Madison: Gary Scelzi preview

SCELZI AIMS TO CONTINUE HIS GATEWAY HOT STREAK MADISON, Ill. (June 22, 2006) - Gary Scelzi is hot on Gateway International Raceway's quarter-mile. And it's not because of the high temperatures and humidity the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series ...

SCELZI AIMS TO CONTINUE HIS GATEWAY HOT STREAK

MADISON, Ill. (June 22, 2006) - Gary Scelzi is hot on Gateway International Raceway's quarter-mile. And it's not because of the high temperatures and humidity the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams have to endure here each year. It's because he's won here four times - more than any other NHRA pro driver - and he's aiming to make it five this weekend at the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals.

Now that the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car is back torching the dragstrips following an early-season slump, the reigning NHRA Funny Car champion is ready to make a major jump in the points rankings and begin to seriously defend his crown.

"St. Louis has been really good to us," says Scelzi, who won the Funny Car event here in 2004, Top Fuel in 1998, 1999 and 2000, was low qualifier five times, and holds the Funny Car elapsed-time track record of 4.724 seconds, as well as top-speed track record of 330.23 mph.

"We know we have a car that can win. I think (crew chief) Mike Neff and the Mopar/Oakley Dodge crew demonstrated that last weekend in Englishtown, where we were runner-up. We should have won that race, and it certainly boosted our confidence. We feel this upswing in performance is going to continue and we'll be chipping our way back up in the points and into the championship chase."

As for the potentially stifling conditions here at Gateway, despite competition being held in late afternoon and evening: "Bring on the heat and humidity! We can handle it," said the Fresno, Calif., native.

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Mike Neff