Memphis: Gary Scelzi Saturday notes

SCELZI MAKES FUNNY CAR FIELD IN FINAL TRY MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Sept. 15, 2007) - Gary Scelzi had a tough outing in qualifying for the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals. He and the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T team endured mechanical glitches and...

SCELZI MAKES FUNNY CAR FIELD IN FINAL TRY

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Sept. 15, 2007) - Gary Scelzi had a tough outing in qualifying for the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals. He and the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T team endured mechanical glitches and body changes to finally make it into the 16-car field with a 4.867-second elapsed time at 315.34 mph, set in the final run.

His previous passes were a 4.954/301.74 (good for No. 8 at at the time), a 5.185/208.59 (No. 16) and a 6.891/122.01 (DQ).

"Finally, nothing broke or fell off, nothing stupid happened," he said of the final pass. "We left a little bit on the table, but that's OK. We had to get the thing in the show and Todd (Okuhara, crew chief, along with Phil Shuler) was shooting for an .87 and I'm glad it ended up with an .86, because that helped. We're in the show, we get to race.

"The Countdown is a big thing," added Scelzi, who is seventh in the Countdown to Four, "and we need to make things happen tomorrow. You can't do it when you're not in. We're in, don't care where at. We'll just go out and do it tomorrow."

As for the mechanical issues, "It broke a Heim joint on the barrel valve, which was aluminum," Scelzi explained. "I'm not sure why we ever had an aluminum Heim joint there, but I guess we're the only ones that run them, and it broke. It was fairly new. I think it was new at the Indy test session, which is not something that normally breaks.

"But, with our luck right now, it broke, so now we've got steel Heim joints in there and everything is good. We know that won't break, and I think we've got everything the way it's supposed to be.

"Also, we changed bodies because when that arm fell off the barrel valve the motor went lean and blew the burst panels and cracked the windshield and the doghouse and we didn't have a spare set for this body, so we had to make it fit. It'll be OK for tomorrow. The guys ran out of time to make everything fit.

"So, if we have a little bit of luck tomorrow, we can go out and whip some ass."

Scelzi faces Gary Densham in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Gary Densham