Englishtown: Gary Scelzi final summary

SCELZI GAINS ON FORCE'S LEAD IN E-TOWN ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 19, 2005) - The two strongest rivals for the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship were eliminated in the second round, but Gary Scelzi came out the winner in...

SCELZI GAINS ON FORCE'S LEAD IN E-TOWN

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 19, 2005) - The two strongest rivals for the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship were eliminated in the second round, but Gary Scelzi came out the winner in the points count by gaining two markers on leader John Force after qualifying third to Force's fifth.

Scelzi is now just 62 points behind (806-744).

Scelzi sizzled in the first round of eliminations, defeating Phil Burkart Jr. with a 4.813-second ET at 324.90 mph to Burkart's 7.059/122.59, then met his match in the quarterfinal against Tommy Johnson Jr. T.J. knocked him out with a 4.850/319.90 to Scelzi's 4.870/315.93. Reaction times: .095 for Scelzi, .048 for Johnson.

"Big disappointment," said Scelzi. "With Force going out in an early round again, we could have shortened things up and made it real interesting. We didn't. Something happened. The Mopar/Oakley Dodge wore a bunch of clutch, and something else happened to the supercharger. I'm not sure what.

Scelzi made a big leap up the rankings at Route 66 Raceway last weekend, when Force went out in the first round and Scelzi won the event.

"But, obviously, when it slowed down that much and ran only 315 miles an hour, something wasn't right. Tommy cut a hell of a light. They made a hell of a run. They were better than us. 'Good job' to them. Their car's been running really, really good.

"It's one of those things. We're going to have a lot more ups and downs. Stay tuned."

Next up are the NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., just outside of St. Louis, June 24-26, 2005.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Gary Scelzi , Phil Burkart , Tommy Johnson Jr.