Brainerd: Gary Scelzi final report

SCELZI OUSTED BY J. FORCE IN BRAINERD FIRST ROUND BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 10, 2008) - Gary Scelzi tied his round-win record against John Force to 12-12 today at the 27th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway when Force defeated...

SCELZI OUSTED BY J. FORCE IN BRAINERD FIRST ROUND

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 10, 2008) - Gary Scelzi tied his round-win record against John Force to 12-12 today at the 27th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway when Force defeated him in the opening round of eliminations.

Despite the medical absence of his crew chief Todd Okuhara, Scelzi was pumped by the performance of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car in the final round of qualifying on Saturday, where he posted his quickest lap of the weekend (4.291/286.86). In the opening round of eliminations, Scelzi launched first off the starting lights (.086 reaction time to Force's .089), but it was the 14-time Funny Car champion first across the finish line, recording a winning 4.229-second elapsed time at 293.15 mph, followed by Scelzi's losing 4.291/289.69.

"It's unfortunate that Todd got ill, but we did get expert help from (Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge crew chief) Phil Shuler and the Army's Alan Johnson, but it wasn't to be today," said Scelzi, who can still mathematically make it into the top 10 in point standings in order to compete in the Countdown to 1 playoffs, which begin after the next two national events. He is 134 points outside of the top 10.

"It's been a tough season for the Mopar/Oakley Dodge team, and when you put yourself in a position to having only three races to get into the Countdown, it makes it tough to get there.

"It is too bad, because this car is a lot better than this, although we haven't shown it. It's very disappointing.

"All we can do is hope to win the next two races to try to squeak into the top 10. If not, we'll just be a headache to the others in the Countdown to 1 playoffs rounds."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Gary Scelzi