SCELZI OUT IN SONOMA FIRST ROUND SONOMA, Calif. (July 30, 2006) - Gary Scelzi was looking for good results at the final event of the three-race Western Swing this weekend at the Fram-Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway. But a miscue in the ...
SCELZI OUT IN SONOMA FIRST ROUND
SONOMA, Calif. (July 30, 2006) - Gary Scelzi was looking for good results at the final event of the three-race Western Swing this weekend at the Fram-Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway. But a miscue in the opening round of eliminations against Scott Kalitta may have cost him a chance to get back in the hunt for his second consecutive Funny Car championship.
Scelzi took the lead from Kalitta at the starting lights, recording a .090 of a second reaction time (.000 is perfect) to Kalitta's .101, then held it until half-track, when the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car lost traction, forcing the defending event champion to cross the finish line .4314 of a second later than Kalitta. Neither run was perfect, but Kalitta crossed the line with a 5.055/301.60 lap to Scelzi's losing 5.497/205.01.
"It wasn't the day that we planned," said Scelzi, who is sixth in points, 298 out of first place. "It got out there probably 500-600 feet and it's like it hit oil; it just blew the tires right off of it. Everything looked right on the (computer) graph, including the drive shaft. Everything looked like it was right, but it just took the tire right off. All the timing, management, everything was over with and it just blew them off.
"The only thing I can think of is that I was on the right side of the groove, and maybe there was still a little bit of oil or something on the race track from Cruz (Pedregon, in the pair before). I don't know. (John) Force went down in 4.81 (seconds) right behind us, but maybe he was on the inside.
"Just unfortunate. We thought we could really do well. It started out well on the three-race swing, but it didn't end up as well as we thought it would."
Next up for the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series is the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., Aug. 11-13, 2006.