SCELZI GOES TO QUARTERFINALS IN COLUMBUS HEBRON, Ohio (May 21, 2006) - A rare broken rear-end on the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car put Gary Scelzi on the sidelines today in the quarterfinal round of final eliminations at the Pontiac...
SCELZI GOES TO QUARTERFINALS IN COLUMBUS
HEBRON, Ohio (May 21, 2006) - A rare broken rear-end on the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car put Gary Scelzi on the sidelines today in the quarterfinal round of final eliminations at the Pontiac Performance NHRA Nationals at National Trail Raceway.
After switching from a damaged Charger to the Stratus in qualifying and for eliminations, the reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion easily disposed of Scott Kalitta in the opening round with a solid 4.846-second pass at 314.17 mph. The second round, however, saw his demise, as he crossed the finish line in smoke and haze with a 5.053/237.63 pass to Pedregon's winning 4.865/320.74.
"I've broken every race part known to man, and never, since I've been NHRA racing, have I broken a rear end," he said. "They're huge, they're strong, they're reliable.
"We used to get 80-90 runs out of them. We started changing them at 50 and this one broke at 32.
"It probably has a lot to do with the (tire) shake and the race tracks that we've been on, the bumps, loading and unloading. It's hard on equipment. The rev limiter is hard on the equipment, the bumps are hard on the rear end; off and on, and bounce and shake.
"We just found another way to get beat. what are you going to do?
"The good news is we figured out some things aerodynamically with the Charger that I think will make it better, make it more driver-friendly. What I've learned we passed on to (teammates Whit) Bazemore and (Ron) Capps, so they're not going to have the struggles that our car has had, and we should have a pretty good race car come Topeka. Maybe we can break through there.
"We're not giving up on winning, that's for sure."
Scelzi stays 11th in Funny Car points.
Next up is the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan., May 25-28.