Topeka: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

SCELZI NO. 8 QUALIFIER IN TOPEKA TOPEKA, Kan. (May 27, 2006) - Gary Scelzi, the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion, recorded three of four strong passes at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka to ...

SCELZI NO. 8 QUALIFIER IN TOPEKA

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 27, 2006) - Gary Scelzi, the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion, recorded three of four strong passes at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka to qualify the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T No. 8 in the Funny Car field.

Scelzi's only tire-smoking run came in the final session under the hottest conditions of the weekend (11.581/73.83), with ambient temperatures in the 90s and track temperatures reaching 130 degrees.

The Fresno, Calif., native posted his quickest effort, of 4.905/245.18, in the initial qualifying run on Friday, which was followed by a 4.973/245.18 and a 4.991/291.32 before that final attempt.

"Made it three out of four," he said. "On Friday night the car made a move left and I was premature when I shut it off early, not wanting to take any chances.

"The changes we made to the front of the Charger body make it a lot more drivable," he said of the repairs and modifications made after the body was damaged in Columbus. "But it's just going to be hell tomorrow. I mean, 130-degree track temperatures and a one -lane race track.

"The bumps are bad on the start in the left lane. The car hits the wheelie bar and unloads and it's going to be a crapshoot tomorrow.

"This track has so many bumps in it that the car just chatters all the way down the race track. The left lane is worse in the beginning. After the first 60 feet both lanes are pretty equal. It's getting the car to go 60 feet without unloading and getting the driveshaft fast and controlling the power.

"It's going to be a day from hell tomorrow."

Scelzi faces Frank Pedregon in first round of eliminations on Sunday.

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Frank Pedregon , Gary Scelzi