Indianapolis2: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

Scelzi stays no. 2 in final U.S. Nationals qualifying INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 6, 2003) - Finally, now that the five qualifying sessions that began last week for the U.S. Nationals are over, the Funny Car drivers can look forward to final...

Scelzi stays no. 2 in final U.S. Nationals qualifying

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 6, 2003) - Finally, now that the five qualifying sessions that began last week for the U.S. Nationals are over, the Funny Car drivers can look forward to final eliminations tomorrow. Gary Scelzi, driver of the Oakley Time Bomb Dodge Stratus, finds himself No. 2 on the list, based on his third-round run of 4.764 seconds at a top speed for the meet so far of 325.53 mph.

In today's qualifying rounds, the fastest Funny Car driver in the world (328.06 mph, set in Joliet this year) smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle and slowed to a 12.680/77.58. A 4.829/322.73 in the last session didn't move him up in the field, but following what some viewed as a very weak burnout it was quite decent.

"There wasn't enough water in the box where they had me lined up and when I went to jump on the throttle a tire was dry," he said. "I've done it before on the dragster and it doesn't make any difference. Obviously, since we ran a 4.83, it didn't affect it all. It's one of those things. We'll have to pay more attention to that, but it went down the race track."

"The problem that I had was the race track was 102 degrees. And I would really like to have run on a 120-degree-temperature race track because that's when it's at its worst."

"Mike's (Neff, crew chief) got some data and we'll look at it and then we'll see what happens tomorrow. It's the U.S. Nationals, and it's a crapshoot, no matter what."

"This is the race that never ends. Yeah, I am glad qualifying is finally over. I'll be even happier when tomorrow is over and hopefully we'll be in victory lane with this Oakley Dodge, where it belongs."

Scelzi will face Tim Wilkerson in the first round of final eliminations.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Tim Wilkerson