Scelzi earns No. 9
Bristol, Saturday: Gary Scelzi drove the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car to No. 9 in qualifying for the re-scheduled O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, posting a 4.882-second lap at 314.17 mph during the Friday-night session.
Scelzi's first pass of the weekend produced a 4.917/315.12, the top speed of that round, which placed him fourth at the time. His Friday evening pass was good for No. 8, but he was not able to improve in his final two attempts, which resulted in a 4.954/308.99 and a 14.844/51.51, when he shut off early.
"We made it three out of four and we tried something different on the last run," explained the four-time NHRA champion. "It actually opened a burst panel. It didn't blow up, it didn't do anything like that; the burst panel just opened. But, we learned that what we tried didn't work before the burst panel opened, so we know we won't be doing that tomorrow.
"We start eliminations here at noon tomorrow, so it's probably going to be pretty warm, and the best of the conditions will probably be in the first round. We'll go up there and try to run a mid-4.80 and hope it's enough."
Scelzi faces Tony Pedregon in first round of eliminations on Sunday.
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