SCELZI EARNS QUARTERFINAL FINISH IN POMONA POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2006) - It's not something you would expect from the very competitive 2005 NHRA Funny Car champion, but Gary Scelzi is a happy man after his quarterfinal finish at the ...
SCELZI EARNS QUARTERFINAL FINISH IN POMONA
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2006) - It's not something you would expect from the very competitive 2005 NHRA Funny Car champion, but Gary Scelzi is a happy man after his quarterfinal finish at the season-opening CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway.
It's better than the first-round loss he endured at this event in 2005 to start off his championship season.
No. 3 qualifier Scelzi, who set a track record of 332.51 mph, his 20th top speed since entering the Funny Car class in 2002, first disposed of Tony Bartone in the initial round of eliminations, with a stellar 4.775-second elapsed time at 324.05 mph to Bartone's 4.914/293.79, then lost to Bob Gilbertson in the second round (4.880/283.19 to 6.908/131.88).
"We're one better than we were the year before," said Scelzi, who leaves here in sixth position in the Funny Car class of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series (he left here in 12th in 2005). "We're just kind of a little dumbfounded as to what happened. Everything looked exactly the same as first round. It was safe and, all of a sudden, it's like the clutch grabbed the motor and it shook the tire right off.
"We're a little confused right now, as to what really happened. It's a good start, and it's great that my teammate Ron Capps went to the final round.
"We're better than we were. We're in the top 10 in points leaving here, which we weren't last year, so we got a lot of positives to look forward to. We just need to keep doing better than we did last year at the same places and hopefully it will work out to another championship."
Next up is the Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals in Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 24-26.