Reading: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

SCELZI POST THREE SOLID PASSES - ONE ON FIRE - TO QUALIFY NO. 4 IN READING MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 29, 2006) - Reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi was buoyed by the results of his first pass down the Maple Grove...

SCELZI POST THREE SOLID PASSES - ONE ON FIRE - TO QUALIFY NO. 4 IN READING

MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 29, 2006) - Reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi was buoyed by the results of his first pass down the Maple Grove Raceway dragstrip while qualifying for the rescheduled Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.

It wasn't a perfect run, but his 4.733-second elapsed time at 312.71 mph was good for No. 2 at the time, which set him up for a stronger pass in the second round, a 4.709/328.62, garnering him No. 4. He then slowed to a 4.743/292.27 in the third and final sessioon - due to intermittent rain drops delaying today's schedule - when the car caught on fire at the finish line. No serious damage to car or driver was incurred.

"Another good 4.7 (-second) run," he said. "It was probably going to be a 4.69 or something, probably not much better than that. But, with no warning, it broke an intake valve and started on fire and then the fire kind of went down and I saw the orange in the firewall, in the little windows that we have, and it kept burning and burning. I thought, You know, I'd better not take a chance of burning this body up on this thing. There was no fire in the cockpit at all. This Charger body seals really good and I like this body; it's our only light one. And I got her stopped, no problem. When I got the body up at the end and when the Safety Safari guys got down there, it was still spraying, and no fire whatsoever.

"Good new, bad news, yeah, but the slowest it's run was a .74 and that was it, and it blew up pretty early (this last run). We're in good shape for tomorrow. We can run .60s if we have to. We'll try to go out there and run low .70s and try to win a race."

Scelzi faces Gary Densham in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations at Maple Grove Raceway.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Gary Densham