SCELZI FOULS OUT IN TEXAS, FALLS TO SECOND IN POINTS DALLAS (Oct. 9, 2005) - It was a bad day in the Don Schumacher Racing corral today, as Gary Scelzi relinquished his NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points lead to John Force after...
SCELZI FOULS OUT IN TEXAS, FALLS TO SECOND IN POINTS
DALLAS (Oct. 9, 2005) - It was a bad day in the Don Schumacher Racing corral today, as Gary Scelzi relinquished his NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points lead to John Force after fouling out in the first round.
The tension could be sliced with a butter knife as both Scelzi and his teammate Ron Capps were existing on adrenaline and little else to get through the day, as the battle for the Funny Car championship comes down to the wire, with just two events left after today's O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.
Scelzi was matched against Phil Burkart Jr. in the opener and had only Capps of all the title contenders to deal with on his side of the ladder.
It was a warm day filled with excitement. Perhaps too much, as Scelzi red-lighted with a -.023 reaction time, handing the win to his opponent, who posted a 4.865/313.80 pass for the victory.
The three-time Top Fuel champion who is seeking his first Funny Car crown fell to second in points and is now 36 points behind the 13-time champion, who won today.
"It's as tough as it gets right now," said Scelzi. "My foot moved and my brain didn't. I still had a hold of the brake and I just made a mental mistake. I'm not famous for that, obviously, but it happened and it happened at the absolute wrong time.
"It's just going to make it that much harder the rest of the season, but we're not giving up, obviously. It's just going to make it harder than it's already been.
"So, we're going to load up, go to Vegas, run the wheels off this thing and it's going to be 'Everybody, stand back.'
"I only had one red light in my whole professional career. It was in 1998 in Englishtown against Cory McClenathan (in Top Fuel.)
"That's one kick in the @#$%," he added.
Next up is the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip in Las Vegas on Oct. 21-23.