Phoenix post-race notes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 POST-RACE NOTES: ATSCO NATIONALS, FEB. 20-23, PHOENIX TOP FUEL --Gary Scelzi became the first NHRA Top Fuel driver to win the first two races of the season since the late...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761

POST-RACE NOTES: ATSCO NATIONALS, FEB. 20-23, PHOENIX

TOP FUEL

--Gary Scelzi became the first NHRA Top Fuel driver to win the first two races of the season since the late Gary Ormsby in 1989.

--The field was the quickest in NHRA history. Eddie Hill was No. 16 at 4.802 seconds in the Pennzoil Dragster. The previous quickest field came at the Western Auto Nationals presented by Slick 50 in July 1996 at Topeka, Kan., where Gordie Bonin was No. 16 at 4.846 in the BME Dragster.

FUNNY CAR

--Defending NHRA Winston champion John Force has won 15 of 21 national events since February 1996 in the Castrol GTX Pontiac Firebird.

--Kenji Okazaki qualified No. 1 in the Mooneyes Dodge Avenger for the first time since the Mac Tools Gatornationals in March 1994 at Gainesville, Fla.

--Cruz Pedregon failed to qualify for the first time in his Funny Car career, which started in 1992. Pedregon, from Camarillo, Calif., had qualified for 93 consecutive NHRA national events.

PRO STOCK

--Ten-time NHRA Winston champion Bob Glidden did not compete in an NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series national event for just the second time since his career started in 1972. Glidden, from Whiteland, Ind., missed this event because he was in Rockingham, N.C., trying to secure a deal with NASCAR Winston Cup driver Geoff Bodine to help with Bodine's engine-development program. The only other NHRA event that Glidden has missed is the 1995 Chief Auto Parts Winternationals. He was recovering from six-way heart bypass surgery.

--Former NBA standout Larry Nance qualified for the first time in NHRA Pro Stock competition. Nance, from Akron, Ohio, was No. 11 in the Catch 22 Oldsmobile Cutlass. He failed to qualify in the first seven national events of his NHRA career, which started in June 1996. Nance played power forward for 13 seasons for the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers. -30-

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Gary Scelzi , Bob Glidden , Cruz Pedregon , Larry Nance