SCELZI EXITS EARLY IN READING MOHNTON, Pa. (Aug. 20, 2007) - Gary Scelzi made an early exit at the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals, but left with the comfort of knowing he has a quick and fast hot rod going into the Countdown to Four at the U.S.
SCELZI EXITS EARLY IN READING
MOHNTON, Pa. (Aug. 20, 2007) - Gary Scelzi made an early exit at the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals, but left with the comfort of knowing he has a quick and fast hot rod going into the Countdown to Four at the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend.
After the event was postponed from Sunday to Monday because of rain, following the completion of only three Funny Car match-ups, Scelzi faced off in overcast but dry conditions against Robert Hight in their first-round meeting. Scelzi took off first in the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T with a .089 reaction time, followed by Hight with a .095.
Both cars lost traction early on, and both tried valiantly to recover. Hight won the pedalfest by 17 ft. over Scelzi, taking the win with a 5.250/239.48 pass to Scelzi's losing 5.294/307.58.
"Totally different conditions," said No. 6 qualifier Scelzi. "We went out there and it shook and I pedaled it and it turned sideways. I had to pedal it twice, but it recovered. It was real close to making it, and I tried to run Robert down. He had to pedal it too.
"Just one of those things. We tried to move up from seventh (in points), because that was going to be important to us, but now it doesn't really matter. We'll go to Indy and test (this week at the two-day NHRA test session at O'Reilly Raceway Park in advance of the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend) and get some of that stuff done."
Scelzi remains seventh in points.
"Todd (Okuhara, crew chief) has a pretty good handle on this thing, but there's a few more things he wants to try to make us be able go the distance. There's some fuel system stuff, some supercharger stuff, some clutch stuff; a lot of stuff we want to make sure is the same.
"Once we start in Indy we can go all the way to the end," he added, referring to first the Countdown to Four (for four races) and the Countdown to One (for the final two events.) "And that's what we're going to need to do. Whoever's prepared the best and the car's most consistent, that's who's going to win this thing and that's what we're going to try to prepare for."