July 11, 2024 | By Alex Nietem, WOO Sprint Car PR

Giovanni Scelzi Tops Thrilling JB Memorial at Beaver Dam

Photo by Trent Gower

BEAVER DAM, Wisc. — Beaver Dam Raceway continues to be a special place for Giovanni Scelzi and the KCP Racing crew.

Two years ago, it’s where current crew chief Adam Clark took the reins of the team to get his start calling the shots for a major Sprint Car operation. Then last year it’s where Clark got his first World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car victory as a crew chief when Scelzi took the car to Victory Lane at the Wisconsin oval.

And on Wednesday night Beaver Dam became the site of another noteworthy moment for the No. 18 team. Scelzi topped a thrilling three-way battle between himself, Michael “Buddy” Kofoid, and Emerson Axsom to make Beaver Dam the first track where the Californian owns multiple victories with The Greatest Show on Dirt. The Series sophomore snatched the lead on Lap 15 and held off a late charge from Kofoid with a slick move in traffic to top the Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial for a $20,000 payday.

“Man, what an incredible racetrack, incredible crowd on a Wednesday night. I’m so glad the Outlaws decided to reschedule this one,” Scelzi said. “This is turning into one of my favorite racetracks, for sure. It’s so nicely worked, smooth, two lanes – a top and a bottom. It kind of developed a middle at both ends, too. I knew the lappers were damn near three-wide in front of me, so I kind of had to play it safe but make my own lane as well. Great job to my guys.”

The win marked the third of 2024 for Scelzi and the ninth overall of “Hot Sauce’s” career with the World of Outlaws. Three victories are already a personal best in one season for the Fresno, CA native. Scelzi became the 10th different driver to top multiple World of Outlaws races at Beaver Dam through the Series’ 35 visits to the 1/3 mile.

The 40-lap finale was brought to green by Kofoid and Axsom with Scelzi close behind in fourth. Kofoid jumped ahead to the early advantage as Scelzi rocketed from fourth to second in the opening set of corners. Axsom quickly drove back by Scelzi and went right to work on Kofoid.

The door opened on Lap 3 as Axsom ducked under Kofoid and slid ahead of him to take over the lead in the Klaasmeyer/Petry No. 27.

Axsom wasted no time building an advantage in pursuit of his first World of Outlaws win. Behind him the battle brewed for second as Scelzi locked his sights on the Roth Motorsports No. 83. Scelzi stole the spot from Kofoid on Lap 5 but surrendered it back the following lap.

As the first quarter of the 40 laps came to a close Scelzi’s machine began to come to life. He used a big run down the back straightaway to slip under Kofoid and reclaim second on Lap 14. Then on the next circuit he got another strong head of steam heading into Turn 3 and used it to roll the bottom right by Axsom and take the lead.

Scelzi began to build his advantage as he worked smoothly through lapped cars. Axsom chopped into the gap on a few different laps but couldn’t ever find the speed to close back in on Scelzi’s tail tank. And behind him Kofoid was starting to piece together some solid laps as he looked to rejoin the battle for the win.

The contest for the runner-up spot reignited between Axsom and Kofoid with the Roth machine making its way back into second with seven laps remaining. The distance between Kofoid and Scelzi was more than a second when Kofoid got the spot, but it began to shrink right away as the laps clicked off. With only a few circuits remaining, Kofoid closed nearly to the tail tank of Scelzi.

But one slight slip up from Kofoid was all Scelzi needed to seal the deal. As the duo exited Turn 4 coming to two laps remaining, Kofoid narrowly missed the lane of grip on the bottom as Scelzi stayed glued to it and powered away down the front straightaway. Scelzi cleared a couple more lapped cars for breathing room and rolled to the checkered flag.

For Scelzi and company, the win served as a nice momentum boost with one of the biggest events in Sprint Car Racing on the horizon.

“They all dropped to the bottom in Turn 1, and I got to second and then got passed back by Buddy and just kind of rode there for a little bit,” Scelzi said of his race. “I felt like I could really go anywhere I wanted. Kudos to Adam for getting the car really good. I feel like we learned some stuff testing at Knoxville. Great job to my guys. Kings Royal is coming up.”

