SCELZI STAYS MUM ON TITLE TALK, LOOKS FOR GOOD WEATHER IN BRAINERD BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 10, 2005) - Sticking to his guns and declining to discuss the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship chase, in which he's only 16...
SCELZI STAYS MUM ON TITLE TALK, LOOKS FOR GOOD WEATHER IN BRAINERD
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 10, 2005) - Sticking to his guns and declining to discuss the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship chase, in which he's only 16 points behind leader Robert Hight with eight races remaining, Gary Scelzi is looking for good weather conditions at Brainerd Int'l Raceway this weekend for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
"It's been re-paved, re-surfaced, so the track should be good depending on the weather," said the Fresno, Calif., native who was Funny Car runner-up here in 2004, Top Fuel winner in 1998, and No. 1 qualifier in Funny Car in 2003 and in Top Fuel in 1999. "It's definitely a very smooth race track. That's important.
"If the conditions are right you don't have to pull back on the power," continued the driver of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T who is seeking his first Funny Car championship to go with his three Top Fuel crowns. "There are no bumps so there's no unloading of the chassis. We've got a good handle on our tune-up, whether it's hot or cold.
"I probably should be wishing for hot weather, because we seem to have a very good hot-weather tune-up, which we showed in Sonoma (winner there two weeks ago) and everywhere else. When it's cooler it seems to equal out everybody because it's easy to make power and make the car go down the race track. But when it's warm and slippery, it's definitely harder to manage the power, and (crew chief) Mike Neff has been very good at that lately. We should run very well."
Scelzi has three wins in four final rounds this season, is second in points, 16 behind Hight, 70 ahead of John Force in third, and 72 ahead of his teammate Ron Capps in fourth. Scelzi would like to become only the second driver in NHRA history to have won championships in both Funny Car and Top Fuel. Kenny Bernstein is the first.