SCELZI FALLS TO NO. 1 QUALIFIER WILKERSON IN ATLANTA OPENING ROUND COMMERCE, Ga. (April 27, 2008) - As the No. 16 qualifier, four-time NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series champion Gary Scelzi had the misfortune of having to face the No 1 qualifier...
SCELZI FALLS TO NO. 1 QUALIFIER WILKERSON IN ATLANTA OPENING ROUND
COMMERCE, Ga. (April 27, 2008) - As the No. 16 qualifier, four-time NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series champion Gary Scelzi had the misfortune of having to face the No 1 qualifier and Las Vegas Funny Car winner Tim Wilkerson in the opening round of the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
Without lane choice, it was a tough draw, no question, but Scelzi stepped up to the occasion by out-launching one of the season's hottest drivers with a .100-of-a-second reaction time to Wilkerson's .107 (.000 is perfect). A loss of traction, however, on the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T relegated Scelzi to the sidelines when he slowed to a 7.244-second elapsed time at 121.88 mph, while Wilkerson cruised to a 4.887/317.05 victory.
"It smoked the tires. It's frustrating," said Scelzi. "Todd (Okuhara, crew chief) hasn't even downloaded the computer yet. We're both frustrated. We've got nothing to blame it on but ourselves. We'll go to St. Louis and see if we can't make things better, but smoking the tires is getting us all down.
"We just have to buck up, tighten the belt another notch and get serious and find out what the hell's going on. Something's going on; we don't know what it is.
"The good news is we did get to run today. It looked like it could have been a rain-out, but we were only delayed a few hours, and we got the event in."
Scelzi is 13th in the Funny Car point standings.