Scelzi Reaches Final Round, Moves to Fifth in Points COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 13, 2004) - Consistency and performance marked Gary Scelzi's run to his fourth career Funny Car final round today, his second of the season, in the HEMI-powered Oakley...
Scelzi Reaches Final Round, Moves to Fifth in Points
COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 13, 2004) - Consistency and performance marked Gary Scelzi's run to his fourth career Funny Car final round today, his second of the season, in the HEMI-powered Oakley Dodge Stratus Funny Car.
The national top-speed record holder (and first to reach 330) of 330.55 mph first disposed of Tommy Johnson Jr. with a decent 4.959/300.80 pass. Then he placed Gary Densham squarely in his sights to send him packing with a 4.953/313.15 lap, followed by a holeshot win against Eric Medlen in the semifinal: 4.936/313.00/.079 R/T for Scelzi; 4.912/301.60/.123 R/T for Medlen.
Del Worsham was his opponent in the final round, and for the second round in a row Scelzi did not have lane choice and was relegated to the less-desirable right lane for the match-up. What some may have considered a setback, Scelzi and crew chief Mike Neff took in stride. It became a moot point, as both Worsham and Scelzi, who were neck-to-neck at the launch, struck the tires at about 400 feet. Each pedaled to the finish, but it was Worsham first across the line with a 5.487/254.62 against Scelzi's 5.651/206.95.
This effort moved Scelzi from seventh to fifth in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points.
"Everything was great," he said. "The race track just got hot and it just got loose out there. The HEMI-powered Oakley Dodge is doing exactly what Mike wants it to do. When it spun the tires, I pedaled it and it broke the blower studs. Otherwise, we'd be having a different conversation right now.
"I'm really happy," added the Fresno native. "It's not a minute too soon to make the move that we need to make, because we didn't need to fall behind in points. We've got a race car right now. We can swing the bat as hard as anybody but we weren't trying to. We were trying to race smart and that's exactly what we did and it got us to the final.
"It was hot, it was slippery and we both smoked the tires. It's just one of those things. We weren't going to roll over, but we weren't ordering steak and lobster, we were going for chicken dinner."
"You get to enough of those finals you're going to win your share. This is a great way to start off the three-race swing. Two finals in four races. I'm pretty pleased right now.
Next up is the K&N Filters Supernationals in Englishtown, N.J., June 18-20.