DINWIDDIE, Va. – Four-time series champion Gary Scelzi earned one of four berths in the two-race championship, beating teammate Ron Capps in the Funny Car final Sunday in the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.
Scelzi, who jumped from sixth to second place, was joined in the winner’s circle by Top Fuel’s Doug Kalitta and Pro Stock’s Dave Connolly, who has won five straight races overall to take the No. 1 seed in the Countdown to 1.
Capps secured the fourth and final berth in Funny Car with his semifinal win over Tim Wilkerson. Tony Pedregon and Robert Hight, first and third, respectively, will be the other two finalists in the Funny Car Countdown to 1.
The drama in Top Fuel played out in the first round when fourth-place Brandon Bernstein ousted fifth-place Bob Vandergriff to cement his position in Top Fuel’s final four. Larry Dixon, Rod Fuller and Tony Schumacher are the other three finalists.
In Pro Stock, Greg Anderson will be the No. 2 seed and the Pro Stock final four was filled out by No. 3 Jeg Coughlin, who drove his way in with a first-round win Sunday, and Allen Johnson, who clinched the fourth and final Pro Stock berth when his teammate eliminated fifth-place Kurt Johnson in the second round.
The top four drivers who remain alive in the Countdown to the Championship will have their points reset in 10-point increments, from 3,030 to 3,000, before heading to Las Vegas (Oct. 26-28) and Pomona (Nov. 1-4) for the two-race championship.