The first win for Domossie Scoggins came 160-plus miles and 19 years away from where and when he first set his eyes on dirt-track racing.
“I was just a little kid, standing up on top of a playground structure, just to get a peek through the bushes to see the race cars go around at Merced Speedway [in California],” said Scoggins, 26, of Turlock, California. “My grandma Roxanne lived across the street from the speedway, and the sound of the race cars attracted me. My dad, Domossie, had a Mercury Cougar muscle car. He and my mom, Shavella, took me to my first race when they realized how much I liked cars.”
The road from being a wide-eyed kid in the grandstands to standing in victory lane at California’s Bakersfield Speedway took many laps of his life.
“My dad worked for Roy Hart, a Merced racer who owns a paving company,” Scoggins said. “When he told Roy that I was interested in racing, he let me be on his pit crew.”
Hart did something for the youngsters on his crew that Scoggins would never forget.
“He put together his backup car, and we towed it to the track,” said Scoggins. “Then he told us [pit crew members], ‘This is your car to drive. Take turns.’ I couldn’t believe it. I was 17 and he made my dream come true.”
Scoggins worked on the Hart cars until he could afford to buy a sport mod. When he finally got that car, he had to sell it after five races. He and his wife, Yecenia, were buying their first house.
“I missed racing, and Yecenia knew it,” Scoggins said. “This past season, we found an old hobby stock in southern California and bought it.”
Friend Tony Valencia, the Hart family, and Bakersfield racers Tracy and Terry Webster came out to help him with his new car.
“They boosted our program a lot,” said Scoggins. “My dad was so supportive. He encouraged me, telling me I don’t have to be in the back of the pack. I could race up front with the big boys.”
Domossie Scoggins did just that. He started third, dropped to fifth, and then made a charge toward the front. Scoggins passed leader Austin Manzella as the white flag started to wave and then crossed the line first as the checkered flag flew to win his first feature.
“The victory lap was a blur,” Scoggins said. “I still can’t believe it. Outsiders don’t win in any class at Bakersfield. Competition there is tough, and that made it even better for my first win.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 50th year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.