Denver: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

Scelzi stays No. 16 after final qualifying in Denver DENVER, Colo. (July 19, 2003) - Gary Scelzi made two valiant attempts to move up into the Funny Car field in his Oakley Time Bomb Dodge Stratus today, but ended up remaining in the No. 16 ...

Scelzi stays No. 16 after final qualifying in Denver

DENVER, Colo. (July 19, 2003) - Gary Scelzi made two valiant attempts to move up into the Funny Car field in his Oakley Time Bomb Dodge Stratus today, but ended up remaining in the No. 16 qualifying position. In the third qualifying session of the weekend, he fishtailed it down the left lane to a 5.540-second elapsed time at 208.20 mph, hazing the tires just before the finish line. In the fourth and final round, he was on a solid run to the end of the quarter-mile, improving his time but not his position with a 5.192/287.84 pass,

"We kind of know where we're at with our Oakley Dodge," said the three-time Top Fuel champion still looking for his first Funny Car win. "It's going to be hot tomorrow. If we can run anywhere in the teens tomorrow in the heat of the day, that's as fast as anybody ran in the heat of the day today. Conditions will be the same, or similar, or worse.

"So tomorrow's going to be a lot of tire smoke. It's going to be who can get down to the end of the race track without smoking the tires. We're going to try some things to keep it from doing that. We haven't smoked the tires real early, so that means we've got some room there early. When you can get it to move harder earlier, it's not so bad when you pull the power back out later. When it's slow early and then you try to apply power, you've got to move that mass and that's when it smokes the tires. We have some room to play early and then when we back it up we don't have to back it up as drastically.

"That's kind of the game plan for tomorrow. We'll see just how hot it is tomorrow. (Polesitter Tim) Wilkerson smoked the tires the last run. It's strategy tomorrow. It's strategy and who can go down the race track. I'll put my money on (my crew chief) Mike Neff."

Scelzi will face the No. 1 qualifier Tim Wilkerson in the first round of final eliminations tomorrow, which begin at 12:30 p.m. MT.

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Tim Wilkerson , Mike Neff