Las Vegas: Gary Scelzi preview

SCELZI SEEKS SPRING SUCCESS AT THE STRIP FRESNO, Calif. (April 10, 2007) - Four-time NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series champion Gary Scelzi has done quite well at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, thank you very much. The majority of his ...

SCELZI SEEKS SPRING SUCCESS AT THE STRIP

FRESNO, Calif. (April 10, 2007) - Four-time NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series champion Gary Scelzi has done quite well at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, thank you very much. The majority of his successes, however, came in the fall event and not in the spring.

Fresno native Scelzi, who has three Top Fuel championships and one Funny Car crown under his belt, was the 2004 Funny Car winner at The Strip in the fall, and runner-up in 2005 (from No. 1). His only triumph at the first Las Vegas event of the season was qualifying No. 1 in 2005. Driving the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T for Don Schumacher Racing, he's looking to change that at this weekend's SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals.

"We always do well at at the October race at Las Vegas," said Scelzi, winner at the season-opener in Pomona, Calif., this year. "The first race of the year in Vegas hasn't always been that good. We don't really understand why. The conditions are very similar, the race track is fabulous. We absolutely love going there, because the race track doesn't fall off as bad when the sun comes out.

"It's one of those race tracks that, yes, you have to be cautious when the sun is on it, but not as cautious as at the majority of the race tracks where we go when there's sun.

"We're excited about going there; we've done well there in the past. And with two first-round losses and a second-round loss this season (following the victory in Pomona), we need to break that jinx and get ourselves in the final."

John Force Racing is said to be returning this weekend after sitting out the last race in Houston due to Eric Medlen's passing from injuries sustained in a testing accident in Gainesville, Fla. "That's why we all race," said Scelzi, alluding to every Funny Car team's perennial quest to defeat the JFR powerhouse. "It was awfully weird in Houston looking at the qualifying ladder and not seeing all the Force cars there, because they're always a factor, no matter where they qualify. You always like to see when you're going to end up meeting one of them. Not that the other guys aren't capable of beating you, but you always want to know what you've got ahead of you, and Force's cars are always part of that equation."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Gary Scelzi , Eric Medlen , Don Schumacher