Joliet II: Gary Scelzi final summary

SCELZI EXTENDS POINTS LEAD IN CHICAGO JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 2, 2005) - The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship continues to be a pot-boiler, as the top-five positions changed once again following today's Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA...

SCELZI EXTENDS POINTS LEAD IN CHICAGO

JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 2, 2005) - The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship continues to be a pot-boiler, as the top-five positions changed once again following today's Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. The only thing that didn't change was the leader.

To put it concisely, after losing to Tony Pedregon in the semifinal, Gary Scelzi leaves the track with a 43-point lead, following a first-round loss by Robert Hight, a second-round exit of Eric Medlen, and a semifinal dismissal of John Force. Scelzi's teammate Ron Capps jumped into third after winning his second event of the year.

The new order: Scelzi, Force, Capps, Hight and Medlen.

Scelzi first defeated Mike Ashley (4.773/325.06 to 4.820/325.45), then Del Worsham (4.773/325.06 to 4.830/322.34) before he met up with Reading, Pa., winner Pedregon in the semis. Pedregon took off with a .065 light to Scelzi's even .100. It was close, but it was Pedregon first across the finish line with a 4.770/319.90 to Scelzi's losing 4.772/326.71.

"I'm not trying to make this Funny Car championship chase so close," said Scelzi, with a laugh.

"There's no question about it. Tony has really run well this whole weekend. When I saw Capps go 4.796 in his semifinal win against John Force, I put it in thin to try to get lane choice again (in the final) and I had a .100 flat light, which is good. Tony rolled it in, had a .065. It was a hell of a drag race.

"As long as you keep leaving the races with more points than you had when you got here, you're doing your job. Yeah, we're making it exciting for everybody. It looks like we're starting to make a little distance, and that's a good thing."

Next up is the re-scheduled O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 7-9, 2005.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Mike Ashley , Eric Medlen , Robert Hight