Giovanni Scelzi Posts Podium Finish During Debut in Indy Race Parts Ride
Inside Line Promotions – MANSFIELD, Ohio (May 1, 2018) – Giovanni Scelzi captured a podium finish during his debut with the Bernie Stuebgen owned, Indy Race Parts backed No. 71 team last weekend at Mansfield Motor Speedway.
“It was great,” Scelzi said. “We ran really good and were fast in every event.”
Scelzi kicked off the Sprint Car World Championship on Friday by qualifying 16th quickest out of more than 70 drivers. He then finished where he started – third – in a heat race to lock into the 12th starting position in an A Main.
“I felt like I put myself in position to advance based on qualifying and making it through the heat race,” he said. “Throughout the night I didn’t put myself in a position to get in wrecks or blow tires. I bided my time and stayed out of trouble.”
Scelzi was methodical on the tricky track as he moved forward throughout the main event before picking up steam in the closing laps to score a third-place finish. The result locked him into Saturday’s eight-car dash, which determined the first four rows for the 50-lap main event.
Scelzi redrew the No. 3 to start the dash on the inside of the second row. He quickly gained a position and was running second when his right front tire came off the rim.
“I thought a shock broke,” he said. “I was trying to hang on and not crash.”
Somehow Scelzi held on to the ill-handling race car for the remainder of the dash and a fourth-place finish lined him up on the outside of the second row for the $100,000-to-win A Main.
“It paid good to win and we were there to win,” he said. “Let’s run 50 laps and see what happens. I thought we were a top-three car. I was biding my time and trying to save tires. We made a few small changes during the midpoint caution and felt like we were going to be fast the second half of the race.”
Scelzi spent the first half of the race inside the top five and was running there when the left rear birdcage bolt broke shortly after restarting the second half of the race. He was unable to finish and was credited with a 19 th-place result.
“I’d have liked to see what we had, but that’s how it goes,” he said. “I want to thank Bernie and the team for the opportunity and fast race car.”
Scelzi will be back in the No. 71 this weekend when he will compete on Friday at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and Saturday at Selinsgrove Speedway in Selinsgrove, Pa., with the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour presented by SawBlade.com before wrapping up the weekend at Susquehanna Speedway in York Haven, Pa., on Sunday. It will be his debut at all three tracks.
“I’m really excited to head to Central Pennsylvania,” Scelzi said. “To race at historic tracks like Williams Grove and Selinsgrove, it’s really cool to finally go there. I grew up racing at Williams Grove on video games so I’m excited to race there in real life.”