Mitchell Faccinto wins Trophy Cup opener over the Scelzi boys

Faccinto Takes Cup Opener

 by Ron Rodda

Tulare, CA…Mitchell Faccinto led all 30 laps Thursday to take the $4000 winner’s check, but perhaps more importantly, earn 100 points towards his quest for a Trophy Cup title.

Faccinto started on the pole in the 24-car grid after transferring from a B main with a fourth, the final transfer position. The A main inverted 12 by points which worked well for the former micro sprint racer.

An 88 car field of winged 360s jammed the Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway pit area and were split into two qualifying groups. Each group has a fast qualifier so tied at 150 points after qualifying were Shane Golobic (13.613) and Tim Shaffer (13.921).

Heats were for the fastest 40 in each group, inverting six by time. The heat winner plus the highest point car from each heat advanced to the A main. Heats offered 36 points for a win with a 3 point drop.

Preliminary mains followed 8 heats and a last chance qualifier for 81st and higher in qualifying. The C main was straight up by points and moved the top 4 to one of a pair of B mains. The B mains inverted 6 by points and moved the top 4 from each to join the 16 heat race cars that qualified for the A main. Accumulated points determined the A main lineup, inverting 12 by points. 

The 3/8 mile track offered a top and bottom line and Faccinto stuck to the bottom throughout the race. Gio Scelzi ran 2nd with Jac Haudenschild 3rd until a car bounced off of the turn 4 berm on lap 15 and Haudenschild pitted with a flat right rear following the skirmish.

The elevated Justyn Cox to 3rd and G. Scelzi began throwing sliders at Faccinto into turn 3. Several times Scelzi completed the pass but a crossover move by Faccinto allowed him to retain the lead at the line.

Dominic Scelzi used the same turn 3 slider maneuver to take 3rd on lap 25 and follow his younger brother to the line for an all micro sprint graduate podium. Gio started 5th and Dominic 10th and used the top line to join Faccinto for the top 3..

Several drivers battled issues during the evening as Kasey Kahne’s ride had engine woes during qualifying. Shane Golobic drove most of the main with chassis problems, Blake Hahn broke an axle after 7 laps of the main, and Haudenschild’s flat ruined a promising run.

Friday will repeat the opening night format except the two qualifying groups are switched and the order within each group is reversed.

A main–Mitchell Faccinto, Giovanni Scelzi, Dominic Scelzi, Cory Eliason, Rico Abreu, Justyn Cox, Tim Shaffer, Jason Solwold, D. J. Netto, Shane Golobic, Tanner Thorson, Bud Kaeding, Ryan Bernal, Matt Peterson, Michael Kofoid, Steven Tiner, Kasey Kahne, Willie Croft, Kalib Henry, Jac Haudenschild, Kaleb Montgomery, Cole Macedo, Colby Johnson, Blake Hahn

Photo courtesy of Paul Trevino