Sonoma: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

Scelzi No. 5 and ready to race on Sunday in Sonoma SONOMA, Calif. (July 31, 2004) - Gary Scelzi put together two sturdy qualifying rounds under sunny skies today in the HEMI-powered Oakley Dodge Stratus Funny Car to establish the best setup for...

Scelzi No. 5 and ready to race on Sunday in Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif. (July 31, 2004) - Gary Scelzi put together two sturdy qualifying rounds under sunny skies today in the HEMI-powered Oakley Dodge Stratus Funny Car to establish the best setup for tomorrow's final eliminations. In the third qualifying session his 4.937/304.53 pass was the second quickest of the round, and this afternoon's lap against teammate Whit Bazemore of 4.998/306.67 produced a photogenic pass for the Don Schumacher Racing pair.

Bazemore nicked Scelzi's elapsed time by three hundredths of a second (4.963/310.27), but the Fresno native was happy with the data gathered by crew chief Mike Neff for tomorrow's tune-up. Last night's qualifying effort of 4.904/308.28 stood for No. 5 position.

"It's fun racing Bazemore because Baze and I are always in competition with each other - who leaves first, whose car runs faster - so that was actually a race among friends," said Scelzi, defending Funny Car champion here at the Fram-Autolite NHRA Nationals.

"It went 4.99. It was a little slower than we thought, but the track got better, so it kind of ran through the clutch a little bit. But that's what qualifying is all about. Once you get into the field, you can then get to see where you're at and what's going on.

"We know tomorrow if we get in the finals that the track is probably going to get a little tighter and we might be able to get away with a lot more.

"I'm not worried about the 4.88 of (No. 1 qualifier John) Force (in this last round) or anybody else, because we know we have the power to do that. We just need to go down the race track and run low 4.90s tomorrow and, if we get in the final, unload an .88 on them and we'll steal the money and run."

Scelzi faces Tony Bartone in the first round of final eliminations, which begin at 11 a.m. PT.

-dsr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Bartone , Whit Bazemore , Gary Scelzi , Don Schumacher , Mike Neff