Scelzi ousted by teammate Bazemore in second round in Seattle KENT, Wash. (July 27, 2003) - After defeating Tim Wilkerson in the Funny Car first round (5.195/287.96 for Wilkerson, 5.033/298.93 for Scelzi), Gary Scelzi, in the Oakley Time Bomb ...
Scelzi ousted by teammate Bazemore in second round in Seattle
KENT, Wash. (July 27, 2003) - After defeating Tim Wilkerson in the Funny Car first round (5.195/287.96 for Wilkerson, 5.033/298.93 for Scelzi), Gary Scelzi, in the Oakley Time Bomb Dodge Stratus, found himself in a match-up against his teammate Whit Bazemore in the second round, having lane choice over Baze. Scelzi's crew chief Mike Neff, along with Bazemore's crew chief Lee Beard, agreed to select the left lane for Scelzi, who qualified No. 1 in that lane Friday night, allowing Bazemore to run in the more favorable right lane.
Scelzi launched first with an .080 reaction time to Bazemore's .119, but smoked the tires at 300 feet, slowing to a 6.911/130.51 pass. Bazemore streaked to the finish line in 5.123 seconds at 294.37 mph, taking the win.
"Both these cars are a team, crew chiefs make the decision of lane choice," said team owner Don Schumacher. "I talked to both Mike (Neff, Scelzi's crew chief) and Lee (Beard, Bazemore's crew chief) before this round. Lee and Whit are running for the World Champion, Gary and Mike are running to win a race. We wanted to win a race for Oakley. Both were trying as hard as they could. Gary left on Whit big time, had him at 60 ft. big time. It just wouldn't hold on this track with the condition of this race track."
"It was up to Mike Neff and Lee Beard who got lane choice," said Scelzi. "I understand; Baze is in the POWERade points chase and we raced. We gave up lane choice to them and we raced. We went 4.96 in that left-hand lane on Friday night. So actually the left lane was better for us. Yesterday we didn't get down either lane. It's unfortunate. I think we learned a lot. And we'll go to Sears Point and see what happens there."