, (born August 11, 1960, Fresno, California
), is an American dragster
racer and midget car owner who has won the NHRA Powerade Top Fuel
championship on three occasions and the Funny Car
title once. In 1997
he won the title in his first full year of competition, after replacing Blaine Johnson
, who had been killed at the 1996
US Nationals, while leading the top fuel championship, in the Johnson family-owned car. He has not competed in NHRA competition since the 2008 season.
Scelzi went on to win three Top Fuel championships, but at the end of the 2001 season, with the Alan Johnson-owned team losing its Winston sponsorship because of the Master Settlement Agreement, and also partly due to a major accident he had that season, he jumped to Funny Car, with new sponsorship, and a Toyota Celica. The results were a disaster for Scelzi, and he resigned from his ride midway through the season, only to join Don Schumacher Racing for the 2003 season in an Oakley sponsored Dodge funny car.
Scelzi unseated the John Force Racing
dynasty, defeating John Force and Robert Hight to win the 2005 NHRA Funny Car Championship, making it the first time since 1992 (Larry Minor Racing
) a team other than John Force Racing had won the NHRA Funny Car championship, that championship also made him only the second person in NHRA history to win championships in both Top Fuel, and Funny Car, the other, being Kenny Bernstein
In his spare time he has raced midgets for fun, even competing in the Chili......