Sprint Car Insider – Race Reports. HANFORD, Calif. (February 25, 2019) > Hanford’s own, D.J Netto, drove his way to victory, in a wire- to- wire performance Saturday night, at Keller Auto Speedway, during Round- One of the inaugural Kings of Thunder series.
Round one kicked off Saturday night with 23, 360 Sprint car. Twenty three entrants ended up making the trek to Hanford in search of becoming the very first winner of the all-new Kings of Thunder Series. In addition, 22 IMCA Sport Mods, joined the field, and 12 Western Racesaver 305’s. Opening night at Keller Auto Speedway set the tone on the season with an unforgettable night of racing.
“It was the best opening night we’ve had in five years,” said Head Official, Denny Maurice. “Racing is back at Kings Speedway.”
As for the Kings of Thunder 360 Series, qualifying kicked off the night offering a glimpse of what was to come. Dj Netto turned up first on the board with a blistering fast lap-time over Jared Faria and Mitchell Faccinto. It would set the stage for the rest of his night.
After rolling off from the fourth spot, Netto was able to climb to the front, and pick up the heat race win, over Craig Stitham, and Scott Parker. Tucker Worth held on to win his heat over second-quick, Jared Faria, which landed him in the dash. Mitchell Faccinto took home the third, and final, 360 heat race of the night.
The dash would be the only race on the night that Dj Netto couldn’t cross the checkers first. Instead it was Tucker Worth who held on to the win, earning him the pole position in the inaugural King of Thunder Main Event.
In the Western Racesaver 305 Class, the night belonged to Kyle Rasmussen. Rasmussen earned quick time, took fourth in his heat, and stated the main event from 6th. The Keller Auto Speedway crowd was treated to a show when fifth, and sixth place starters, Mike Schott (5), and Kyle Rasmussen (6), climbed through the field to take the top two positions. Rasmussen capped the night with the round one victory over Mike Schott and Brooklyn “Pretty” Holland third.
The IMCA Sport Mod division’s return to Keller Auto Speedway certainly did not disappoint either. A staggering 22 cars came to battle on brisk February night in Hanford. The air may have been cold, but the action was hot. Michael Johnson in his number 22c was able to hold off a fierce charge from Austin Manzella and Kevin Johnson, who came through the field, from 8th and 9th. They put on a ferocious charge but in the end it was Michael Johnson earning the spoils of victory.
From there it was time for the first Kings of Thunder 360 Sprint Car main event in history. Tucker Worth and Dj Netto would lead the field to green for the first main event of 2019 at Keller Auto Speedway and the first ever, Kings of Thunder, points paying feature.
From the beginning it was Dj Netto who stepped out front and set the pace. As the field raced behind him a huge crash would ensue. Craig Stitham and Grant Duinkerken were part of a violent incident on the front stretch that gave race fans a glimpse into the heroic instincts of two drivers, and how much a fellow racer means to them. As the red flag waved Dominic Scelzi and Mitchell Faccinto both charged into the wreckage to offer immediate assistance, and extinguish any possible threat of fire.
It was truly a heroic sight.
After the wreckage was cleaned up and announced that both drivers were okay, it was time for the conclusion of the main event. Once again Netto jumped out to the lead and slipped away. However the battle was behind him. Mitchell Faccinto and Dominic Scelzi now found themselves dicing for position on the track. Faccinto was able to charge past Tucker Worth and claim the runner up bid while Scelzi got into third. Scelzi started his bid for a podium from all the way back in the 10th spot. It was a noticeable charge during Scelzi’s 2019 California debut for Roth Motorsports.
When the checkered flag waved on the inaugural Kings of Thunder main event it was none other than D.j Netto. Netto nabbed himself yet another big win on the Keller Auto Speedway surface. He now sits atop the points after nearly completing the night sweep. Mitchell Faccinto brought the 37 home second, followed by Scelzi, Worth, and Scott Parker your top 5.
