in any type of race car.

“I’m really excited about what the 2020 season will entail,” he said. “The goal is to start the season on a strong note by producing consistent laps every time I hit the track. I want to thank Mark and his team for the opportunity. I’m really looking forward to it.”