Englishtown: Gary Scelzi preview

Oakley's Scelzi says Funny Cars could fly in E'town ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 12, 2003) -- "If the weather is cool in Englishtown, Funny Cars will fly," says Gary Scelzi, driver of the Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car. "That is one of those...

Oakley's Scelzi says Funny Cars could fly in E'town

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 12, 2003) -- "If the weather is cool in Englishtown, Funny Cars will fly," says Gary Scelzi, driver of the Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car. "That is one of those places where when the scoreboard lights up so does the crowd. And we like those kinds of race tracks, the ones that can produce huge horsepower."

Englishtown, N.J., is the home of Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, site of the K&N Filters NHRA SuperNationals, the eighth round of the 23-event NHRA NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series being held this weekend.

It's also where Californian Gary Scelzi would love to win. "There are only a few race tracks that have been around a long time that hold a lot of meaning," the three-time Top Fuel champion says. "Hey, if you win Englishtown, that's a pretty big deal. It's an old race and historically it is a fast race track, and it's one of the five that I haven't won at. I definitely want to make a mark there."

Scelzi, who has won 25 races in Top Fuel, is still looking for his first Funny Car victory in his first full season in that category.

Rained out on a Monday test at Atlanta Dragway after the seventh NHRA round there on May 4, Scelzi's team, under crew chief Mike Neff's direction, held a successful test session at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Mother's Day with Scelzi's teammate Whit Bazemore behind the wheel. "Everything looks good," says Scelzi. "We're going to take a little different approach when we pull into Englishtown. Everywhere we've been that takes horsepower we've been in the top half of the field."

Englishtown also begins a three-weekend back-to-back stretch of races that go from the Northeast to the Midwest. "It's extraordinarily demanding," Scelzi says. "It's difficult to run three races in a row. The guys have to work so hard and they have to be so on top of their game. There's just no rest for the wicked, if you will. It's a long way to leave Englishtown, N.J., and get to Topeka, Kans., get everything rebuilt and get ready to run Topeka. Then you have to pack everything up and go to Joliet, Ill. It's going to pay a toll. The strong are going to survive and I think the ones that are going to be players at the end are going to start to show their stuff now over the next three races. I'm hoping that we're a part of all that."

It's also an opportunity to move up in the points, says Scelzi, who's 11th in the standings. "Well, we could make a big move; that's how I'm looking at it. If we have three great races in a row, which I'm hoping for, I think we have all the potential to shuffle those points around. We want to get right in the middle of this thing."

Pro Nitro qualifying for the K&N SuperNationals begins on Friday, May 16, at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, May 17, Pro Nitro qualifying is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and 4:05 p.m. Final Eliminations on Sunday, May 18, start at 11 a.m.

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Gary Scelzi , Mike Neff