Phoenix: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

Scelzi No. 6 in final Firebird qualifying CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 6, 2004) - Final qualifying is over for the CSK NHRA Nationals at Firebird Raceway and Gary Scelzi sits in the No. 6 position for tomorrow's final eliminations following the last...

Scelzi No. 6 in final Firebird qualifying

CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 6, 2004) - Final qualifying is over for the CSK NHRA Nationals at Firebird Raceway and Gary Scelzi sits in the No. 6 position for tomorrow's final eliminations following the last two rounds of qualifying today.

The third qualifying round saw few cars get down the track at any substantial speed or elapsed time as a result of temperatures close to 80 degrees. Scelzi and his HEMI-powered Oakley Dodge Funny Car, however, proved their mettle by posting the second quickest E.T. of that round, 5.086-seconds, and the fourth fastest speed, 238.43 mph.

In the final round, as the temperatures cooled and the sun lowered in the desert sky, Scelzi pulled out a stronger 4.843/318.54 lap, not good enough for No. 1 but more than adequate to move him into No. 6.

"It's in the top half of the field, and that's what we were after," he said. "We made it down the race track three out of four times. The Friday night shot, like I said, you just throw that in the weeds and if it sticks, it sticks, and ours didn't.

"We're in good shape for tomorrow. (Teammate Whit) Bazemore was No. 1 for awhile, so he's in the top half. Unfortunately, we'll have to face each other in the semifinal if we both make it that far. For now, we have to worry about Ron Capps in the first round. That's what my focus is on, as usual."

Last week's Winternationals Funny Car winner Jerry Toliver failed to make the field, opening up the door for third-place Scelzi to gain in points in the Funny Car class of the 2004 POWERade Drag Racing Series. "With Toliver out that's a big move for us," Scelzi said. "There's going to be a lot of shuffling of the deck, come tomorrow."

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Jerry Toliver