Memphis: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

SCELZI NO. 2 IN MEMPHIS QUALIFYING MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 20, 2005) - Gary Scelzi had a unique opportunity to help his teammate Whit Bazemore make it into the $100,000 NHRA Funny Car bonus event, the Skoal Showdown at the U.S. Nationals on Labor...

SCELZI NO. 2 IN MEMPHIS QUALIFYING

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 20, 2005) - Gary Scelzi had a unique opportunity to help his teammate Whit Bazemore make it into the $100,000 NHRA Funny Car bonus event, the Skoal Showdown at the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day. It all came down to the final pair in the final round of qualifying for the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park.

When Scelzi came up for the final session, Bazemore had already qualified 10th and was out of the Showdown and No. 1 qualifier Robert Hight was in. If Scelzi, paired with Hight for that run and No. 2 coming into this final round, could bump Hight out of the top spot, Bazemore would be assured a place in the Showdown.

It didn't work out for Bazemore, as Scelzi lost traction on the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus Funny Car on what looked to be a strong run, crossing the line in 6.035 seconds at 153.82 mph. Scelzi held on to the No. 2 position, based on the 4.906/300.66 he posted Friday night, and will face Bob Gilbertson in first round of eliminations on Sunday.

"We tried to help Bazemore out," said Scelzi, who is second in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points behind Hight. "Right, wrong or indifferent, he's our teammate and we would have liked him to be in the Skoal Showdown." Scelzi had already qualified second for the Showdown.

"On the other hand, we're trying to win a POWERade championship and I think we should have tried to get it down the race track, and we didn't.

"It seems to be OK. It's hot and slippery here, miserable - all the conditions that we would hope for because we've been pretty good at miserable places. We'll just have to see what happens."

Scelzi also recorded a 5.066/281.66 in the first session and an 11.666/70.39 in the third round.

"I just like the idea that we could've gone down the race track three out of four times. I believe that with all my heart. It shouldn't change tomorrow. It's going to be hot and miserable tomorrow. Mike (Neff, crew chief) seems to be OK, I'm OK with it. Right now it's in God's hands," he said of his chances of moving into the points lead this weekend. "It's fate. We don't know what the outcome is going to be. We'll just drag 'er up there tomorrow and try to take one driver out at a time."

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Gilbertson , Whit Bazemore , Gary Scelzi , Robert Hight