FRESNO, Calif. — Giovanni Scelzi is coming off a banner season during his rookie year of racing a full-sized sprint car.
Scelzi recorded the King of Kings title thanks to four podiums, seven top fives and 12 top 10s during 17 races in 2016. The effort led to Scelzi being named the North American 360 Sprint Car Poll Rookie of the Year Award from a voting panel of media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and manufacturers.
Scelzi, who is 15 years old, said he is looking to continue that momentum in 2017, as he is aiming to compete in approximately 20 races for Roth Motorsports as well as a handful of other events driving for different car owners, including his family owned No. 41s.
“If I could hit 30 shows I’d be really happy,” Scelzi said. “I’ve been fortunate to have great people around me and it makes my life a lot easier learning. I feel like I’ve come a long way in the last year.”
The first test of his sophomore season is this weekend. Scelzi will pilot a sprint car for Harley Van Dyke on Friday at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif., with the Civil War Sprint Car Series and Saturday at Antioch Speedway in Antioch, Calif., with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour.
“This will be my first race at Silver Dollar Speedway,” Scelzi said. “It looks like such a fun track. It’s a tiny bullring that you have to get up on the wheel. I feel like I need to improve on the bullrings and get more aggressive so this will be a great test.”
Scelzi captured a podium finish during each of his two visits to Antioch Speedway last season. He placed second in only his second-ever sprint car start before garnering a third-place result in the summer.
“The track is definitely small and narrow so it’s an elbows-up bullring,” he said. “There could be 40 or 50 cars so I’m excited to see how it will shake out.
“I want to thank Harley for the opportunity. I think we’ll have a great shot to have a great weekend. I go into every race wanting to win, but if I can come away with two tops fives I’d be really happy.”
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CREDIT: Inside Line Promotions