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Two-time Top Fuel Atlanta winner Scelzi seeks first Funny Car win. COMMERCE, Ga. (April 30, 2003) -- When Gary Scelzi won the NHRA Top Fuel category at Atlanta Dragway in 1999 and again in 2000, he became the only Top Fuel driver to this date to...

Two-time Top Fuel Atlanta winner Scelzi seeks first Funny Car win.

COMMERCE, Ga. (April 30, 2003) -- When Gary Scelzi won the NHRA Top Fuel category at Atlanta Dragway in 1999 and again in 2000, he became the only Top Fuel driver to this date to ever win at this track two years in a row.

He's now driving for Don Schumacher Racing full time in the Oakley Time Bomb Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car and is seeking his first victory in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car class at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals this weekend.

Following his first-round loss at Bristol Dragway last Sunday, Scelzi and his Mike Neff-led team tested there on Monday, with encouraging results.

"We started from scratch again, and made a lot of progress," said the three-time Top Fuel champion who stands 11th in the Funny Car point standings. "We ran a best of 4.95 seconds at 305 mph, in worse conditions than we had on race day. The track temperature was around 117 degrees, and the track wasn't scraped or prepped like it was during the national event, so we felt we did pretty well.

"If Del Worsham (who defeated Scelzi's teammate Whit Bazemore in the final at Bristol) ran a 4.92 in the final round and we were pretty close to that under the conditions, we feel we were on the right track. Hopefully, when we get to Atlanta maybe we will have some hot weather and we'll be able to try out our hot-weather tune-up.

"Atlanta is one of those race tracks that's tricky," he added. "It's not a great race track, but I ran a 4.49-second elapsed time there in a dragster when it got cool. If it's cool and there's not a lot of sun on the race track, with our horsepower we should be back on track with a good balance in the race car and it should be able to run as quick as anybody else."

If Scelzi wins in Atlanta, the 25-time Top Fuel winner would join an elite list of drivers who have earned national event victories in both nitro categories, Funny Car and Top Fuel. He would become the 13th member of that exclusive club.

Nitro qualifying at Atlanta Dragway is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 2. Qualifying continues on Saturday, May 3, at 12 noon and 3:00 p.m. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 4.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Gary Scelzi , Don Schumacher , Mike Neff