Scelzi Runs Five Stout Laps, Goes Out in First Round TOPEKA, Kan. (May 30, 2004) - Gary Scelzi's HEMI-powered Oakley Dodge Stratus Funny Car qualified eighth and made five good runs this weekend at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals. When you...
Scelzi Runs Five Stout Laps, Goes Out in First Round
TOPEKA, Kan. (May 30, 2004) - Gary Scelzi's HEMI-powered Oakley Dodge Stratus Funny Car qualified eighth and made five good runs this weekend at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals.
When you qualify eighth in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, you find yourself facing the No. 9 qualifier in first round of eliminations and it's probably one of the toughest rounds a Funny Car racer has to face, as the cars are often close to being equal in performance. Gary Densham from John Force's team was Scelzi's opponent in today's first round.
Densham had the slight edge in reaction time and stayed the course to the finish line, while Scelzi got slightly out of the groove and spun the tires. The end result was a winning 4.780/324.05 for Densham, and a losing 4.826/315.78 pass for Scelzi.
"We felt really good about going into the first round against Densham," said Scelzi, the top-speed national record holder of 330.55 mph. "We thought we could run a high 4.70 to a 4.80, and that's exactly what this HEMI-powered Oakley Dodge was going to run.
"I got it out of the groove a little bit and it started spinning the tires and that hurt us. Densham had a great light (.083 to .104) on the starting line and ran low ET of that round. Unfortunately, any time you race a John Force car, they can lower the boom on you at any time. It's unfortunate that we lost, but the car went down the race track, it ran very well. It probably would have won some rounds today; we just ended up in the wrong spot at the wrong time.
"It actually made five runs this weekend with no tire smoke, even though we had some engine problems. We're learning what the HEMI Oakley Dodge wants and it's getting better every event. We were five for five this weekend, which is pretty big. Not a lot of people can say that."
Next up is the Pontiac Excitement NHRA Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, June 11-13.