Seattle: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

SCELZI SNARES NO. 2 IN SEATTLE QUALIFYING KENT, Wash. (July 23, 2005) - Gary Scelzi posted four strong and steady runs in Funny Car qualifying for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals this weekend at Pacific Raceways, positioning himself...

SCELZI SNARES NO. 2 IN SEATTLE QUALIFYING

KENT, Wash. (July 23, 2005) - Gary Scelzi posted four strong and steady runs in Funny Car qualifying for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals this weekend at Pacific Raceways, positioning himself easily into the No. 2 spot through all four sessions. At the same time, he collected a top-speed track record of 325.85 mph.

Scelzi drove the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus Funny Car to a 4.824/319.37, a 4.776/325.85, a 4.804/313.88 and a 4.836/314.24. In the first round, he was No. 2 to Robert Hight. In the second he was tied for second quickest of that round with Hight, but Eric Medlen was No. 1. He was No. 3 in the the third run to Medlen and Phil Burkart Jr., and No. 2 again to Hight in the last session.

"That's OK," he said. "Hight, John Force and I (the top three in points) are on the same side of the ladder. The good news is we made four for four (in qualifying) and it's been between an .80 and a .77. That's what we try to do and that's why I'm glad we're back to sea level," he said, referring to the Mopar Mile-High Nationals last weekend in Denver."

Unfortunately, Scelzi will face his teammate Whit Bazemore in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.

"We're still playing with things," he added. "I think we can run as quick as Robert, but we don't need to worry about Robert right now. We just need to worry about beating Bazemore first round, as bad as that may sound. That's important."

"You know, I have an empty spot in my stomach about racing Bazemore, because Bazemore's a killer guy on the tree, and they can jump up and whip us. But it's just that Bazemore's had a tough year and I just don't think he deserves to have a tough year. I'd like to see him do well, but I can't wish him well tomorrow. It needs to be us. We need to win this championship."

"Hopefully we can get through here and do our job and beat Bazemore and go on and win the race, because it will be all for naught if we can't beat Bazemore and win the race. That's what we need to do."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Phil Burkart , Eric Medlen , Robert Hight