This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.
Many memories in twenty years of Freak-dom. One is meeting Gary Scelzi one night outside his motorhome. He was grilling for all comers and that included The Freaks. So, Scelzi fed me and that’s not forgotten easily.
But there’s another reason not to forget the four-time NHRA champion and that’s three in Top Fuel and one in Funny Car. We had a chance to watch his newborn son Giovanni grow up and become a more than competent driver himself.
Giovanni started making a name in open-wheel Sprint Cars but he’s now moved to stock cars with one of the great ladder teams in racing, Bill McAnally Racing. The 18-year-old is one of four rookies on the team this year and this week finished a career best third in the ARCA West race outside Seattle Friday night.
Takes me back to a night at Irwindale when Giovanni was racing a Ford Midget Sprinter, I think. He won the race and I was calling Gary to let him know. But he was trying to rush me off the phone because he wanted to know how Giovanni did. Once he figured out the reason for the call Gary became a proud Dad and was almost (almost!) speechless.
Still a Scelzi in a stock car doesn’t make sense. Should be a Funny Car. But a Giovanni in a Cup Car would be great to hear. Here’s hoping.
August 9, 2020