(Photo by Trent Gower Photography)
Inside Line Promotions – KNOXVILLE, Iowa (Aug. 13, 2019) – Giovanni Scelzi’s latest accomplishment was on the biggest stage in winged sprint car racing.
Scelzi guided the Indy Race Parts backed, Bernie Stuebgen owned No. 71 to a top-10 result during the 59th annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores, which featured more than 100 drivers battling throughout the week at Knoxville Raceway leading up to Saturday’s A Main in front of a sellout crowd of more than 20,000 spectators.
“I’m really happy with it,” Scelzi said. “I’ve become a better driver and a smarter racer. I passed a lot of race cars, which is something I’ve struggled with there. Dirty air is tough there. A top 10 at the Nationals is stout. I’m pretty proud of that.”
And for good reason. Scelzi had to battle throughout the challenging event. He qualified eighth quickest out of more than 50 drivers on Wednesday to kick off his preliminary night. However, a sixth-place result in a heat race fell shy of locking into the main event. That forced him to run the B Main. Scelzi maneuvered from sixth to second place to earn a transfer into the main event, in which he charged from 22nd to 12th to salvage enough points to lock himself into the front row of the B Main on Saturday.
“We had a really fast race car,” he said. “You can drive as hard as you want, but you have to have a car that can go around the track well in order to pass. The curb was big and difficult to race on. We had to work hard the whole week to pass race cars.”
Scelzi lined up second for the 22-lap B Main on Saturday. The top four finishers transferred into the main event and Scelzi made sure he was in one of those positions. He quickly took the lead and powered to an impressive victory by 5.998 seconds over 10-time Knoxville Nationals champion Donny Schatz. That started Scelzi 17th in the main event.
“Early in the race I got stuck behind a couple of cars,” he said. “I think I was in 17th at the halfway caution. I knew the car was good. I just needed to get some open track. We made small changes during that red. I started working the bottom and that’s where I made all my time.”
Scelzi rallied during the final 25-lap segment, which went non-stop, to capture the 10th-place finish. It was his career-best result during the event.
“That was a good goal,” he said. “We didn’t have the best prelims and we had to work really hard every time we were on the track. We actually ran next to Donny Schatz throughout most of the week. We finished second and fourth in the B Main and he beat me by one position in the feature on Wednesday. Then we finished first and second in the B Main on Saturday before he got me by one spot in the main event Saturday. To mirror him and race next to him was pretty special.”
QUICK RESULTS –
Aug. 7 – Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa – Qualifying: 8; Heat race: 6 (7); B Main: 2 (6); Feature: 12 (22).
Aug. 10 – Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa – B Main: 1 (2); Feature: 10 (17).
SEASON STATS –
44 races, 5 wins, 14 top fives, 26 top 10s, 33 top 15s, 35 top 20s
UP NEXT –
MEDIA LINKS –
Here is a link to a highlight and promotional video: #
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Red Line Oil
Red Line Synthetic Oil provides technical support and more than 100 quality products, including motor oils, gear oils, assembly lubes, fuel additives and WaterWetter to the automotive, motorcycle, marine and industrial markets. For more information, visit #.
“Red Line Oil is hands down the best oil in the racing industry,” Scelzi said. “They have supported my family for as long as I can remember and have been a big part of my career.”
Scelzi would like to thank Indy Race Parts, Roth Motorsports, Scelzi Enterprises, Red Rose Transportation, Inc., Whipple Superchargers, Panella Trucking, Fuel Delivery Services, Inc., K&N Filters, Schoenfeld Headers, FK Rod Ends, NAPA Auto Parts, Todd Jorgensen, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Sparco, Allstar Performance, Meridian Steel, Auto Meter and Kenny’s Components for their continued support.
INSIDE LINE PROMOTIONS –
Inside Line Promotions specializes in affordable public relations and media management for motor sports drivers, teams, sponsors, tracks, series, events, organizations and manufacturers. ILP Founder Shawn Miller leverages professional journalism with new media technologies and social networking to improve your exposure and the return on investment for your sponsors.