DON SCHUMACHER RACING FUNNY CARS RUN STRONG AT PRESEASON LAS VEGAS TESTS LAS VEGAS (Jan. 23, 2006) - Defending Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi, his teammates Ron Capps and Whit Bazemore wrapped up four days of preseason testing at The Strip at...
DON SCHUMACHER RACING FUNNY CARS RUN STRONG AT PRESEASON LAS VEGAS TESTS
LAS VEGAS (Jan. 23, 2006) - Defending Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi, his teammates Ron Capps and Whit Bazemore wrapped up four days of preseason testing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with strong results as they gear up for the season-opening event of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Feb. 9-12 at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway.
One more test session is scheduled at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., Jan. 27-30.
Scelzi, driving the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus with a new dramatic paint scheme, posted the quickest elapsed time ever established at The Strip on Sunday in near-perfect conditions, a 4.701-second pass at 325.77, until John Force surpassed him with a 4.673/327.51.
Capps, in the Brut Dodge Stratus, established his quickest E.T. also on Sunday, a 4.724/317.12. His was the fifth best effort behind Force, Robert Hight, Eric Medlen and teammate Gary Scelzi.
Bazemore, in the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus, set his quickest pass on Monday, a 4.824-second E.T. at 291.19 mph, placing him No. 7 for the four days.
"I thought it was very successful," said Scelzi of the test session. "A lot of the new stuff that we tried worked out and, really, all of the new stuff we tried worked. I think it was probably one of the most successful test sessions we've ever had."
As for John Force saying he wants the championship back in 2006, after demonstrating his team's strength during these test sessions: "Let him demonstrate it," said Scelzi. "We'll see what happens in Pomona and I'll talk to you after 23 races and we'll see what's what. They looked very good. They're not 13-time champs by accident, obviously.
"We can't worry about Force. We have everyone else we've got to worry about along with Force and his three cars. We're not really paying much attention to it. Yeah, we looked at the numbers, and they're impressive, but we're not very far behind them.
"I feel like we're in good shape. There will be totally different conditions in Phoenix, and we'll see how it stacks up at the end.
"The track conditions at The Strip were incredible and the air was unbelievable. These are conditions we probably won't see all year long. I don't know if we'll ever see conditions like this. The track temperature was 50 degrees. You'd better not have a weak motor when you drag it up there. You'd better have all you got."