Dallas: Gary Scelzi final summary

SCELZI DRIVES 'HOUSE OF KOLOR' DODGE TO QUARTERFINALS IN TEXAS ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 24, 2006) - Reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi raced the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car - decked out in brilliant...

SCELZI DRIVES 'HOUSE OF KOLOR' DODGE TO QUARTERFINALS IN TEXAS

ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 24, 2006) - Reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi raced the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car - decked out in brilliant House of Kolor 50th Anniversary livery - into the quarterfinal today at the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals.

After posing for photos with Valspar Motorsports program manager Randy Tinsley when the car received the award for "Best Appearing Car" at the Texas Motorplex, Scelzi handily dismissed Scott Kalitta in the opening round with a 4.986-second lap at 306.40 mph.

Scelzi met his match in the second round, however, as Tommy Johnson Jr. grabbed the victory on a holeshot advantage in a close contest. Scelzi's reaction time of .074 (.000 is perfect) was better than average, but Johnson's .068 was enough to take the victory by a margin of .0015 of a second with a slower elapsed time of 4.904 seconds at 306.81 mph to Scelzi's 4.899/311.49.

"Just can't win the close ones," said the four-time NHRA world champion (three in Top Fuel). "I had a good light, Tommy had just a shade better one. Just one of those things.

"My lights are getting better in qualifying, everything's getting better, we're just missing it," Scelzi added. "It spun the tire pretty hard down there. What do you do? Load up and go to Reading and hope it doesn't rain.

"I've been down this road before, too, in Top Fuel, and sooner or later it'll change. I just wish it would hurry up. It gets frustrating and it rips your heart out, because everybody is trying their best, including myself, and it's just not getting it done. But, it'll change."

Scelzi remains seventh in the Funny Car points rankings, with four races remaining in the season.

Next up is the re-scheduled Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, outside of Reading, Pa., Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Scott Kalitta , Tommy Johnson Jr.