Commerce: Gary Scelzi final summary

SCELZI RACES TO QUARTERFINALS IN ATLANTA COMMERCE, Ga. (April 29, 2007) - Gary Scelzi raced the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T into the Funny Car quarterfinals today at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. As...

SCELZI RACES TO QUARTERFINALS IN ATLANTA

COMMERCE, Ga. (April 29, 2007) - Gary Scelzi raced the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T into the Funny Car quarterfinals today at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

As No. 8 qualifier with lane choice, the four-time NHRA world champion first defeated his teammate Jack Beckman (No. 9) by 12 feet in the opening round, recording a solid 4.873-second run at 312.28 mph to Beckman's 4.917/306.07.

That pass, however, didn't earn him lane choice for the quarterfinal round and Scelzi was relegated to the less-desirable left lane on what most drivers called a "very tricky" race track today under hot and humid conditions. Against Mike Ashley, Scelzi lost traction early and coasted to a 6.902/129.14 lap to Ashley's winning 4.848/316.38.

"We dropped a cylinder in the first round," explained Scelzi, the 2005 Funny Car champion. "We were trying to run a low 4.80, which probably would still have not been enough for lane choice in the second round, because Ashley ran an .80 flat in his first round. We were trying not to smoke the tires against Ashley. We went up there and we slowed things down three times, but that lane was pretty greasy. We weren't going to run an .84.

"We were trying to run .85, .86, thinking it was getting greasy, but that wouldn't have been enough. We missed on the call and we'll go to St. Louis and try to get better."

Scelzi is fifth in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings, just one point out of fourth (Jim Head.)

Next up is the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Raceway Park May 4-6 in Madison, Ill., just outside of St. Louis.

-credit: dsr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Gary Scelzi , Jack Beckman , Mike Ashley