WITH THE 'ELEPHANT' OFF HIS BACK, SCELZI HEADS TO SEATTLE KENT, Wash. (July 21, 2006) - Now that Gary Scelzi has finally won a national event as the reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion - at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals...
WITH THE 'ELEPHANT' OFF HIS BACK, SCELZI HEADS TO SEATTLE
KENT, Wash. (July 21, 2006) - Now that Gary Scelzi has finally won a national event as the reigning NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion - at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals last weekend in Denver - he's ready to get back to earth at this weekend's Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways and keep that momentum going. He's aiming for that third-place spot in the 2006 Funny car rankings.
"I feel like there's an elephant off my back," he says after conquering Bandimere Speedway, one of the last three remaining NHRA dragstrips at which he's never won - the other two are in Gainesville, Fla., and Englishtown, N.J. "We're excited about getting to Seattle. Denver is always the one you worry about because of the altitude, and it's always hot, the track is slippery, and you always try to get out of there with your skin and get on to Seattle.
"We had a great weekend in Denver, so we're really looking forward to Seattle, because historically we've run well here and I've won here in Top Fuel and Alcohol Dragster, and I've been No. 1 qualifier here in Funny Car. We heard it's going to be hot and that will make it even more exciting."
After winning at over 5,800 feet, where power is at a premium, the series comes down off the mountain to sea level in Seattle. "Power has never been a problem," explains Scelzi, "it's just been controlling it, and it looks like we've been able to do that. We controlled our power in St. Louis, we controlled it in Englishtown, so we've been good on the hot, slippery race tracks. I don't foresee any problems in Seattle."
The four-time NHRA world champion is within striking distance of third place in the Funny Car standings after struggling through most of the first half of the season and is now just 39 points out of that spot, and 251 out of first place. "We're just trying to close the gap between the leaders and hopefully work our way into third place in points. Then we'll evaluate where we are again after Sonoma (Calif., the race following Seattle).
"The game plan's the same. We'll just evaluate it to see if if we have a shot or if we have to change our strategy or not."