The Kings of Thunder series drops the green flag on Round 2, March 9th at The Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Ca, alongside the World of Outlaws. As for Keller Auto Speedway, the next time the lights come on will be during World of Outlaws action on March 29th. Keller Auto Speedway is proud to host the Greatest Show in Dirt once again after a year long absence.
February 23, 2019
Keller Auto Speedway
Kings of Thunder
A Feature 1
Pos, Start, Driver, Car
1. 2. – D.J. Netto. 88N
2. 4. Mitchell Faccinto. 37
3. 10. Dominic Scelzi 83
4. 1. Tucker Worth 33
5. 3. Scott Parker. 12P
6. 6. Zane Blanchard 7Z
7. 9. Mathew Moles. 10
8. 13. Bud Kaeding. 0
9. 16. Danny Faria Jr. 67V
10. 14. Jace VanderWeerd 88
11. 5. Jared Faria. 10F
12. 19. Joey Ancona. 88A
13. 18. Jesse Love 5H
14. 22. Vaughn Schott. 67
15. 8. Craig Stidham. 3
16. 7. Grant Duinkerken 67G
17. 21. Landon Hurst. 9S
18. 20. Geoffrey Strole 09S
19. .11. Cole Macedo. 21
20. .17. Brendan Warmerdam. 81
21. 15 Tanner Boul 99T
22. 12. Kaleb Montgomery 3K
23. 23. Chris Ennis
A Feature 1
Pos, Start, Driver, Car
1. 6. Kyle Rasmussen 38
2. 5. Mike Schott 22
3. 3. Brooklyn Holland 2
5. 2. Brendan Warmerdam 75
6. 8. Connor Danell 5D
7. 9. Ryan Delisle63
8. 10. Phil Heynen 31H
9. 12. Lance Jackson 18S
10. 1. Michael Pombo35
11. 13. Brandon Emmett 12
12. 7. Kevin MacIntosh 14K
DNS. Mauro Simone 5S
IMCA Sport Mods
A Feature 1
Pos, Start, Driver, Car
1. 3. Michael Johnson 22C
2. 8. Austin Manzella 04M
3. 9. Kevin Johnson 20S
4. 2. Jarrod Mounce 05
5. 7. Keith Brown Jr. 128
6. 6. Jason Nation 83
7. 11. Michael Dean 48
8. 5. Guy Ahlwardt 10
9. 12. Chris Falkenberg 3CF
10. 14. Gavyn Manning 51G
11. 15. Jack Aguiar AR15
12. 16. Donnie Hampl 30
13. 1. Kelly Wilkinson 96
14. 17 Aaron Farrell 7-7
15. 19 Jason Pugh 5B
16. 18. Chris McKellar 18C
17. 22 Preston Martin 11P
18. 10 Garrett Jernagan4
19. 4 Kyle Wood 21
DNS – Austin Ruskauff 88C
DNS – Dave Smart 78
DNS- Todd Carlock NO7
Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds is proud to celebrate its 35th year of operation. Make sure to come visit us to celebrate and continue the lasting legacy the Track has built so far.
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History will be made during the 35th anniversary of racing at Kings Speedway and with the all-new Kings of Thunder series.
“The Kings of Thunder Series will be held across two tracks this coming year, with eight events taking place at the Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford and six shows occurring at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare.
Kings of Thunder Winged 360 Sprint Car Series 2019 schedule
Saturday February 23: Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford
Saturday March 9: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare (alongside World of Outlaws)
Saturday April 20: Keller Auto Speedway
Saturday April 27: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway
Saturday May 4: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway
Saturday May 11: Keller Auto Speedway
Friday May 17: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway (Peter Murphy Classic with SCCT)
Saturday May 18: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway (Peter Murphy Classic with SCCT)
Saturday June 15: Keller Auto Speedway (with Sprint Car Challenge Tour)
Saturday June 22: Keller Auto Speedway
Saturday August 10: Keller Auto Speedway
Saturday September 7: Keller Auto Speedway
Saturday September 28: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway
Saturday October 12: Keller Auto Speedway (Cotton Classic with SCCT)
Saturday November 16: Keller Auto Speedway (Winged 360 Turkey Night non-points)”
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