Gainesville: Gary Scelzi preview

ON COMPETING IN GAINESVILLE: "I've been No. 1 qualifier there three times in Top Fuel; I was runner-up there last year, in my third race in a Funny Car. It's one of those races that has a lot of meaning, has a lot of history behind it. It's an old...

ON COMPETING IN GAINESVILLE: "I've been No. 1 qualifier there three times in Top Fuel; I was runner-up there last year, in my third race in a Funny Car. It's one of those races that has a lot of meaning, has a lot of history behind it. It's an old race; it's a prestigious race. I think there are five tracks that I haven't won on in my professional career and that's one of them. And the way the Oakley Dodge is running right now I think I have a really good shot at it. The neat thing about my life right now is that I've got a race car that I know anywhere we go it wouldn't surprise anyone if it wins. Our big goal right now is to get a win, to qualify well, get into the show, let Mike (Neff, crew chief) have some time to play with the tune-up and then go try to win a drag race. Gainesville is a fast race track and very possibly these Dodges (Scelzi's and Whit Bazemore's) could set the speed and e.t. record in Gainesville."

ARE YOU STILL LEARNING? "I feel like I could have won Pomona. I feel that comfortable in the seat working with these guys. They're just making me ooze with confidence, and I can't tell you how good that makes a driver feel. When you get that confidence and when you have a car that is consistent like we have right now, that spells dangerous. These other guys are paying attention right now. John Force is talking to Mike (Neff) regularly, saying you guys, we're watching you like a hawk. And they're not kidding about it; they're not saying that just to make us feel good. I know it, they know it, we just have to go do it."

DOES JOHN FORCE HAVE AN EXTRA EDGE BECAUSE HE'S HAD THREE FUNNY CARS LONGER THAN SCHUMACHER RACING HAS HAD THREE CARS? "He's got an extra edge because those guys have worked together for a longer amount of time. Everybody is on the same page. I don't think we're that far behind. I really don't. I've only been here a month and already Whit (Bazemore, teammate) and I get along good; we've known each other for a long time so there's no problem there. Mike Neff, and Lee Beard (Bazemore's crew chief) and Dan Olson (co-crew chief on Scelzi's and Bazemore's cars) worked together for years, so I think we're well on our way."

ON RUNNING THE NEW '"GRAB LIFE BY THE HORNS" DODGE STRATUS AT GAINESVILLE: "It's exciting to be with Dodge. We want to bring this new Dodge Stratus into the victory lane; we want to be the first ones to do it for Dodge."

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Mike Neff