Commerce: Gary Scelzi preview

SCELZI'S GOT HIS CAR BACK, HEADS TO ATLANTA COMMERCE, Ga. (May 3, 2006) - Reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi is back on top of the world after a strong semifinal-round finish at Bristol Dragway last Sunday...

SCELZI'S GOT HIS CAR BACK, HEADS TO ATLANTA

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 3, 2006) - Reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi is back on top of the world after a strong semifinal-round finish at Bristol Dragway last Sunday in the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus Charger R/T.

It's been a tough start to this season for the four-time NHRA champion who's famous for setting top speeds across the nation - 21 in Funny Car to be exact since joining Don Schumacher Racing in 2003. He's had four early-round losses and a DNQ before Bristol's semifinal result. Following pre-Bristol productive test sessions, the always-competitive, ever-hot team of Gary Scelzi and young crew chief Mike Neff are beginning to see that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

Scelzi was No. 1 qualifier at Atlanta Dragway last year en route to his first Funny Car championship. He's never won Funny Car here, but is a two-time Top Fuel titlist at this dragstrip. Winning this Sunday would certainly pump up his and the Mopar/Oakley team's spirits.

"After the weekend in Bristol, we've finally got our race car back," says the Fresno, Calif., native. "It may be a little too late to win a championship, but we can still do a lot of damage.

"I feel good. Going into Bristol and now Atlanta, it's the best I've felt all year long. I know we have a hot rod that can win, and it should qualify in the top half of the field.

"We're digging ourselves out of this hole," he says of his 363-point deficit between his 11th place in the standings and the lead. "The first thing we have to do is concentrate on getting back in the top 10, then just start moving up the food chain."

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Don Schumacher , Mike Neff