Gio Scelzi earns first win in the ARCA Menards Series West, NAPA Auto Parts 125 on Friday evening in Roseville, California.
Figuring he had not been aggressive enough in his eight ARCA Menards Series West starts, Gio Scelzi took command at the end of Friday night’s NAPA Auto Parts 125 presented by CashInTheCan.com.
Scelzi at 18 years of age and from Fresno, California, made up for his perceived shortcomings on the last lap at All American Speedway in Roseville, California.
Gio Scelzi Earns First Win in the ARCA West Series
Coming to the white flag, Scelzi saw what he describes as a ‘bobble’ from then-race leader Taylor Gray, and the driver of the No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts / Curb Records Toyota took advantage. Scelzi drove underneath to wrestle the lead away from Gray crossing the stripe, a move that sent the No. 17 Ford Performance Ford spinning and sent Scelzi to Victory Lane.
“I had such a good car the whole time,” said Scelzi, a rookie who picked up his first ARCA Menards win in his ninth West start. “I can’t thank my guys enough. I’ve never had a car where I could run guys down and pass them like that. It was unreal.
“I knew [Gray] was struggling. I didn’t pass him on the outside; I didn’t know if I was going to be able to get him. And then he bobbled there, and I just, you know, kind of slammed through the door.”
Scelzi’s victory gave Roseville-based Bill McAnally Racing its 104th overall win in ARCA Menards Series East/West competition. Scelzi also became the third BMR driver to win in 2020, joining Jesse Love and Gracie Trotter.
Gray, started Friday night’s race upfront after earning the General Tire Pole Award in qualifying. Gray finished seventh after leading 116 of 125 laps on the 0.333-mile oval. The 15-year-old DGR-Crosley driver was making his third ARCA Menards Series West start of the season. Friday night was his first time competing at All American.
Todd Souza, the 55-year-old from Watsonville, California, was, in his words, in “the right place at the right time” to earn his second-place finish. The one-time West Series race winner (2008) picked up his best finish of the 2020 season.
Trevor Huddleston took third as the highest finishing Ford in the race.
Love, the 15-year-old ARCA West points leader who struggled for much of Friday night’s race, salvaged a fourth-place finish. Blaine Perkins, the driver who is chasing Love in the championship standings, rounded out the top five.
Trotter entered the All American race third in ARCA Menards Series West points. She finished tenth Friday after a late incident. That finish, along with her BMR teammate Scelzi’s win, moves the two even for third in the point standings. They each have 408 points.
Love now has a 17-point advantage over Perkins for the lead with two races remaining.
Trotter on Friday finished behind Holley Hollan, Gray, Jack Wood and Takuma Koga to round out the top 10.
Friday night’s race at All American Speedway was the first leg of a weekend doubleheader. The ARCA West then went to Kern County Raceway for the second race. They traveled roughly 300 miles from Roseville to Bakersfield California for Sunday’s NAPA ENEOS 125 event.
Saturday and Sunday races are available On Demand for TrackPass members on NBC Gold.