Scelzi DNQs for first time this season. GARY SCELZI, OAKLEY DODGE STRATUS R/T FUNNY CAR, failed to qualify for the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals. This is his first DNQ this season, driving for Don Schumacher Racing. Scelzi endured a violent ...
Scelzi DNQs for first time this season.
GARY SCELZI, OAKLEY DODGE STRATUS R/T FUNNY CAR, failed to qualify for the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals. This is his first DNQ this season, driving for Don Schumacher Racing. Scelzi endured a violent explosion on Friday evening, but managed to post a 15th starting position. After making repairs and switching to the Dodge "Grab Life by the Horns" body, he dropped out of the field in the third round on Saturday. He made valiant attempts, but failed to make a clean pass in either of the remaining sessions, and ended up No. 20.
SCELZI: "It's frustrating. This team is a championship-caliber team. They were near misses. We had some clutch problems in the first two runs. The front end got in the air; it was going to fly; it was going to run a .70 something. It got over by the wall, I pedaled it. For whatever reason it exploded. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.
"We came back yesterday and made a run and it was a just little too aggressive and it smoked the tires at 400 feet. We came back last night and it got in trouble. We took power out of it; the motor seemed happier. It started to rattle the tire; it moved me over to the right. When you get out of the groove you're in trouble. The front end was in the air again, bobbling. I mean, we got behind. And for some reason the car's wanting to carry the front end here and it hasn't wanted to do that anywhere.
"All we've done is make a supercharger change and we know it's better and the motor is just too happy. But the supercharger we were used to working with that we used in Gainesville in testing and then we started with in the first two runs here we exploded and we ruined. We put a new one on that was even better than that one. So we kept slowing it down, the boost was dropping, but the motor was still ahead of everything. And that car was getting violent. So you can't take a ton of power out of it'; you still have to keep some power in it and we just ran out of time.
"It's frustrating, it's upsetting. There's no way to sugar-coat it. But, you know what, you've just go to tighten your belt another notch and we'll suck it up. We'll test here tomorrow; we're going to make four runs, maybe five, until we find out what we've got and we get the consistency back that we started with. It's got to go down the race track, the front end's got to be on the ground, and we'll go from there."
COULD IT HAVE BEEN THE LEFT LANE? "No. It hit the bumps in the left lane in the first run. That's what upset the car. The car was in trouble earlier here (in final session), and we never got to the bumps before it got in trouble. We have front wheel sensors and it had both front wheels in the air last night on the last run and I can't remember the last time it's done that. It'll bobble the left front, but not the right front. It had them both in the air. I had the wheel turned hard left and when it landed it jerked the car left and it upset it and it smoked the tire. It's six of one, half a dozen of another. What do you do? and how far do you back up? This thing is an animal. It's Godzilla. Who lit a fire in its tail? We don't know, but we'll figure it out tomorrow and hopefully we'll be really good in Houston."