Pomona: Gary Scelzi preview

DEFENDING EVENT CHAMP SCELZI READY TO GET DOWN TO BUSINESS IN POMONA FRESNO, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2008) - In the so-called off-season, four-time NHRA world champion Gary Scelzi spent much of his time helping run Scelzi Enterprises, competing at the...

DEFENDING EVENT CHAMP SCELZI READY TO GET DOWN TO BUSINESS IN POMONA

FRESNO, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2008) - In the so-called off-season, four-time NHRA world champion Gary Scelzi spent much of his time helping run Scelzi Enterprises, competing at the Chili Bowl and racing with sons Dominic and Giovanni. But it's time to get down to the business of Funny Car competition, he says, as the 24-event 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series opens this weekend at the CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.

"I'm really excited about getting the 2008 POWERade season started this year," said the defending event champion, "after running the midget at the Chili Bowl, racing with the kids and getting back involved with Scelzi Enterprises. Coincidentally, I mixed in some company business with the Phoenix testing by visiting dealerships down there with some of my sales staff, so that was very productive.

"Now it's time to get down to NHRA drag racing. We're going into Pomona with a lot of rule changes, a lot of variables right now. Everybody is trying to build new, stiffer cars. We're running the same car as last year, but we have a new Brad Hadman chassis. With the bad weather at preseason testing in Phoenix, however, we weren't able to run it.

"So, there's a lot of unknowns. Along with the excitement of wanting to get to Pomona and get going, there's also a lot of questions in my mind that are unanswered. The cars are 100 pounds heavier. How are they going to be able to stop? Pomona is a short race track.

"I'm happy with the revised Countdown format, but I'm curious about the new qualifying rule, let's put it that way. I'm not sold on that. But, I'm ready. Pomona has always been good. I've had a lot of success there, won a lot of races in Alcohol, won a lot of races in Top Fuel, and now in Funny Car. It's always good to come back to a race as the defending event champion.

"Let's pull the cord on this thing and get this thing started."

Scelzi, of Fresno, Calif., has three Top Fuel victories at Pomona and one in Funny Car.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi