St. Louis: Gary Scelzi final report

SCELZI LOSES CLOSE ONE AT GATEWAY MADISON, Ill. (May 4, 2008) - Four-time NHRA Midwest Nationals champion Gary Scelzi lost a close race today in the Funny Car opening round of the 2008 Midwest Nationals at Gateway International ...

SCELZI LOSES CLOSE ONE AT GATEWAY

MADISON, Ill. (May 4, 2008) - Four-time NHRA Midwest Nationals champion Gary Scelzi lost a close race today in the Funny Car opening round of the 2008 Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.

Following yesterday's cool and windy conditions, Sunday dawned warm and sunny with hopes high for the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T team to win another national event at this track across the bridge from St. Louis. The Mopar/Oakley Dodge ran strong, with Scelzi posting a swift 4.863-second elapsed time at 314.17 mph. Unfortunately, he was three feet short of the victory, as Cruz Pedregon beat him on a holeshot advantage with a 4.873/311.34. Scelzi posted an excellent reaction time, a .064 (.000 is perfect), to Pedregon's .048.

Nevertheless, Scelzi is pumped by the performance of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge.

"That was like the third best reaction time of the round," said Scelzi, who is 13th in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car rankings. "That was a really good run. Three out of four (strong passes) in qualifying and a really good first round. It's just unfortunate. The good news is we've got a race car now and it's going to run really well from here on out. So we're excited about the rest of the season."

As for coming back to Gateway, where he's a fan favorite: "It was really good to come here because of the crowd and everyone at the Raceway," said Scelzi. "From the dirt track all the way to the drag race, the fans were cheering me on out here and I was signing autographs. It makes you feel good."

Scelzi won the "NHRA on Dirt" event at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill., on Thursday, May 1. Also, his 11-year-old son Dominic won his first Restricted 600 Mini-Sprint race of the season on Saturday in California.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Cruz Pedregon