Joliet: Gary Scelzi preview

DEFENDING WINNER SCELZI GOOD TO GO IN CHICAGO JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2006) - Gary Scelzi blew them all away at the 2005 CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, winning his second Funny Car event of the season en route to his first...

DEFENDING WINNER SCELZI GOOD TO GO IN CHICAGO

JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2006) - Gary Scelzi blew them all away at the 2005 CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, winning his second Funny Car event of the season en route to his first Funny Car championship, and he's ready to repeat this weekend.

Despite struggling to defend his NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car crown in the early part of 2006, he says his Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T is back in the groove after strong runs in the last four races, which include a semifinal and three straight quarterfinal finishes, plus a move into the top 10 in the rankings.

The Fresno, Calif., native, who has set 22 Funny Car top speeds since he joined Don Schumacher Racing in 2003, is ready to rock and roll at one of his favorite tracks.

"Chicago is one of those race tracks where you can let the dog eat," he says. "So that's what we're going to do. We're going to take the leash off the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger and go stand on it.

"And even if it's hot at Route 66, it's a two-lane race track, one of the best that we go to."

This weekend also marks the beginning of the first of two sets of three-in-a-row swings for the season, which is grueling to some, exhilarating to others.

"We're excited about getting this three-race swing going and hopefully we can get a win or two out of this thing and go some rounds and move up even higher in the points, now that we've broken into the top 10," adds the four-time NHRA champion. "We're excited."

A good result this weekend could move him up dramatically in the standings. He's just 108 points out of fifth place.

Scelzi's Route 66 record includes a Top Fuel runner-up in 1998, a TF win in 2000, a Chicago 1 TF runner-up in 2001, and last year's Funny Car victory in the first event.

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Don Schumacher