Commerce: Gary Scelzi Friday summary

Scelzi back to form, takes No. 5 in Friday Atlanta qualifying COMMERCE, Ga. (May 14, 2004) - Gary Scelzi's two qualifying rounds today demonstrated that the HEMI-powered Oakley Dodge Stratus team led by crew chief Mike Neff is returning to its...

Scelzi back to form, takes No. 5 in Friday Atlanta qualifying

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 14, 2004) - Gary Scelzi's two qualifying rounds today demonstrated that the HEMI-powered Oakley Dodge Stratus team led by crew chief Mike Neff is returning to its familiar form.

In the first qualifying session, Scelzi performed a straight, strong pass, just hazing the tires past half track and posting a 5.273-second pass at 210.83 mph.

Tonight's second round saw an even more solid pass, when Scelzi bombed down the quarter-mile to a 4.828-second ET at 319.45 mph, which was good for No. 2 at the time. By the completion of qualifying, Scelzi was in fifth.

"It was good because it made it on the first run," said Scelzi. "It didn't smoke the tires until half track, which is fine; that's easy to fix. The good news is our fuel system is doing what it's supposed to do, and the clutch is working like it's supposed to work, following a lot of hard work by Mike and the crew over this last week.

"A 4.82 is nothing to bark about, but we're pretty happy with that. It went down the race track basically two times and what I consider going down the race track is getting to half track. Our initial early numbers were very good. So I think we're in good shape for tomorrow. Now we need to go down the race track two more times tomorrow to prove that we know where we're at, and let's go get them on Sunday."

In the final pass today, Tony Pedregon demolished the track record and dethroned Scelzi as the fastest Funny Car driver on the planet with an outstanding 329.83-mph pass. "It's disheartening," said Scelzi, who still holds the NHRA Funny Car national top-speed record of 329.18 mph until Pedregon backs it up, "but we've had to back up a little bit. We can run 330 mph. I'm not going to worry about it."

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Gary Scelzi , Mike Neff