Scelzi garners No. 14
Topeka, Saturday: With only three qualifying sessions available this weekend for the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals because of rain, Gary Scelzi qualified the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car in the No. 14 slot for Sunday's final eliminations at Heartland Park Topeka.
Friday's initial single run of 5.073 seconds at 309.98 mph earned Scelzi No. 13. On Saturday he recorded his quickest pass of the weekend in the first session of the day, a 4.921/307.93, which dropped him to 14th. His 4.967/300.33 in the final attempt did not improve his position.
The four-time NHRA world champion will face 14-time Funny Car champion John Force in the opening stanza of Sunday's eliminations.
"It put a hole (cylinder) out about two seconds into the run," said Scelzi of his final try, "which kind of surprised us. We're not sure why. But we made it down the track both runs today. That was OK. We were the fourth quickest in the first session today, so it's going down the race track, and that's a big thing.
"Tomorrow the conditions will be pretty much like today. We have Force. I always like racing somebody like Force because you know what you got. You know you got a killer and you'd better be on your toes. So, I'll get a good night's sleep tonight, get a good dinner, and dream about Little John all night long."
Scelzi is one of the few Funny Car drivers who has a round winning record against the 14-time Funny Car champion John Force: 11-8, 3-1 in final rounds.
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