Pomona II: Gary Scelzi preview

Scelzi Says Changes To Mopar/Oakley Dodge May Spoil Everybody's Day In Pomona POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 7, 2006) - Gary Scelzi has had a tough 2006 season defending his 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship, and aims to end it...

Scelzi Says Changes To Mopar/Oakley Dodge May Spoil Everybody's Day In Pomona

POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 7, 2006) - Gary Scelzi has had a tough 2006 season defending his 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship, and aims to end it by "spoiling everybody's day" at the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals this weekend.

"I always love coming to Pomona," says the driver of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, a Fresno, Calif., native, "because it's only four hours away from home, and what we learned on Monday testing after the Las Vegas race, with my teammate Ron Capps driving my car, I think, is going to be a big benefit to us at Pomona. The race track is outstanding, I've had a lot of success here over my career, and we think we can cause a lot of problems for the points leaders (John Force, Capps and Robert Hight). While they're out fighting for the championship, we think we can come in and spoil everybody's day. That's what we're hoping to do."

No, the four-time NHRA world champion is not being mean-spirited, just extremely motivated. After winning three events in 2005 to take the championship down to the wire at the final Pomona event that year, he's struggled to win only once in 2006, and stands seventh in Funny Car points.

"We've been pretty quiet for most of the year, except for (winning in) Denver," he says. "And our Mopar/Oakley Dodge hasn't been that consistent, but we feel that the changes that we made in Monday testing at Vegas are going to make our car run really well on a good race track. And that's what we like to see."

As for his difficult season finally coming to an end: "I'm glad it's over," he adds. "It's been a long, frustrating year for all of us. Hopefully Pomona will show that the changes we made finally at the end of the year are going to make our car consistent again, and then we're going to have something to build on with January testing and we'll come right back to Pomona (for the 2007 season opener) in fighting trim. That will be a good thing."

Scelzi's Pomona record includes three Top Fuel wins (Pomona 1 in 1997, Pomona 1 and 2 in 2000), but no Funny Car victories. He's qualified No. 1 four times at Pomona Raceway: three times in Top Fuel, and once in Funny Car, in last year's Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA finals.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Robert Hight