Dominic Scelzi Earns Second Straight Start in Knoxville Nationals A Main
Inside Line Promotions – KNOXVILLE, Iowa (Aug. 12, 2019) – Dominic Scelzi achieved another new feat by locking into his second straight Knoxville Nationals last weekend during the 59th annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores at Knoxville Raceway, which welcomed more than 100 competitors for the sport’s biggest race of the year.
“It was huge,” he said. “To make the Nationals two years in a row and be as competitive as we were throughout the week of racing is special. It is the most prestigious race and the best drivers in the world compete so to earn our way as one of only 24 drivers into Saturday’s A Main is a great accomplishment for our team.”
The event, which showcased more than 20,000 spectators in attendance, got off to a rough start for Scelzi, who qualified 19th quickest out of more than 50 competitors before he finished fifth in a heat race last Wednesday to open his preliminary night.
“I felt like we had good speed and just didn’t capitalize on it,” he said. “I think I got too anxious and pushed too hard in the heat. I should have rolled the bottom. In hindsight I think I could have got to fourth right away and had a shot at getting to third. I felt like my clock was ticking and I just pushed too hard.”
That night ended with a 10th-place finish in the B Main.
Scelzi rebounded in a big way on Friday during Hard Knox Night, which featured nearly 80 drivers vying for the top four positions that earned a lock-in position into Saturday’s A Main.
Scelzi qualified fifth quickest in his group before he placed third in a heat race, which garnered the fifth starting position in the main event.
“We got a good start and got by Shane (Stewart) early to get to third,” he said. “I was closing on Logan (Schuchart) and I’m pretty sure he saw me on the big screen. He moved up and that got me tight on the cushion. Shane got back by me so that put me back to fourth. Then I felt like now we’re in the final transfer so I’m going to have to make something special happen. Sammy (Swindell) drove by me in turns one and two late in the race. I figured he was running the bottom so I thought I’ll slide him in turns three and four and take his lane. That worked out and I was able to hang onto fourth.”
Scelzi’s fourth-place finish was his 19th top five of the season and it locked him into the final starting spot in the 50-lap main event on Saturday.
“The green flag came out and we got by a couple of guys,” he said. “I got behind Rico (Abreu) and he made a last-minute decision to go to the bottom. I jumped to the top and hit it wrong, which got me into the wall and we broke the steering box. I tried to ride around and hoped we could finish, but it was getting worse and I didn’t want to tear anything up so I pulled off midway through the race.”
Scelzi now heads to North Dakota this weekend to race with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series on Friday at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks during the Second Leg of the Northern Tour and on Saturday at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo during the Duel in the Dakotas.