Norwalk: Gary Scelzi preview

SCELZI TAKING TIME TO RELAX AND ENJOY FAMILY BEFORE NORWALK NORWALK, Ohio (June 25, 2008) - Four-time NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series champion Gary Scelzi traveled directly to Ohio following the Englishtown, N.J., event last weekend. Emotions...

SCELZI TAKING TIME TO RELAX AND ENJOY FAMILY BEFORE NORWALK

NORWALK, Ohio (June 25, 2008) - Four-time NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series champion Gary Scelzi traveled directly to Ohio following the Englishtown, N.J., event last weekend. Emotions took over the usually ebullient driver of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car after his good friend and fellow Funny Car racer Scott Kalitta was killed in a qualifying accident at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. He yearned to hug his wife Julie and two sons (Dominic, 11, and Giovanni, 6) before getting back into race mode for this weekend's Second Annual NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

"The thing I'm looking forward to most is having my wife and my boys come in (from their home in Fresno, Calif.)," said Fresno native Scelzi. "We're going to go to a Giants-Indians game in Cleveland, we're going to to to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and then we're going to go to the Water Park in Sandusky and ride the dragster roller coaster and make a mini-vacation out of it.

"I definitely need some relief right now. My family wasn't with me last weekend and I sure could have used them, but my racing family was there, so that kind of helped things along.

"I'm looking forward to getting back in the race car and trying to make our mark trying to qualify well, trying to win the race, trying to get ourselves in that coveted top 10, and trying to keep that positive attitude," added Scelzi, who is 12th in the rankings, just nine points out of the top 10. The top 10 will vie in the Countdown to the Championship following the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend.

"My attitude is positive as long as I'm not alone. I drove from Cleveland to Columbus, Ohio, and spent a couple of days with my good friend (Funny Car driver) Jim Head. You have a lot of time to reflect when you're by yourself, and sometimes alone time isn't a good thing.

"But, you know what, life goes on. Our thoughts are still with Scott and the whole Kalitta family, and that's not going to go away, ever. But we're just trying to look positive and try to do what I think Scott would want us to do, and look forward and concentrate on winning races, concentrate on having fun.

"We're not here for a long time, but we're here for a good time."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Gary Scelzi , Scott Kalitta