Topeka: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

SCELZI GRABS NO. 8 QUALIFYING POSITION IN TOPEKA TOPEKA, Kan. (May 24, 2003) -- Gary Scelzi ended up No. 8 qualifier for the O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka tonight, with the 4.833-second lap he established yesterday in the ...

SCELZI GRABS NO. 8 QUALIFYING POSITION IN TOPEKA

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 24, 2003) -- Gary Scelzi ended up No. 8 qualifier for the O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka tonight, with the 4.833-second lap he established yesterday in the second round of qualifying. In today's third round, he and his Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car were good for No. 5 with his 4.854/321.73 lap, but he was unable to better that time under cool conditions tonight in the final round after a spark plug disposed of itself and he fell to No. 8.

"We ran very consistently," said the three-time Top Fuel champion still seeking his first Funny Car win. "We made it down the track three out of four times. It looks like the old Oakley Dodge is back. We ran good speed, everything is really looking good. I'm really excited about tomorrow.

"This last run we really tried to go for the pole and see what it would do, but we blew a spark plug out one second into the run, which killed it. I ended up shutting it down early because I saw orange coming out of the firewall, so I didn't want to take a chance if that was a fire or that was a broken header, or what that really was. But we're excited. It's the best car that we've had."

With Oakley teammate Scotty Cannon's strong run to qualify No. 4, as well as Whit Bazemore's No. 3 effort tonight, Scelzi was pleased for the entire Schumacher Racing team. "Scotty ran well, Whit ran well," he said. "It's the best the three Funny Cars have run, I think, all year long. Everybody is wound up around here at Team Schumacher."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Gary Scelzi , Scotty Cannon