SCELZI LOSES A CLOSE SECOND ROUND, MOVES INTO TOP 10 IN TOPEKA TOPEKA, Kan. (May 28, 2006) - Gary Scelzi moved into 10th place in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings today following his first-round win in eliminations at...
SCELZI LOSES A CLOSE SECOND ROUND, MOVES INTO TOP 10 IN TOPEKA
TOPEKA, Kan. (May 28, 2006) - Gary Scelzi moved into 10th place in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings today following his first-round win in eliminations at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
No. 8 qualifier Scelzi, driving the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T, easily defeated Frank Pedregon in the opener, with a 4.946-second elapsed time at 303.03 mph to Pedregon's 6.118/164.79.
Just four feet separated Scelzi from his opponent, Robert Hight, at the finish stripe in the quarterfinal, however, as Hight took the win over the reigning Funny Car champion by a margin of .0097 of a second, posting a 4.977/293.09 victory over Scelzi's 5.008/297.61.
"The most important thing for me is to get my confidence back to know I can drive the car," said Scelzi who, along with everyone else, endured extreme heat and high winds this weekend in the heart of Kansas. "And the changes we made obviously worked because this was a difficult race track, especially with the wind and it being so hot.
"The Mopar/Oakley Dodge was wanting to move around a lot and we kept it in the groove every run.
"I'm not upset. We actually made three out of the four runs in qualifying and two runs in eliminations without smoking the tires. Zippy (crew chief Mike Neff) has really come into his own and the car is handling well. There are a few improvements we're going to do to it to make it even better and faster. We're going to be able to do that before Chicago.
"We broke through to the top 10. We have a lot of positives. We just need to keep digging. But we're a lot better off than we were at the beginning (of the season). And now we look back and we can actually see the improvements. All the work that we've done has started to pay off. So, let's go to Chicago."
Next up is the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., June 9-11.