Scelzi sees Maple Grove as new challenge READING, Pa. (Oct. 7, 2004) - The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series returns to Maple Grove Raceway this weekend for the rain-postponed Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. This track has long been considered one of...
Scelzi sees Maple Grove as new challenge
READING, Pa. (Oct. 7, 2004) - The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series returns to Maple Grove Raceway this weekend for the rain-postponed Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. This track has long been considered one of the better quarter-miles on the circuit because of the high oxygen content in the air here and its potential to produce record runs.
It's going to be hard to follow last weekend's results at Route 66 Raceway, however, where national records were demolished, even under the 85 percent nitromethane rule.
"You're not going to be in Chicago, I can tell you that, I don't care what the weather conditions bring at Maple Grove," said HEMI-powered Oakley Dodge Stratus Funny Car driver Gary Scelzi, whose Funny Car national speed record of 330.55 mph was smashed at Rte. 66 by John Force's 333.58.
"Maple Grove's surface is very porous. It's going to be hard to keep the cars hooked up when they get off the concrete on the transition. So, the tune-up that we learned in Chicago is not going to be helpful, I believe, in Reading. But after what Force ran in Chicago (including a national ET record of 4.665 seconds), he's in another zip code."
John Force is in a position to clinch his 13th Funny Car crown this weekend, if he leaves leading Del Worsham (in second) by 277 points. The rest of the field has been virtually shut out of the running, and a battle remains for second place among Worsham, third-place Scelzi, Whit Bazemore, Eric Medlen and Gary Densham.
"So we'll come back here and we're going to try to get around Worsham and try to finish our goal," said Scelzi, a three-time Top Fuel champion. "If we can't win a championship, we're going to try to finish second. That hasn't changed."
Pro qualifying for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals will be held at 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 8 and will continue at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Oct. 9. Final professional eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Oct. 10.