Brainerd: Gary Densham final summary

DENSHAM FOULS AWAY HIS SHOT AT FORCE BRAINERD, Minn. (August 15, 2005) -- After 40-plus years in the fast lane, Gary Densham has been racing for too long to blow smoke up anyone's tailpipe. So when the media asked him about his uncharacteristic...

DENSHAM FOULS AWAY HIS SHOT AT FORCE

BRAINERD, Minn. (August 15, 2005) -- After 40-plus years in the fast lane, Gary Densham has been racing for too long to blow smoke up anyone's tailpipe. So when the media asked him about his uncharacteristic red-light start that disqualified him in his opening round race at the 24th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, Densham was quick to accept the blame. "They driver went brain dead," he said.

It's rare for any nitro driver to leave before the green light flashes; it's even rarer for someone as experienced as Densham to do it. But that was the case Sunday when the driver of the Racebricks Chevy recorded a -.096 second foul start, handing the win to his longtime friend and former boss, 13-time NHRA champion John Force.

"You want to beat John because he's the best drag racer ever," Densham said. "I want to beat John because he's John. I don't know what happened other then something in my feeble old mind said 'Go' so I went. Thankfully, this doesn't happen to us much but that doesn't make me feel any better right now."

Force was an attractive target and his winning elapsed time of 4.877 seconds was slower then the E.T. Densham had posted in qualifying. But the red light voided and dash for the finish line and Densham could only watch the win light blink in Force's lane as he drifted down the racetrack in 10.981 seconds.

"We could have made a run," Densham said. "There was a big oil down in Top Fuel that allowed the track to get a lot hotter then we expected. Then Robert [Hight] oiled it down again after I had been strapped in the car so I sat in there way longer then I wanted to. The problem is they don't tell you how long it's gonna take so I stayed in there when I really should have gotten out and walked around. But hey, no excuses; We got beat and we'll just come back next weekend and try our hardest to redeem ourselves."

Up next for Densham and the Racebricks Chevrolet Monte Carlo crew is the 18th annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park. Densham is a former winner of the event, having claimed the trophy there in 2001.

The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park, Aug. 19-21.

-gs-

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Gary Densham