Brainerd: Gary Sclezi Saturday summary

Scelzi sizzles on hot Brainerd track, takes no. 1 BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 16, 2003) - Gary Scelzi's been sizzling the last three races and he continued that trend on a hot Brainerd International Raceway by qualifying No. 1 for the second time in...

Scelzi sizzles on hot Brainerd track, takes no. 1

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 16, 2003) - Gary Scelzi's been sizzling the last three races and he continued that trend on a hot Brainerd International Raceway by qualifying No. 1 for the second time in three races. And the race in which he didn't qualify No. 1, well, he won that one, in Sonoma, Calif., for his first career Fuel Funny Car victory.

After the final two qualifying sessions were held today, the driver of the Oakley Time Bomb Dodge Stratus held on as low qualifier with the 4.940/311.63 pass he established on Friday evening. It was another scorcher today, and no one was able to knock Scelzi out of the top spot. In the third qualifying session today, the slippery track wasn't able to produce any stellar runs, and Scelzi spun the tires to a 5.617/182.08 lap. In the final session in slightly cooler conditions Scelzi knocked off the third quickest run of that round, 4.991/311.99.

"I feel good. I'm glad we made it down the race track tonight," he said. "Even though we were No. 1 qualifier you don't like to go into Sunday with one out of four runs. It almost made it the run before, but it was just a little bit on the aggressive side. It probably would have run a 5.10, but it started spinning the tires so I shut it off."

"So we kind of went back to how we were going to run it tomorrow and it came back and ran a 4.99. The car had a vibration in it in the burnout and it had carried it all the way through on the run. I'm not sure what that was. It might be a tire out of balance or something; we'll have to check. We're ready for tomorrow, we've got tires that are scuffed and we've got brand new tires, so we're ready for whatever tomorrow brings. If it's hot we should be OK; we should be able to go down the race track. I feel pretty good about my chances for tomorrow."

"Everybody is upbeat and everybody's dancing to a little bit different drum," he remarked about his revitalized team after his two No. 1s and a win in Sonoma. "Right now they're knocking that thing apart like it's between rounds. They're looking everything over, but they're hustling. Everybody is upbeat and excited. It's good when you have that feeling. You're coming off a win, another No. 1 qualifying. We need this. We need to make a move in these POWERade points and that's what we want to do. We can't really slip up from here on out. We've got to do well and we've got to go late in the rounds."

With No. 6 in points Ron Capps not qualifying this weekend, and with just a 62-point deficit to No. 7 in points Tommy Johnson Jr., who's qualified 10th, Scelzi has an opportunity to move up even further in points from his No. 8 standing. He will face Phil Burkart Jr. in the first round tomorrow and, surprise, he can only meet his teammate Whit Bazemore on Sunday if they both make it to the final round!

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Phil Burkart , Tommy Johnson Jr.