SCELZI ADVANCES TO SECOND ROUND IN VEGAS; MOVES UP IN POINTS LAS VEGAS (April 17, 2005) - After nabbing his fourth Funny Car pole position on Saturday, his first of 2005 and the 37th of his pro NHRA career, Gary Scelzi was ready to attack The ...
SCELZI ADVANCES TO SECOND ROUND IN VEGAS; MOVES UP IN POINTS
LAS VEGAS (April 17, 2005) - After nabbing his fourth Funny Car pole position on Saturday, his first of 2005 and the 37th of his pro NHRA career, Gary Scelzi was ready to attack The Strip at Las Vegas in final eliminations of the NHRA Nationals in the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car.
His first mission was to dispose of Eric Medlen in the first round, which he handily accomplished, with a 4.936/317.27 winning pass to Medlen's 5.597/203.49. Temperatures were in the 80s today under a strong desert sun.
The second round evoked thoughts of evil spirits, as Scelzi was eliminated by Cruz Pedregon on a holeshot by a margin of victory of .0033 of a second, the same margin by which he lost to his teammate Whit Bazemore in Houston last weekend.
"Two weeks in a row I lost by .0033 of a second. I think if you add those up somehow that's like 666 (or something like that), which is the devil," he laughed after losing to Pedregon with a quicker 4.995/312.86 (.095 R/T) to his opponent's 5.006/277.03 (.081 R/T).
"I did everything the same, I rolled in the same amount, cut a .095 light. The Mopar/Oakley Dodge was down on rpm at the hit, which didn't help my action on leaving. We were behind the whole way.
"It's one of those things. We didn't want to smoke the tires. The car ahead of us, Robert Hight, went out there and smoked the tires at about 300 feet. We slowed it down a little more. For whatever reason, it had a degree less timing at the hit of the throttle, which slowed it down.
"Mike (crew chief Neff) is not upset, Don (team owner Schumacher) is not upset. We know what happened. It's kind of rotten it's a holeshot loss again, but whatever."
Scelzi moves into eighth in Funny Car standings, 147 points behind first-place Whit Bazemore, winner today.
Next up is the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn., April 29-May 1.