Baytown: Gary Scelzi Satruday notes

SCELZI MAKES HOUSTON FIELD IN NO. 16 BAYTOWN, Texas (March 28, 2008) - Following his DNQ (did not qualify) at the previous event of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, in Gainesville, Fla., Scelzi came back to seize the 16th spot in Funny...

SCELZI MAKES HOUSTON FIELD IN NO. 16

BAYTOWN, Texas (March 28, 2008) - Following his DNQ (did not qualify) at the previous event of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, in Gainesville, Fla., Scelzi came back to seize the 16th spot in Funny Car qualifying for the NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park.

Driving a brand-new Brad Hadman chassis on the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T, Scelzi struggled to get down the track during all four qualifying runs, but squeaked into the field with a 5.052-second pass at 296.57 mph in the final qualifying round. His other laps included an 8.430/92.38 (DNQ), a 14.543/74.23 (DNQ), and a 5.787/196.24 (No. 15 at the time).

"We got behind," said Scelzi, who still holds the track elapsed-time record here in the Top Fuel category (4.480 seconds), set in 1999. "This race track is definitely tricky. We have a brand new Hadman car that's doing the right things. We had a clutch malfunction last night, and it blew the tires off right at the hit. Shouldn't have done that. We found out what the problem was, we fixed it, we came out today and it ran really good to 500 feet, then smoked the tires. I pedaled it, desperately trying to get into the field.

"Thank God there was no rain (as had been predicted). And then in this last session we just had to get down the race track and we slowed the thing down, probably a little too much because it put a cylinder out. But it's in the show.

"I don't care. We can win from 16, but we can't win from 17. I'm excited about tomorrow. We're going to go in there with that kill-or-be-killed attitude and I think we can be dangerous. I wouldn't want to be Cruz Pedregon tomorrow," he smiled.

Scelzi will meet up with Pedregon in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi