Phoenix: Gary Scelzi final summary

SCELZI OUT IN SECOND ROUND AGAINST FORCE CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 27, 2005) - Here they go again. In only Gary Scelzi's third full season in the Funny Car class of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, he has already faced John Force in an ...

SCELZI OUT IN SECOND ROUND AGAINST FORCE

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 27, 2005) - Here they go again. In only Gary Scelzi's third full season in the Funny Car class of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, he has already faced John Force in an elimination round 15 times. Make that 16 now following today's second-round match-up. Although Scelzi lost that round, he holds on to his dominant lead in that contest, with nine wins against his good friend and fierce competitor.

Scelzi also found the redemption he was seeking after losing the first round at the season-opener at Pomona on a holeshot while setting his career-best elapsed time and speed.

The three-time Top Fuel champion handily dismissed Tim Wilkerson in the first round with a .103 reaction time and a winning 4.763/328.54 lap versus his opponent's 6.682/134.40.

In the second round against the reigning champion, Scelzi nailed the starting light with a .084 reaction time to Force's .090, then struck the tires on the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus midway, coasting to an 8.624-second pass at 90.84 mph. Force was there for the taking, as he crossed the finish line with a winning but less-than-impressive 4.918/298.80.

"Well, the good news is I left on the same day the Tree came down," laughed Scelzi. "So that's a big plus. The hot race track just bit us today. We're going to test here tomorrow and we'll see what happens, and hopefully it will be this hot. I don't think we missed it by much. I think we just missed it by a taste.

"When you race the 13-time champ you don't go up there weak. We didn't go up there to smoke the tires. It just got fast early and got away and the tire just kept speeding up and the car wasn't.

"We'll go to Gainesville and swing for the fence."

Scelzi stands 10th in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points, with 88.

Next up is the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 18-20.

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Gary Scelzi , Tim Wilkerson