Commerce: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

Scelzi No. 4 Qualifier in Oakley Dodge in Atlanta COMMERCE, Ga. (May 3, 2003) -- Gary Scelzi put his Oakley Time Bomb Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car firmly into the No. 4 spot with a solid 4.855-second pass at 318.09 mph in the second round of ...

Scelzi No. 4 Qualifier in Oakley Dodge in Atlanta

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 3, 2003) -- Gary Scelzi put his Oakley Time Bomb Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car firmly into the No. 4 spot with a solid 4.855-second pass at 318.09 mph in the second round of qualifying, held today instead of last night after a rainstorm shortened yesterday's schedule to only one round. In the first round on Friday, Scelzi struck the tires early in the run, slowing to a 9.269/89.76 lap. In the final session he was spitting and banging at the top end towards a 5.358/201.94 pass.

"In the first run yesterday we were just a bit aggressive," he said, "thinking that this track was going to be better than Bristol because, theoretically, it normally always is. It wasn't. We spun the tire hard.

"We came back today and tried to get it into the show and then we had cloud cover. So we had to step up the program just a little bit. And we did. Mike thought it would run an .85 in that first round and it did exactly what we thought it would do, which was very comforting after where we've been.

"And then we came back for the last session and it looked like it put a hole (cylinder) out, probably a second into the run. But halfway down the race track it's like the motor turned off and came back on and I shut it off. That's definitely not right. Normally, when it does that there's a big kaboom or there's some malfunction in the ignition. I'm not sure what it was, but it made it far enough down the race track to where it wouldn't have smoked the tires. Good early numbers say it would have run another mid-.80.

"So, according to what the rest of the guys ran that session, we're pretty happy with that and that's something we can race with. We'll see what the weather brings tomorrow. If the sun comes out and it gets hot and slippery, we should be OK. If it doesn't, we should be OK. My fingers are crossed. I feel good about it. We have a car that's acting like it's supposed to. Even though we only went down one out of three, I still feel good about the whole situation."

Scelzi will face Johnny Gray in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Johnny Gray