SCELZI NO. 1 IN READING FRIDAY QUALIFYING READING, Pa. (Sept. 16, 2005) - After two of four qualifying sessions, Gary Scelzi holds the No. 1 qualifying position for this weekend's NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. Driving the Mopar/Oakley...
SCELZI NO. 1 IN READING FRIDAY QUALIFYING
READING, Pa. (Sept. 16, 2005) - After two of four qualifying sessions, Gary Scelzi holds the No. 1 qualifying position for this weekend's NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. Driving the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing, Scelzi posted a 4.766-second elapsed time at 322.11 mph in the evening session, under the coolest conditions of the weekend.
Scelzi, in the Funny Car points lead by a single point over Robert Hight, stands eight positions ahead of Hight right now, who's in ninth.
"Don't count on that happening very long," he said of that margin. "In fact, everyone was making a joke that I was the point leader until I got into Reading because Robert has been on such a tear in qualifying. We're ovbviously not dead just because we've got only a one-point lead. There's five of us right now that could be the champion. We just don't know what's going to happen until we play this thing out.
"It sure looks good with me on top," he laughed.
As for the hot conditions here today, and not the usually expected cool temperatures: "Actually, I like it like this," he said. "It's a little bit harder to negotiate and the asphalt here is very porous. It's got holes in it. So when the track gets warm you have a lot of trouble when you come off the concerete of slipping the tire. We didn't know what was going to happen with these rev limiters and all this type of stuff. Plus we learned a lot from last year.
"Last year was very difficult to negotiate and (John) Force was a killer, even in the sunlight. We had our backs against the wall in the final round. Fortunately for us he had a clutch problem because we knew he could run a .70 something and we weren't going to try to run that."