Gainesville: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

SCELZI COLLECTS NO. 8 IN GAINESVILLE QUALIFYING GAINESVILLE, Ga. (March 18, 2006) - Reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi struggled this weekend after debuting the new Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger Funny Car at...

SCELZI COLLECTS NO. 8 IN GAINESVILLE QUALIFYING

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (March 18, 2006) - Reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi struggled this weekend after debuting the new Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger Funny Car at the NHRA Gatornationals, yet collected a top-half qualifying position.

His 4.812-second pass at 325.61 mph in the second session was good for No. 8 in the field of 16 and he'll face No. 9 qualifier Del Worsham in first round of eliminations on Sunday in what is expected to be a tight race.

Scelzi's other attempts included a tire-smoking 10.874/79.38, a 5.954/155.97 and a good 4.815/321.08 in the final session.

"I shut it off a little bit early for whatever reason," he said of the final pass. "It would not have run a whole lot better than that, but we thought we had fixed the shake zone on the Mopar/Oakley Dodge after testing in Phoenix, and we're still having troubles there. So the changes that we made obviously came back on the trip from Phoenix to Gainesville. So I don't know what's going on with that thing. Were just going to have to go tomorrow and see what happens against Worsham.

"I don't think it's a tire problem," he said of teams running a newly-mandated Goodyear tire here, "because we had the problem with the old tire. For whatever reason this thing is starting to act funny and I don't know why. We're closer. It's not as bad, but it's still not smooth. Hopefully Mike (Neff, crew chief) will get it figured out tonight and go out there tomorrow and try to get us a Gainesville win."

In Scelzi's four-world championship career, he has never won the Gatornationals.

-dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Gary Scelzi