Denver: Gary Scelzi preview

SCELZI WANTS TO CROSS DENVER OFF HIS LIST MORRISON, Colo. (July 10, 2006) - Reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi still has that short list of venues on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series circuit at which he...

SCELZI WANTS TO CROSS DENVER OFF HIS LIST

MORRISON, Colo. (July 10, 2006) - Reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi still has that short list of venues on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series circuit at which he can't claim he's won. And Denver - actually Morrison, Colo., where Bandimere Speedway is located - is one of them. The others are Englishtown, N.J., and Gainesville, Fla.

So, he'd like to cross Denver off that list and win this weekend's Mopar Mile-High Nationals for Mopar, the primary sponsor of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger Funny Car he drives for Don Schumacher Racing.

The Fresno, Calif., native finally has his rocket ship back performing like it used to, following strong results in the last three events, including two semifinal finishes, one runner-up and a solid move into seventh in the point standings after struggling the first half of the year. He is just 101 points out of third place.

"I have never been past the semis in Denver," said Scelzi, who has won four NHRA world championships, 32 national events and has set 23 top speeds since joining DSR in the Funny Car class in 2003. "I at least have been to the final round at the other race tracks where I haven't won at.

"And now, with Mopar being my sponsor and the sponsor of a race I've never won, and having a car that's running well, we've got everything on our side to cross this one off the list.

"We've got a good race car and we don't look for Denver to cause any problems. We're going to be running our new lighter Dodge Charger body, so everything has the makings for a great weekend."

Denver is also the start of the three-race, back-to-back Western Swing. "lt's just the same as always" said Scelzi. 'We'll be able to run 90 percent nitromethane and power is not a problem. It's just the air is real thin and downforce is an issue. But we ran really well here in the past (two Top Fuel No. 1 qualifiers, in 2000 and '01); we've just never gotten past the semis. Sooner or later this place is going to have to let me win one.

"We're excited after the three-race swing we just completed. Two semifinals and a runner-up make me feel really good about our combination. It looks like the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger is back and I'm ready to go three in a row. We'll evaluate where we stand in the championship chase after the three."

-dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Don Schumacher