Kofoid settled for second after leading the opening two laps and making it close at the end. The Toyota Racing driver came away encouraged with the outing, especially with the speed of the No. 83 in the latter portion of the race.

“We really came alive probably the last 10, 15 laps and started trucking through the middle at least in (Turns) 1 and 2 and was good on the top in (Turns) 3 and 4,” Kofoid explained. “I just needed it to probably be slicker longer, but I felt like we were there at the end. Dylan, Nate, and Gage did a really good job. We’ve been off a little bit I feel like this last month or so. But to contend for a win today is, I feel like, a step in the right direction.”

Rounding out the top three was Emerson Axsom. The Franklin, IN native brought home his first career World of Outlaws podium in only his sixth Feature start with the Series. While happy with the result, it was a bit of a bittersweet moment for the 19-year-old as he felt a potential victory slipped away.

“I’m really happy with our speed, but I’m a little disappointed with some of the mistakes I made,” Axsom admitted. “But you’ve got to race with these guys to learn and make mistakes and then pick yourself up from it and learn. Leading it’s tough to tell where to run. Obviously Gio was running through the hole in (Turn) 3 and got a big run of me carrying a lot more speed through (Turns) 3 and 4. After I moved up, I felt really good. I just made some mistakes and let some professionals get by me that have been doing it a while. Obviously, I’m happy with our speed, but I want to win.”

Carson Macedo and Logan Schuchart completed the top five.

A 24th to 14th drive earned Cale Thomas the KSE Racing Hard Charger.

Carson Macedo earned a Series-leading eighth Simpson Quick Time of 2024 is Sea Foam Qualifying.

NOS Energy Drink Heats One, Three and Four belonged to Giovanni Scelzi (49th Heat Race win of career), Garet Williamson (third of career), and David Gravel (260th of career). Milton Hershey School Heat Two went to Sheldon Haudenschild (113th of career).

Buddy Kofoid topped the Toyota Racing Dash.

Kerry Madsen won the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.

The Smith Titanium Brake Systems Break of the Race went to Brock Zearfoss.

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars head to Wisconsin’s Wilmot Raceway on July 12-13 for the Federated Auto Parts Larry Hillerud Memorial Badger 40. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, catch every lap live on DIRTVision.


NOS Energy Drink Feature (40 Laps): 1. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[4]; 2. 83-Michael Kofoid[1]; 3. 27-Emerson Axsom[2]; 4. 41-Carson Macedo[5]; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart[10]; 6. 2-David Gravel[3]; 7. 83SR-James McFadden[9]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz[7]; 9. 17B-Bill Balog[13]; 10. 23-Garet Williamson[6]; 11. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[8]; 12. 45-Landon Brooks[11]; 13. 24D-Danny Sams III[15]; 14. 17GP-Cale Thomas[24]; 15. 55-Kerry Madsen[21]; 16. 73-Scotty Thiel[22]; 17. 6-Kelby Watt[17]; 18. 7S-Landon Crawley[14]; 19. 70-Kraig Kinser[20]; 20. 14-Sean Rayhall[18]; 21. 2W-Scott Neitzel[19]; 22. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[16]; 23. 29-Logan McCandless[12]; 24. 24T-Christopher Thram[23]

MicroLite Last Chance Showdown (12 Laps): 1. 55-Kerry Madsen[1]; 2. 73-Scotty Thiel[2]; 3. 24T-Christopher Thram[4]; 4. 17GP-Cale Thomas[3]; 5. 47-Todd King[7]; 6. W20-Greg Wilson[6]; 7. 43-Jereme Schroeder[5]; 8. 88-Christopher Flick[9]; 9. 26R-Preston Ruh[10]; 10. 1-Tommy Colburn[8]; 11. 10V-Matt VanderVere[11]; 12. 74N-Luke Nellis[12]

Toyota Dash (8 Laps): 1. 83-Michael Kofoid[1]; 2. 27-Emerson Axsom[4]; 3. 2-David Gravel[2]; 4. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[6]; 5. 41-Carson Macedo[5]; 6. 23-Garet Williamson[3]; 7. 15-Donny Schatz[8]; 8. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[7]

Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[2]; 2. 41-Carson Macedo[1]; 3. 83SR-James McFadden[4]; 4. 17B-Bill Balog[6]; 5. 6-Kelby Watt[3]; 6. 17GP-Cale Thomas[7]; 7. 73-Scotty Thiel[5]; 8. 26R-Preston Ruh[8]

Milton Hershey School Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[1]; 2. 83-Michael Kofoid[2]; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart[3]; 4. 7S-Landon Crawley[4]; 5. 14-Sean Rayhall[5]; 6. 24T-Christopher Thram[6]; 7. 47-Todd King[7]; 8. 10V-Matt VanderVere[8]

Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 23-Garet Williamson[2]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz[5]; 3. 45-Landon Brooks[1]; 4. 24D-Danny Sams III[4]; 5. 2W-Scott Neitzel[6]; 6. 43-Jereme Schroeder[8]; 7. 1-Tommy Colburn[7]; 8. 55-Kerry Madsen[3]

Heat 4 (10 Laps): 1. 2-David Gravel[1]; 2. 27-Emerson Axsom[2]; 3. 29-Logan McCandless[3]; 4. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[5]; 5. 70-Kraig Kinser[4]; 6. W20-Greg Wilson[6]; 7. 88-Christopher Flick[7]; 8. 74N-Luke Nellis[8]

Sea Foam Qualifying (2 Laps): 1. 41-Carson Macedo, 00:11.566[26]; 2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 00:11.614[8]; 3. 45-Landon Brooks, 00:11.624[12]; 4. 2-David Gravel, 00:11.634[30]; 5. 18-Giovanni Scelzi, 00:11.677[17]; 6. 83-Michael Kofoid, 00:11.680[10]; 7. 23-Garet Williamson, 00:11.693[14]; 8. 27-Emerson Axsom, 00:11.700[28]; 9. 6-Kelby Watt, 00:11.710[22]; 10. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 00:11.726[21]; 11. 55-Kerry Madsen, 00:11.737[23]; 12. 29-Logan McCandless, 00:11.738[4]; 13. 83SR-James McFadden, 00:11.751[2]; 14. 7S-Landon Crawley, 00:11.774[3]; 15. 24D-Danny Sams III, 00:11.782[15]; 16. 70-Kraig Kinser, 00:11.807[25]; 17. 73-Scotty Thiel, 00:11.875[1]; 18. 14-Sean Rayhall, 00:11.876[32]; 19. 15-Donny Schatz, 00:11.877[18]; 20. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 00:11.886[27]; 21. 17B-Bill Balog, 00:11.887[24]; 22. 24T-Christopher Thram, 00:11.927[6]; 23. 2W-Scott Neitzel, 00:12.035[11]; 24. W20-Greg Wilson, 00:12.131[20]; 25. 17GP-Cale Thomas, 00:12.132[7]; 26. 47-Todd King, 00:12.177[9]; 27. 1-Tommy Colburn, 00:12.327[16]; 28. 88-Christopher Flick, 00:12.443[31]; 29. 26R-Preston Ruh, 00:12.515[13]; 30. 10V-Matt VanderVere, 00:12.583[19]; 31. 43-Jereme Schroeder, 00:12.894[29]; 32. 74N-Luke Nellis, 01:00.000[5]


Points Updated: July 10, 2024
Pos. No. Driver Hometown Points Gap Starts Wins Top 5s Top 10s
1 2 David Gravel Watertown, CT 4450  32 9 22 28
2 15 Donny Schatz Fargo, ND 4388 -62 32 2 15 28
3 41 Carson Macedo Lemoore, CA 4374 -76 32 2 23 26
4 18 Giovanni Scelzi Fresno, CA 4368 -82 32 3 17 29
5 83 Michael Kofoid Penngrove, CA 4310 -140 32 1 14 27
6 1S Logan Schuchart Hanover, PA 4272 -178 31 1 11 25
7 17 Sheldon Haudenschild Wooster, OH 4198 -252 32 7 11 20
8 17B Bill Balog North Pole, AK 3976 -474 32 0 6 17
9 3Z Brock Zearfoss Jonestown, PA 3706 -744 30 0 0 8
10 7S Landon Crawley Benton, AR 3610 -840 27 0 0 4


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