Phoenix: Gary Scelzi Friday summary

Scelzi and Hemi Oakley Dodge No. 7 after one qualifying round at Firebird CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 5, 2004) - Gary Scelzi and his HEMI-powered Oakley Dodge impressed in the first round of qualifying for the CSK Nationals, Round 2 of the 2004 NHRA...

Scelzi and Hemi Oakley Dodge No. 7 after one qualifying round at Firebird

CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 5, 2004) - Gary Scelzi and his HEMI-powered Oakley Dodge impressed in the first round of qualifying for the CSK Nationals, Round 2 of the 2004 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series at Firebird Raceway, by taking the No. 1 position with a blistering 4.878-second elapsed time at 319.60 mph in the middle of a warm and sunny day.

By the time the final pair of Scelzi and Eric Medlen came to the line for the second round of qualifying in the cool of the evening, Scelzi was looking at No. 6. He was considered the favorite to torch the quarter-mile with a record-breaking pass, but it wasn't to be, as he came awfully close to the wall at top speed, forcing him to slow to a 5.112/235.43, which dropped him to No. 7.

"The whole idea is to get the car in the show in the first run, and we did that," he said. "Then you shoot your shot for the Friday-night run and you see what you can do. It picked up two hundredths early. It was running really well, but it chattered the tire and I was drifting toward the centerline. And right when it started to chatter was when I turned it left, which turned the whole car left. It drove me right over to the wall. And at that time I was done. I couldn't get it off the wall. I drove it for three or four hundred feet right next to the fence and it wasn't coming off the wall. Better judgment took over and said No, shut it off. So I did."

"We're pleased," he continued. "The car is responding; it's doing what it's supposed to do. We probably had a little bit too much timing out of it where it chattered. We probably could have left it in there. So we learned something. We're in good shape. I'm not unhappy at all. We're OK."

Two more rounds of qualifying will be held tomorrow, Saturday, with final eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Eric Medlen