SCELZI LOSES CLOSE ONE IN TEXAS ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 21, 2008) - Four-time NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series champion Gary Scelzi lost a close contest in the opening stanza of Funny Car eliminations today at the 23rd annual NHRA Fall Nationals ...
SCELZI LOSES CLOSE ONE IN TEXAS
ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 21, 2008) - Four-time NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series champion Gary Scelzi lost a close contest in the opening stanza of Funny Car eliminations today at the 23rd annual NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex.
Facing Ashley Force for the third time this season, Scelzi was ready for a solid run in the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T, which has showed marked improvement in the past two national events. The pair launched with nearly identical reaction times, but it was Force first at the finish line by a margin of less than 18 feet and a 4.190-second pass at 297.29 mph. Scelzi came in second with a 4.226/293.28.
"That 4.22 wasn't so bad against her .19," said Scelzi, who announced this weekend that he would step away from NHRA competition at the end of the 2008 season. "It was a pretty close race. We're on the wrong end of the close ones, but hopefully that will turn around, too. You do it long enough and you'll win those too."
The driver known as "Wild Thing" was hoping to take out Ms. Force to help his Don Schumacher Racing teammates Jack Beckman and Ron Capps in their championship battle in the Countdown to 1 playoffs. Force advanced to the second round, where she was eliminated by her father John Force.
"It's unfortunate. We would have liked to have taken her out to help Beckman and Capps in the points deal, and it just didn't happen."
Scelzi, who is not in the Countdown to 1, remains No. 14 in the Funny Car point standings, as the NHRA circus heads to Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park next weekend for the 21st annual NHRA Mid-South Nationals.