Phoenix: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

SCELZI EKES OUT A TOP-HALF SPOT IN PHOENIX QUALIFYING CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2006) - Defending NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi breathed a sigh of relief when he finally qualified the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus...

SCELZI EKES OUT A TOP-HALF SPOT IN PHOENIX QUALIFYING

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2006) - Defending NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi breathed a sigh of relief when he finally qualified the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T No. 8 in the Funny Car field after wallowing in the bottom half all weekend.

Struggling through the first three qualifying rounds (7.272/112.73, 5.006/293.15 and 4.775/320.20), Scelzi entered the final session in No. 10 in the heat of the day and posted his best lap of the weekend, a 4.754-second elapsed time at 323.27 mph, placing him in the top half of the field and earning him lane choice for Sunday's eliminations.

"We're barely in the top half," he said. "I call that the medium half. I think we're back where we were supposed to be. "We had some parts that were worn out at Pomona (season opener) that we thought might have caused some problems in the second round and we chased them. We replaced them all and we were kind of working our way back and we got behind. We went up there (in the final session) and left a little too much on the table. We were trying to run a 4.71 or .72. What it showed us on that run is that we're going in the right diection.

"And tomorrow is going to be hotter and we can go down either lane. So, we're going to be fine."

As for meeting No. 9 qualifier Phil Burkart in the first round, who has a winning record against Scelzi? "Bring it on," Scelzi said. "It's time to start changing things around."

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Phil Burkart