Commerce: Gary Scelzi Saturday notes

SCELZI SQUEAKS INTO ATLANTA FIELD IN NO. 16 COMMERCE, Ga. (April 26, 2008) - Gary Scelzi had some nail-biting moments during qualifying for the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway this weekend. But he and the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger...

SCELZI SQUEAKS INTO ATLANTA FIELD IN NO. 16

COMMERCE, Ga. (April 26, 2008) - Gary Scelzi had some nail-biting moments during qualifying for the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway this weekend. But he and the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T team breathed a collective sigh of relief when they held on to the 16th spot following the final qualifying round.

Entering the last session in No. 15 after posting his quickest pass of 4.939 seconds at 306.95 mph in Saturday's first attempt, Scelzi failed to advance with a tire-smoking 9.886/79.05. He fell to No. 16 when his teammate Jack Beckman, in the other lane, moved up to the 11th spot, eventually earning 13th.

Scelzi's other passes included a 5.006/302.55 on Friday in a near-miss against his former crew chief Mike Neff, who crossed into Scelzi's lane following an explosion, and a 4.936/311.92 Friday night (No. 15).

"Three out of four ain't bad," said the four-time NHRA champion. "We tried something on the last run when we found out we weren't going to get bumped. We know we're going to have the left lane tomorrow (without lane choice), which is a problem because it's got such a big bump there at 140 feet that our car comes completely off the ground and hits the wheelie bar with 2400 pounds of pressure.

"So, we were going to try to drive around the bump and come back, try something a little bit unique, but it didn't get that far. It spun the tire first, so tomorrow we're just going to have to go up and run over the bump, hope that the car sticks, and try to take out Wilkerson."

Scelzi faces Las Vegas winner and No. 1 qualifier Tim Wilkerson in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Tim Wilkerson , Jack Beckman , Mike Neff