Columbus: Gary Scelzi eliminations summary

Scelzi goes to second round, is ousted by Capps COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 15, 2003) - Gary Scelzi had an easy win in the first round of final eliminations in his Oakley Time Bomb Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car today against Cruz Pedregon, with a ...

Scelzi goes to second round, is ousted by Capps

COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 15, 2003) - Gary Scelzi had an easy win in the first round of final eliminations in his Oakley Time Bomb Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car today against Cruz Pedregon, with a 4.830-second elapsed time and a strong 321.42 mph against Pedregon's 5.217/223.95.

In the second round of the Pontiac Excitement NHRA Nationals, the 11th of 23 events in the POWERade Drag Racing Series, he was paired with Ron Capps and was presented with an in-your-face reaction time of .025 to his own .076. Capps was there for the taking, however, as he spun the tires and hit the timing lights at a 5.024/294.75. Scelzi couldn't capitalize on it, though, as he smoked the tires at half track, pedaling to a losing 6.274/167.20 pass.

"Frustration, with a capital F," said the three-time Top Fuel champion. "Three great runs in qualifying; we went quicker every time. First round it was great, then the sun comes out and it gets hot and we're in trouble from the time we hit the gas. We got beat by a 5.02 and it's just hard to swallow because we felt we had a good tune-up for the heat. Obviously, we were just on the wrong side of it, too aggressive again. If we're going to compete and get ourselves in the top five, this can't happen."

"I know Mike (Neff, crew chief) is pulling his hair out," he continued. "We're going to have to do something different. We're going to have to change parts on this car. We're in the process of working on some of that stuff right now. We just don't have the parts available. So, we'll be OK, probably in St. Louis, because it will be at night and hopefully by then we will have some of the stuff to try and maybe we can try it on Monday in St. Louis (testing) in the heat because obviously it's going to be hot there - that's almost a given - and see if we can make some changes."

"We need to quicken these cars up in the first 300 feet and when we try to quicken them up or try to slow them down they're either still too aggressive or not aggressive enough. There's just not a happy medium."

Scelzi hangs on to ninth place in the Funny Car point standings, with 482 points.

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Cruz Pedregon