Sonoma: Gary Scelzi preview

TWO-TIME SONOMA WINNER SCELZI RETURNS TO HOME TRACK SONOMA, Calif. (July 24, 2007) - "Wild Thing" Gary Scelzi is a two-time Funny Car class winner at Infineon Raceway and before he hangs up his helmet at the end of this season after winning four...

TWO-TIME SONOMA WINNER SCELZI RETURNS TO HOME TRACK

SONOMA, Calif. (July 24, 2007) - "Wild Thing" Gary Scelzi is a two-time Funny Car class winner at Infineon Raceway and before he hangs up his helmet at the end of this season after winning four NHRA championships (three in Top Fuel, one in Funny Car) since 1997, he wants to add to that list en route to claiming a fifth championship.

Fresno, Calif., native Scelzi says he's taking a sabbatical from the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, but not retiring, as there's always a chance he'll return to the fray in the future. But, for now, his plans include spending more time in the family business - Scelzi Enterprises in Fresno, which designs and manufactures truck bodies - and with his family. His son Dominic, 10, is already competing in Mini Sprints in Visalia, and son Giovanni, 5, is getting set to race go-karts.

It's a heady time for the driver of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T in his fifth season with Don Schumacher Racing. He's also being inducted into Infineon Raceway's Wall of Fame this weekend.

Scelzi is seeded sixth in the Funny Car point standings and is aiming to stay in the top eight towards a slot in the new Countdown to the Championship playoff which begins after the next three races at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day.

Life is good right now, he says, especially after surviving five of the six back-to-back races across the U.S. The Fram-Autolite Nationals this weekend is the sixth.

"Infineon is my home track, which is a good thing," said Scelzi, whose won two national events so far this season, "but the best thing is it's the end of the six-race swing. We're back in California, and I'm excited to be close to home.

"We'll have lots of friends and family joining us this weekend. It'll be hectic, but it will be rewarding as well, in many ways. Infineon is going to honor me, and I am totally appreciative of the recognition. This is an awesome facility.

"Having a weekend off after this event will be the icing on the cake. After that, we can put all our efforts into holding onto a spot in the Countdown."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Don Schumacher