American hot shot to light up Simpson

Simpson driver John Vogels will be looking to secure back-to-back victories at his home track in this weekend’s $10,000-to-win All Star Challenge. Photo courtesy Geoff Rounds

SIMPSON Speedway will host Australia’s highest paying 360ci Sprintcar race this Saturday night.

The annual All Star Challenge carries a $10,000 prize purse for the winner and has attracted a stout field of 37 entries for the event, including one of the hottest prospects in world Sprintcar racing.

Sixteen year-old Giovanni Scelzi out of Fresno, California will make his debut on Australian soil at Simpson.

Last September, Scelzi became the youngest ever World of Outlaws Sprintcar Series feature winner in history by picking up his maiden victory at the famed Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania.

Giovanni is the son of NHRA drag racing champion Gary Scelzi, and brings with him renowned crew chief Bernie Stuebgen for his tour Down Under.

One driver out to defend home turf is Simpson’s own John Vogels, who is a last start winner at the track.

Vogels claimed feature victory in the Eureka Series round on December 27, and is also a past winner of the $10,000 prize.

A host of current day 410ci Sprintcar regulars are set to compete including two-time national champion David Murcott, multi-time Eureka Series champion Brett Milburn, Charles Hunter, Brenten Farrer and Tim Van Ginneken, who has previously placed in this event.

The All Star Challenge will also incorporate round six of the Australian Sprintcar Allstars Series.

South Australian Daniel Evans has won three of the five rounds contested so far this season, while other season 2018/19 main event winners set to do battle include Michael Tancredi and Matthew Reed.

A host of former All Star Series champions will be in the house, including Brad Foster, Brenten Farrer, Chris Solomon, Colin Brooks, Mark Caruso and Paul Solomon.

The 2014/15 series champion, Adelaide’s Scott Bogucki, returns for another shot at an event where he has previously featured strongly.

Since his last appearance at Simpson, Bogucki has become a full-time racecar driver competing with the ASCS National Tour, finishing eighth overall in the 2018 series which raced a total of 35 times across the United States.

Racing in support to the All Star Challenge will be the Southern Rod Showdown.

This event brings together the state’s best Super Rod and SDAV Hot Rod competitors as they go head-to-head in an old fashioned stoush to see which division reigns supreme.

Gates open at 4pm, Sprintcar hot laps from 5pm with racing programmed to commence at 6pm this Saturday at Simpson Speedway.

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