Reading: Gary Scelzi final summary

GOOD AND BAD LUCK FOR SCELZI IN READING MOHNTON, Pa. (Oct. 1, 2006) - Reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi benefited from good luck in the opening round of eliminations at the rescheduled Toyo Tires NHRA ...

GOOD AND BAD LUCK FOR SCELZI IN READING

MOHNTON, Pa. (Oct. 1, 2006) - Reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi benefited from good luck in the opening round of eliminations at the rescheduled Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals today, then was the victim of bad luck in the second round.

In the opening stanza, driving the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T, Scelzi got a gift from Gary Densham, who crossed the centerline after Scelzi had already broken down and slowed to a dead stop in the other lane. Densham was disqualified, Scelzi received no elapsed time, was towed off the track, yet won the round.

The second round saw Scelzi versus Phil Burkart Jr., who had just dismissed his teammate Ron Capps. Scelzi took off with a .096 reaction time; Burkart responded with a .068 (.000 is perfect). In an instant, it was over for Scelzi, as he struck the tires early and coasted to an 11.954/75.34 losing lap.

"Absolutely bizarre," said the Fresno, Calif., native. "It caught us by surprise. We actually took some timing out of it, took some primary weight off of it to make sure we'd get down the race track first round, because a lot of the Top Fuel cars were smoking their tires, and we wanted to be safe.

"We went out there and smoked the tires and I went to pedal it and nothing happened. Then Densham shot in front of me and I saw cones flying and the motor was off, the blower drive broke, it wouldn't do anything.

"Next round we took more weight off of it, took more timing out of it, put bigger tires on it, did everything we thought of to get it down the race track, and it just didn't want to hear it. It got in trouble right away and there was nothing we were going to do."

Slightly warmer, sunny conditions today after two days of clouds and occasional rain drops, may have been a factor. "It's a shock," said Scelzi. "The sun on the race track just changed everything. The temperature wasn't that different; it's just like the track was different the last two days to today. So, we'll see what happens in Virginia."

Scelzi is seventh in points, 61 points out of fifth place.

Next up is the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va., Oct. 6-8.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Gary Densham , Phil Burkart