SCELZI AIMS TO CONQUER MOPAR MILE-HIGH NATIONALS MORRISON, Colo. (July 12, 2005) - Bandimere Speedway is just one of three venues which Gary Scelzi has not yet conquered in his NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series career. He's won three Top Fuel ...
SCELZI AIMS TO CONQUER MOPAR MILE-HIGH NATIONALS
MORRISON, Colo. (July 12, 2005) - Bandimere Speedway is just one of three venues which Gary Scelzi has not yet conquered in his NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series career. He's won three Top Fuel championships and 31 national events at every track at which NHRA holds national meets, except for this one and the ones in Englishtown, N.J., and Gainesville, Fla.
The driver of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car is ready for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals this weekend and is knocking on the door of his first NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship. He's just 55 points behind leader, rival and good friend John Force as the NHRA circus begins the three-race Western Swing, which includes this weekend's race at Bandimere, just outside of Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif.
"Haven't been past the second round," declared Scelzi of his results here. The Fresno, Calif., native has won twice this year and is just inching his way past Force, primarily by out-qualifying him the last two races, as both have gone out in the same early round in the last two events.
"Bandimere is a place where we haven't broken through, but we have a lot of good data that Mike (Neff, crew chief) seems to be really excited about."
The Don Schumacher Racing triumvirate of Funny Car teams has the luxury of being able to share information between them, which is one of the assets of a multi-team operation.
"(Scelzi's teammate Whit) Bazemore was No. 1 qualifier here last year. We have all that information. And the Mopar/Oakley Dodge has been running really well all year long, so I feel good about our chances, because sooner or later you've got to break that jinx.
"And because it's a Mopar race, I feel that all the stars are lining up, and that this will be a good race."
As for the challenges of running at high altitude and heat: "You run a thinner head gasket, you run more supercharger, and we'll get to run five percent more nitromethane, so power normally isn't a problem up here on the hill."
"But you've got no downforce because the air's so thin. Sometimes that gets tricky. It's going to be hot. It's going to be 90 degrees. Any time you get to a race track where it's going to be 90 degrees, you're looking at 130-140-degree track temperature, so it's going to be tricky. But, that doesn't seem to be a problem for us."