SCELZI LOSES A CLOSE ONE IN QUARTERFINALS IN SEATTLE KENT, Wash. (July 22, 2007) - According to four-time NHRA champion Gary Scelzi, the driver of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T, he had a pretty good day today in Funny Car eliminations at...
SCELZI LOSES A CLOSE ONE IN QUARTERFINALS IN SEATTLE
KENT, Wash. (July 22, 2007) - According to four-time NHRA champion Gary Scelzi, the driver of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T, he had a pretty good day today in Funny Car eliminations at the Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals. He first defeated second-in-points Robert Hight with a solid 4.872-second pass at 316.75 mph, then fell to Mike Ashley in the quarterfinal in a race that he lost by a mere 20 inches.
Scelzi took off first at the starting lights with a .097 reaction time to Ashley's .100 and led through the initial 1000 ft. of the quarter-mile's 1320 ft. before relinquishing the lead to Ashley, who crossed the finish stripe in 4.808 seconds at 320.28 mph. Scelzi followed with a 4.814/318.54 lap.
"Nobody likes to lose, but when you run a race like that and you don't smoke the tires, you've got a really good race car," said No. 16 qualifier Scelzi, who earned a spot in the field after qualifying was shortened to one session only by virtue of his fifth-place position in the points. "I'm very proud of (crew chief) Mike Neff. We had the one shot in qualifying, we had a problem with the new car, we fixed it, went out there and won first round. And then came back and ran second low E.T. of the round, and the car drives straight.
"You know what, Ashley and those guys were just a little bit better than us today,
"As I said, nobody likes to lose, but when you lose like that, it's kind of hard not to just say, Well, we were just on the wrong end of it.
"It feels good to go to Sonoma, especially with a new car. We know it handles right and we know we're in good shape."
Scelzi is sixth in the Funny Car point standings.
Next up is the Fram-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, July 27-29.