CONCORD, N.C. - A record-tying fourth place rookie campaign this year has Giovanni Scelzi hungry for more with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.
It's a hunger he intends to satisfy by returning to the tour full time next year with KCP Racing.
“All that does is mean we’ve got to run third or second or win the points next year,” Scelzi said of finishing fourth in the season standings. “Obviously, we set the bar really high points wise for our first year out here. It’s definitely not going to be easy. Running fourth in points with the Outlaws is not easy whether it’s your 20th season or your first season. I think it’s something we have to look at and appreciate what we’ve done and not go so much head done into next year that we don’t really enjoy what we did this year.
“But I think at the same time, if you’re comfortable and you’re happy with running fourth, then you shouldn’t be driving a sprint car. I think you’re not happy unless you win. That’s the way I look at things.”
Consistency carried Scelzi and his Adam Clark-led crew in 2023. Scelzi amassed 48 top 10 finishes in 71 races and rarely ended the night with a DNF.
The highlight of his year came in June at Beaver Dam Raceway when he topped the opening night of the Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial.
The Beaver Dam triumph was the sixth of his Outlaw career, but wound up being the only win of his rookie season. Heading into his fourth full year with KCP, Scelzi is well aware of he and the team’s potential and has a plan to improve in 2024.
“That hunger I have is only growing,” Scelzi said. “I see the capabilities we have in our team, and it only makes me hungrier to win more races. I feel like really the only place we were lacking was wins. I feel like the nights where I started second or third or fourth I needed to win those races, and I ran third fourth or fifth. So, I think I need to turn my good nights into great nights.
“I feel like the more you put yourself in the Dash, the more you put yourself up front it’s like anything. You become more comfortable up there, and you’re racing with David Gravel, Brad Sweet, Carson Macedo, Donny Schatz. Those are elite cars. You learn so much more not having to come from 12th or 15th or whatever. You waste half your race trying to get to those guys. If you can start around those guys, it definitely makes the curve a lot easier.
“I feel like I didn’t capitalize on my really good opportunities this year.”
Scelzi will begin his second World of Outlaws sprint car season at the Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals, Feb. 7-10 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.
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