Denver: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

Scelzi's Parachute Pops, Qualifies No. 15 in Denver MORRISON, Colo. (July 17, 2004) - After rain washed out two qualifying rounds on Friday, Gary Scelzi had a freak parachute failure in the middle of his final Funny Car qualifying run today at...

Scelzi's Parachute Pops, Qualifies No. 15 in Denver

MORRISON, Colo. (July 17, 2004) - After rain washed out two qualifying rounds on Friday, Gary Scelzi had a freak parachute failure in the middle of his final Funny Car qualifying run today at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, which slowed his strong run, placing him No. 15 in the field.

Scelzi drove his HEMI-powered Oakley Dodge Stratus to a 5.123/280.72 pass in today's first qualifying session and he and crew chief Mike Neff were ready for a four-second run in the final round until the parachute popped out at half-track, slowing him to a 5.200/206.39. John Force, in the next lane, posted a 4.939/309.34.

"The post that holds the plate that holds the parachute pack sheared off. And when it does that, it drops out and the chute falls out," he said. "It was a total surprise. It's disappointing because the incrementals showed that we were on a quicker run than Force was beside us, so I'm sure we would have been in the four-second range."

Scelzi will face Tony Pedregon in the first round of eliminations tomorrow, which begin at 12:30 p.m.

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Mike Neff