Three-time Dallas Top Fuel champ Scelzi looks to add Funny Car win to tally
Dallas, pre-race: Four-time NHRA world champion Gary Scelzi has a stellar record at the Texas Motorplex set during his heyday as a Top Fuel champion: three victories (1998, 1999, 2000) at the track located south of Dallas, matching the record of reigning Top Fuel champion and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher, and his other teammate Cory McClenathan. In fact, the trio of DSR drivers is tied with the most Top Fuel titles at the Texas Motorplex.
There's no chance that Scelzi will repeat as a Top Fuel champion at this weekend's 23rd annual NHRA Fall Nationals in Ennis, Texas, since he now drives the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car. But he would like to add a Funny Car trophy to his collection of awards.
Although Scelzi is not in the Countdown to 1 playoffs this season, he intends to make a mark in the final five events of the playoffs by being a headache to the contenders. And he feels he's got the ammunition to do so, with the new Murf McKinney chassis the Mopar/Oakley Dodge team debuted in Concord, N.C., last weekend.
"The good news is every race track we're going to from here on out I've won at," said Scelzi, a Fresno, Calif., native. "I have a lot of great memories of the Motorplex. I've won in an Alcohol car and I've won in Top Fuel there, but I haven't won in Funny Car yet. I've been to victory lane there, so I know where it's at.
"It's an all-concrete surface, and hopefully Hurricane Ike didn't beat it up too bad. Billy Meyer spent a lot of money there making things safer, with a new shutdown area, and after the run we had in Concord, we think we're going to be OK. I think we can run with these guys."
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