NHRA's Scelzi to be Inducted into Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame SONOMA, Calif. (July 3, 2007) -- Gary Scelzi has posted a memorable career in the Sonoma Valley, both on-and-off the world-famous quarter-mile drag strip, and he will be recognized...
NHRA's Scelzi to be Inducted into Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame
SONOMA, Calif. (July 3, 2007) -- Gary Scelzi has posted a memorable career in the Sonoma Valley, both on-and-off the world-famous quarter-mile drag strip, and he will be recognized for his efforts at the FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals, July 27-29.
Scelzi will be inducted into the Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame on Sunday, July 29, during pre-event ceremonies, making him the third NHRA driver to be enshrined. He'll join Pro Stock driver Warren Johnson (2005) and Funny Car driver John Force (2006) in the Wall of Fame, which was created in 2005. Other members of the Wall of Fame include Jeff Gordon, Ricky Rudd, Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin from NASCAR, as well as O. Bruton Smith, Chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns Infineon Raceway.
Scelzi has posted a legendary career in the Sonoma Valley, both in the sportsman ranks, as well as the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. He has two national event wins in Top Alcohol Funny Car, and one divisional win in Top Alcohol Dragster. The Fresno native is also a two-time winner in Sonoma in the pro ranks for Funny Car (2003, 2005). His victory in 2005 helped propel him to the NHRA POWERade Funny Car championship.
"When you look at the names that are on the Wall of Fame I am shocked," said Scelzi, who drives the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing. "I've been racing out there in Sonoma since 1984 and that place is very special to me. It's close to home (Fresno) and for whatever reason, I seem to have more success there than anywhere else, whether it's the pro ranks or sportsman. I am very flattered and this is going to be a special weekend for me."
Scelzi is also being recognized for his philanthropic efforts at Infineon Raceway. He has participated in all five NHRA Tour de Charity events, held annually at Infineon Raceway. The event allows race fans to compete against NHRA POWERade drivers on the raceway's world-class karting track; the event has generated more than $50,000 since its inception in 2002 for Speedway Children's Charities, the charitable arm of Infineon Raceway.
"I always agree to do the charity events not for anything other than I want to help," Scelzi said. "The money always goes to a great cause and they are also really fun events. Whenever Infineon Raceway puts on an event you know it's going to be first-class."
Scelzi has also donated signed memorabilia to the raceway's charity auctions and he also participated in the raceway's inaugural Nitro Night at the Fior Charity Dinner, which is held on Thursday before race weekend in San Francisco.
"Gary Scelzi has built a terrific legacy in Sonoma, through both his success on the track and the commitment he's made to our fans and community. He will be a very fitting addition to the Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame," said Steve Page, president and general manager at Infineon Raceway.
Scelzi has announced that he will take a sabbatical from the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series after the 2007 season, but he has left the door open for a return to the cockpit. For his career, he is a three-time Top Fuel national champion and he is just one of 13 drivers to win national events in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. Scelzi also became the first Funny Car driver to eclipse the 330 mph barrier (2004, Chicago).
The Wall of Fame includes competitors from all forms of motor racing at Infineon Raceway, including NASCAR, NHRA, AMA, open-wheel cars, sports cars, and more. The Wall of Fame will also include those who have made significant contributions to the raceway over the years. A raceway committee oversees the selection process on an annual basis.
FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals
WHAT: FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals
WHEN: July 27-29 CIRCUIT: Quarter-mile drag strip