Denver: Gary Scelzi final report

SCELZI ACED BY FORCE IN DENVER FIRST ROUND MORRISON, Colo. (July 15, 2007) - Gary Scelzi wasn't able to add to his winning record against 14-time Funny Car champion John Force today in the opening round of eliminations at the Mopar Mile-High...

SCELZI ACED BY FORCE IN DENVER FIRST ROUND

MORRISON, Colo. (July 15, 2007) - Gary Scelzi wasn't able to add to his winning record against 14-time Funny Car champion John Force today in the opening round of eliminations at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, as a dropped cylinder cost him that chance.

Force launched first at the starting lights with a .086 reaction time. Scelzi was close behind at .094 (.000 is perfect) and what was billed as a spectacular match-up of champions turned into a .2882-of-a-second loss for the driver of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T. Force claimed the victory with a 5.114-second pass at 301.60 mph to Scelzi's losing 5.394/250.04.

"We were so excited to race Force," said Scelzi, whose record against Force now stands at 12-10 in round wins, 3-1 in final rounds. "I wanted to add to my winning record against him and thought we had a really good shot at doing it. We're a little puzzled over here. It dropped the No. 1 cylinder right at the hit of the throttle, moved the car out of the groove, and I just started chasing the thing the rest of the way down the track. You're not going to beat Force on seven cylinders, you obviously need eight.

"Our teammates ran really good (both Ron Capps and Jack Beckman made it to the final round, with Beckman taking the win). We're all running the same tune-up.

"We haven't had a problem dropping cylinders other than like at 700-800 feet down the race track," added Scelzi. "Our car doesn't drop cylinders, but this time it dropped the No. 1 at the hit, the one that automatically gives the most boost as soon as you hit the gas, so we're a little stumped. We're checking ignition, we're checking everything. We just don't know."

Scelzi remains fifth in the point standings.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Jack Beckman