Pomona: Gary Scelzi final report

SCELZI OUSTED BY FORCE IN SECOND ROUND AT NHRA WINTERNATIONALS POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2008) - Defending event champ Gary Scelzi came from the No. 13 qualifying spot to take one round win today before exiting in a quarterfinals match-up against...

SCELZI OUSTED BY FORCE IN SECOND ROUND AT NHRA WINTERNATIONALS

POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2008) - Defending event champ Gary Scelzi came from the No. 13 qualifying spot to take one round win today before exiting in a quarterfinals match-up against 14-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force in the season-opening NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.

Scelzi, without lane choice, steered his HEMI®-powered Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car to a first-round win over Scott Kalitta, recording a pass of 4.911 seconds at 317.94 mph as Kalitta struck the tires. In his quarterfinals battle with Force, Scelzi cut a better reaction time at the tree (.060 to Force's .109), but the four-time NHRA champ suffered a breakage in the Mopar/Oakley Dodge shortly after launching, ending his bid to defend his NHRA Winternationals title.

"It's very disappointing. We thought that we had a car that could whip Force," said Scelzi, a member of the Don Schumacher Racing stable of Mopar-powered Funny Car drivers. "I had a good light against him. We broke a barrel valve, about a 10-dollar part. So at least it wasn't a two-cent part."

Scelzi added, "It's unfortunate, because we thought we could run in the heat and run with [Force], if not outrun him. It didn't happen.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Gary Scelzi , Scott Kalitta , Don Schumacher