Gary Scelzi, a three-time NHRA Top Fuel Dragster champion, has been hired by Don Schumacher Racing to drive an Oakley-sponsored Funny Car that will be tuned by crew chief Mike Neff with assistance from Schumacher Racing co-crew chief Dan Olson. In preparation for the 2003 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season, Scelzi tested with his new team at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Wednesday. As a result, Scelzi delivered a personal record-breaking run. "We figured there's no better time than now to start for 2003," Scelzi said, as he packed the car's drag chutes in preparation for another trip down The Strip's quarter mile. "McKinney's building me a brand new chassis that will fit me, seat and all, so we're making some laps in (teammate) Scotty's car, to find out exactly what I want moved and what I don't want moved. This race track's really good. I just ran a personal best (4.86 sec./317 mph)." Scelzi, 42, of Fresno, Calif., was an immediate success when he joined the Top Fuel category in 1997. He won the season championship for team owner Alan Johnson the first two seasons and came back to win a third title in 2000. He switched to the Funny Car category at the beginning of the 2002 campaign and competed for nearly half a season before mutually agreeing to depart from the Alan Johnson team. "Don (Schumacher) and I raced against each other throughout my Top Fuel career. Tony, his son, won the world championship in '99 when I lost. When I left Alan (Johnson), Don felt that I was a good driver and he wanted to give me a chance to help bring my confidence back. So he put me in Whit Bazemore's car to prove to everyone that I did know how to drive a Funny Car, and that if I had the right circumstances, everything would be fine. I think we proved that and I can't thank him enough for doing that for me." With the sponsorship expansion of Oakley, Don Schumacher Racing has become a four-car team -- the Oakley Funny Cars driven by Scotty Cannon and Gary Scelzi, the Matco Tools Funny Car driven by Whit Bazemore and the United States Army Top Fuel dragster driven by Tony Schumacher.