Reading: Gary Scelzi Saturday notes

SCELZI DOES NOT QUALIFY IN READING MOHNTON, Pa. (Aug. 16, 2008) - Gary Scelzi failed to qualify for the 24th annual NHRA Nationals today at Maple Grove Raceway, despite a valiant effort in the final qualifying session. In the first pairing in...

SCELZI DOES NOT QUALIFY IN READING

MOHNTON, Pa. (Aug. 16, 2008) - Gary Scelzi failed to qualify for the 24th annual NHRA Nationals today at Maple Grove Raceway, despite a valiant effort in the final qualifying session.

In the first pairing in his last attempt to plant the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into the 16-car field, Scelzi pulled out a 4.240-second pass at 289.01 mph, which moved him from No. 20 into No. 15. Only two cars in the ensuing pairs could bump him out: Gary Densham and/or Melanie Troxel. Densham laid down a solid run, bumping Scelzi to No. 16, then Troxel did her job by posting a quicker pass, relegating four-time NHRA champion Scelzi to the sidelines for the second time this season.

"It's been a tough weekend, without a doubt," said a disappointed Scelzi. "Our crew chief Todd Okuhara is still recuperating from his inner-ear infection and our clutch guy Michaeal Knudsen is still in the hospital after suffering burns in that freak accident here at Maple Grove on Thursday. Everyone on the Don Schumacher Racing team wishes him a quick recovery.

"Phil Shuler (regular crew chief on the Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge) did as good a job as he could tuning both cars with the help of Alan Johnson from the Army team, but the challenge was just too much, and we didn't get it done.

"Our chances, obviously, of making it into the top 10 for the Countdown to 1 playoffs are over. We'll just finish off the year by causing havoc for everyone else in the playoffs."

Scelzi's first three passes this weekend were a 4.265/278.92 (No. 8), 4.176/296.89 (No. 13), 9.141/77.48 (DNQ).

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Gary Densham , Melanie Troxel , Don Schumacher