Seattle: Gary Scelzi Saturday summary

SCELZI NABS NO. 11 IN SEATTLE QUALIFYING; FACES JOHN FORCE IN OPENING ROUND KENT, Wash. (July 22, 2006) - Gary Scelzi is looking forward to racing his first-round opponent in Sunday's eliminations for the Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals at...

SCELZI NABS NO. 11 IN SEATTLE QUALIFYING; FACES JOHN FORCE IN OPENING ROUND

KENT, Wash. (July 22, 2006) - Gary Scelzi is looking forward to racing his first-round opponent in Sunday's eliminations for the Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways, after qualifying No. 11 today.

The driver of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, who defeated John Force in the second round last weekend in Denver and went on to win his first national event of the year, is looking for a repeat performance this weekend as he faces the 13-time champ in round one. Scelzi has the edge over Force in their career head-to-head meetings, holding a 10-8 round-win record and a 3-1 final-round tally.

Scelzi's 4.945-second pass at 309.20 mph came in the Friday evening round, which was preceded by a tire-smoking 6.161/151.14 and followed by a solid 4.948/311.41 in today's first session under a cool cloud cover. The final attempt in the heat, however, resulted in a slow 10.781/76.96.

"The first run on Friday the Mopar/Oakley Dodge made it to 400-500 feet and it smoked the tires, which is what just about everybody else did," he explained. "Then we slowed it down and wanted to be cautious and get in the show and ran a 4.94. Then we came back up for the next run and we ran another .94. We thought it would run a little better than that. Then it went out and shook, which was something kind of new and unexpected.

"I'm not really sure what's going on yet. I haven't gotten the word from Mike (Neff, crew chief) yet. He's looking. And we'll see.

"It will be real interesting tomorrow," he said of his match-up against Force in the opener, which could help him in the points chase, as he attempts to gain ground on the leaders from sixth place. "Pretty big deal. I think we're working for us tomorrow (and not to help his teammate Ron Capps hold the points lead). We're going to try to take out 'the champ' tomorrow because we need to. We need those points. If we can knock him out first round and go on, that would be a big swing in our favor.

"We need to take him out. We don't need to have somebody else try to do it for us. We need to do it. So, we'll go up meaner than a snake tomorrow and see what happens."

-dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi