Scelzi, Dixon and Anderson earn no. 1 qualifying positions at Carquest Auto Parts Nationals KENT, Wash. -- Gary Scelzi raced to his first career No. 1 qualifying effort in Funny Car and the 34th of his drag racing career Saturday at Pacific ...
Scelzi, Dixon and Anderson earn no. 1 qualifying positions at Carquest Auto Parts Nationals
KENT, Wash. -- Gary Scelzi raced to his first career No. 1 qualifying effort in Funny Car and the 34th of his drag racing career Saturday at Pacific Raceways near Seattle. Larry Dixon and Greg Anderson also were No. 1 qualifiers in their respective pro categories at the $1.8 million race, the 14th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Scelzi claimed the lead position for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals with a 4.964 second run at 299.33 mph in his Oakley Dodge Stratus.
Scelzi, a two-time winner at the scenic Northwest quarter-mile track in Top Fuel (2000-'01) will attempt to score his first career Funny Car victory here when Sunday's 11 a.m. eliminations begin. "I've had good luck racing from the No. 1 spot, probably better than average, and this track has always been good to me," said Scelzi, who earned 25 victories during his Top Fuel career.
"This is our best chance so far to get a win. I know you need luck along the way to get those wins and we really haven't had any so far this year." Cruz Pedregon was second in the Advance Auto Parts Pontiac Firebird with a 4.977 at 306.74, while John Force drove his Castrol GTX High-Mileage Ford Mustang to a 4.979 at 308.85 to anchor the third position. Dixon captured his third top qualifying effort of the season and 22nd of his career when he powered his Miller Lite dragster to a leading performance of 4.676 at 317.27.
"It's a matter of working on getting the car to not spin its tires so much because it's not easy to get down the track," Dixon said. "I think the people that made good runs in qualifying, us, Kenny (Bernstein), Doug (Kalitta), (Tony) Schumacher, those are the guys that will be going rounds tomorrow. It'll be a challenge for whoever ends up winning. I think we'll be up for it." Bernstein was second in the Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster with a 4.693 at 310.91, while Kalitta was third with a 4.710 at 304.87 in his Mac Tools dragster. Anderson set both ends of the track record in Pro Stock en route to his eighth No. 1 of the year and 11th of his career. He covered the distance in 6.754 at 205.19 in his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am. "We were a little lucky," Anderson said with a grin. "I have to admit I was pretty surprised to see that number (on the scoreboard). I figured it would be better than yesterday's 6.80, but not that much. Then to be two miles per hour faster, wow, my guys really gave me a car today." Kurt Johnson was second in the ACDelco Chevy Cavalier with a 6.784 at 203.61, and Barry Grant qualified third in his King Demon Crown Cavalier with a 6.794 at 203.16.