Denver Saturday's Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals

MORRISON, Colo. -- Gary Scelzi earned his fifth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and the 23rd of his career Saturday at the 22nd annual Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at the picturesque Bandimere Speedway. Two-time NHRA ...

MORRISON, Colo. -- Gary Scelzi earned his fifth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and the 23rd of his career Saturday at the 22nd annual Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at the picturesque Bandimere Speedway. Two-time NHRA Winston champion Scelzi, from Fresno, Calif., covered the distance in 4.697 seconds at 308.21 mph during the early rounds of qualifying to set the pace for the 16-car field. Scelzi will meet Jim Cavalieri in the opening round of eliminations. If Scelzi were to win this event he would have six Top Fuel victories on the year. That would equal the record for the most Top Fuel victories in one season. There are nine drivers that have won six events in one year, including Scelzi in 1998. "This is the most confident I have felt going into (Sunday's eliminations) here at Bandimere," said Scelzi. "We want it. We want it bad. Unfortunately there are four rounds tomorrow and right now as far as I'm looking is Cavalieri. Because I've had some trouble with the No. 16 qualifier before and you never forget about that. There are no gimme's and no pick'ems. Just win and bring those W's behind the name Scelzi tomorrow and we'll be happy. Four of them and I'll be in a good mood." Whit Bazemore, Kurt Johnson and Angelle Seeling will also lead their respective categories heading into eliminations at the $1.8 million race, the 13th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Bazemore, from Indianapolis, sped down the quarter-mile in a track record 5.026 at 302.82 to lead all Funny Car competitors. It is Bazemore's first top qualifying position of the year, his last coming in Topeka in 1999. Before his final qualifying pass, Bazemore had not yet made the field of 16 for Sunday's eliminations. He will meet last year's No. 1 qualifier at this event, Tim Wilkerson in the fir round. "I was very concerned," said Bazemore. "We have to turn our season around. It's been a frustrating and difficult season. As good as it feels right now, tomorrow is most important. We're a winning team that hasn't been winning. As much as I want to go on a 70-mile trip up the mountains (on the road bike), I don't want to do it tomorrow. Johnson, from Lawrenceville, Ga., collected his third top qualifying honor of the season when he made a pass of 7.339 at 187.81 to lead the Pro Stock category. Johnson will meet Scott Geoffrion in the opening round. New Orleans' Seeling, captured her third No. 1 qualifying position this year when she blasted down the track in 7.712 at 175.18 atop her Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle. Seeling will line up opposite Michael Pryor in the first round. Eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m.

MORRISON, Colo. -- First-round pairings for Sunday's eliminations for the 22nd annual Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, the 13th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL 1. Gary Scelzi, 4.697 seconds, 308.21 mph vs. 16. Jim Cavalieri, 5.136, 282.95; 2. Joe Amato, 4.750, 303.23 vs. 15. Gary Clapshaw, 5.118, 273.11; 3. Cory McClenathan, 4.770, 308.00 vs. 14. Doug Kalitta, 5.051, 234.66; 4. Larry Dixon, 4.794, 304.25 vs. 13. Joe Hartley, 5.044, 282.19; 5. Tony Schumacher, 4.813, 299.20 vs. 12. Doug Herbert, 5.015, 282.78; 6. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.846, 272.06 vs. 11. Bobby Lagana, 4.981, 274.83; 7. Kenny Bernstein, 4.848, 295.92 vs. 10. Bob Vandergriff, 4.947, 292.20; 8. Don Lampus, 4.857, 306.88 vs. 9. David Grubnic, 4.881, 298.80.

FUNNY CAR 1. Whit Bazemore, Chevy Camaro, 5.026, 302.82 vs. 16. Tim Wilkerson, Pontiac Firebird, 5.345, 275.00; 2. Bruce Sarver, Firebird, 5.040, 301.81 vs. 15. Johnny Gray, Dodge Avenger, 5.316, 284.15; 3. Jim Epler, Camaro, 5.072, 291.82 vs. 14. Gary Densham, Firebird, 5.258, 287.78; 4. Tony Pedregon, Ford Mustang, 5.082, 296.89 vs. 13. Del Worsham, Firebird, 5.195, 284.75; 5. Dean Skuza, Avenger, 5.119, 303.91 vs. 12. Bob Gilbertson, Camaro, 5.188, 290.76; 6. John Force, Mustang, 5.121, 297.22 vs. 11. Scotty Cannon, Camaro, 5.177, 269.83; 7. Jerry Toliver, Firebird, 5.121, 295.08 vs. 10. Frank Pedregon, Firebird, 5.175, 285.47; 8. Al Hofmann, Firebird, 5.171, 287.78 vs. 9. Ron Capps, Camaro, 5.174, 282.36.

PRO STOCK 1. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Camaro, 7.339, 187.81 vs. 16. Scott Geoffrion, Dodge Avenger, 7.407, 185.72; 2. Warren Johnson, Pontiac Firebird, 7.347, 187.96 vs. 15. Jim Yates, Firebird, 7.406, 185.92; 3. Larry Morgan, Avenger, 7.355, 186.85 vs. 14. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 7.400, 184.95; 4. Ron Krisher, Firebird, 7.355, 187.57 vs. 13. John Fairleigh, Firebird, 7.394, 186.25; 5. Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 7.357, 186.18 vs. 12. Tom Martino, Firebird, 7.393, 185.66; 6. V. Gaines, Camaro, 7.359, 186.07 vs. 11. Brad Jeter, Firebird, 7.378, 186.23; 7. Darrell Alderman, Avenger, 7.360, 187.03 vs. 10. Mark Pawuk, Firebird, 7.365, 186.79; 8. Troy Coughlin, Cutlass, 7.360, 186.43 vs. 9. Allen Johnson, Avenger, 7.363, 186.46.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE 1. Angelle Seeling, Suzuki, 7.712, 175.18 vs. 16. Michael Pryor, Kawasaki, 8.399, 161.04; 2. Matt Hines, Suzuki, 7.713, 179.28 vs. 15. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki, 8.010, 171.16; 3. Tony Mullen, Suzuki, 7.721, 173.96 vs. 14. Brian Ayers, Suzuki, 7.977, 166.60; 4. David Schultz, Suzuki, 7.742, 172.83 vs. 13. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.928, 168.26; 5. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.747, 173.78 vs. 12. Ron Ayers, Suzuki, 7.907, 174.89; 6. Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.757, 175.46 vs. 11. Clarence Markham, Suzuki, 7.906, 167.74; 7. Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.852, 171.58 vs. 10. Brian DeLong, Suzuki, 7.904, 173.92; 8. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.861, 174.12 vs. 9. Reggie Showers, Suzuki, 7.879, 169.96.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Antron Brown , Bruce Sarver , Frank Pedregon , Matt Hines , Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Brad Jeter , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Ron Krisher , Larry Morgan , Reggie Showers , Ron Ayers , Shawn Gann , Blaine Hale , David Grubnic , Gary Densham , Scotty Cannon , Craig Treble , Cory McClenathan , Geno Scali , Tom Martino , Tim Wilkerson , Scott Geoffrion , Allen Johnson , Johnny Gray , Don Lampus , Rickie Smith , Joe Hartley , Jerry Toliver , Bob Vandergriff , Steve Johnson