Gainesville: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

SCELZI REINS IN A NO. 2 IN GAINESVILLE QUALIFYING GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 17, 2007) - "Wild Thing" Gary Scelzi reined in another solid pass today in his final qualifying attempt, landing the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T No. 2 on the Funny Car...

SCELZI REINS IN A NO. 2 IN GAINESVILLE QUALIFYING

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 17, 2007) - "Wild Thing" Gary Scelzi reined in another solid pass today in his final qualifying attempt, landing the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T No. 2 on the Funny Car roster, despite changing track and weather conditions the last two days.

Of the four qualifying passes, two were stellar, one was a DNS (Did Not Start) and one was a tire-shaker. The one that counted was the last lap, a 4.754-second elapsed time at 327.90 mph, which was good for No. 1 for a blink of an eye, before Robert Hight eclipsed it with a 4.686/331.94.

Scelzi's other laps included a 6.200/148.54, a solid 4.795/319.90 (good for No. 3 on Saturday) and the one DNS when a throttle stop broke.

"This race track has been pretty much a disaster all weekend," said Scelzi, who has never won a national event at Gainesville Raceway while earning his four world championships. "You don't know what you're going to get. Then we lost a really important run earlier today. The quick pin that pulls the throttle stop off broke inside and we couldn't get it out. That's the first time in five years that we've ever been shut off on the starting line.

"That was a really important run, so when we went back out there to stage, the numbers started popping up on the board (by the other competitors) and right before we ran Mike (Neff, crew chief) leaned in there and said, 'Hey, we're going for it, we have to.' So, It was giddy-up go, let's get it. And that was one of the most exciting runs. No shake, no quiver, no nothing. It just ran so smooth.

"That's the good news, that we ended up No. 2. The bad news is, who knows what we're going to get tomorrow? Hopefully they've done something to the track. It cooled off for this last run today, but it's going to be a tough day tomorrow.

"We'll just drag our stuff up there, do the best we can, and hope we're here late in the day."

Scelzi faces Kenny Bernstein in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Gary Scelzi , Robert Hight