DON SCHUMACHER RACING DRIVERS CAPPS AND SCELZI TO PILOT DIRT CARS IN SEDALIA WED. NIGHT MADISON, Ill. (June 20, 2006) - In advance of this weekend's O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway (Madison, Ill.), Round 12 of...
DON SCHUMACHER RACING DRIVERS CAPPS AND SCELZI TO PILOT DIRT CARS IN SEDALIA WED. NIGHT
MADISON, Ill. (June 20, 2006) - In advance of this weekend's O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway (Madison, Ill.), Round 12 of the 23-event NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car drivers Ron Capps and Gary Scelzi will compete with eight other celebrity drivers in IMCA Modifieds in the Celebrity Modified Race at Sedalia State Fair Speedway, a half-mile dirt track in Sedalia, Mo.
Proceeds from this event, held Wednesday, June 21, will benefit the Michael Ross Memorial Foundation, founded in honor of the son of Tony and Kathy Ross from American Compressed Steel, Inc., following Michael's passing due to complications from Tay-Sachs disease. The MRMF is a non-profit charity organization supporting Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay, Mich.
Drivers currently scheduled to appear include Capps, Scelzi, Clint Bowyer, Cory McClenathan, Doug Kalitta, Jim Head, Bubba the Love Sponge and Speed Freak's Kenny Sargent.
"It's something that we've done every year for about four years," said Capps, who drives the Brut Dodge Charger Funny Car and is the current Funny Car points leader. "It's part of the National Sprint Tour and it's a huge race.
"They put us in dirt modifieds and it's a crazy mess, because you usually get some guys who haven't driven a dirt car before, and it gets to be quite exciting. Some day I'd like to not race in it and just go up in the stands and watch. It's a competitive race. The first year we did it, Steve Kinser drove in it, so did Scelzi, Tony Stewart, Danny Lasoski. It's a lot of fun.
"Gary is always the emcee of the auction Tuesday night and it raises a lot of money and goes to a great cause. It's really the only time that Gary and I get to go and hang out with the sprint-car guys in an atmosphere that's fun.
"Right after the celebrity race, the best sprint-car guys in the world race on the half-mile dirt track. And if you've never seen sprint cars on a half-mile track you've never seen anything. It's almost as crazy as driving a Funny Car.
"I ended up winning the race last year," Capps said meekly, "and I took my little plastic trophy they gave me and put it in our pit area and we went on to win the St. Louis race. Ever since then that trophy has been in our trailer, so I'm hoping to repeat."
It's been reported that Scelzi, the reigning NHRA Funny Car champion who drives the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger, found a local dirt track on which to secretly practice Monday night, but no sightings have been confirmed.
Last year, this event raised $190,000, which brought the total to over $700,000 raised since the inception of the MRMF.
Gates will open at 5:00 p.m. and racing begins at 7:00 p.m. Fans looking to secure tickets can purchase them at Yeager's Cycle in Sedalia, Mo., or by calling 660-826-2925. Discount coupons are available at area O'Reilly Auto Parts stores.