Justin Humphreys Plans to Be Going In the Right Direction at Fall Nationals The ride was smooth from the Memphis Motorsports Park starting line to the finish line -- just like it should be -- five times for Justin Humphreys. But those five...
Justin Humphreys Plans to Be Going In the Right Direction at Fall Nationals
The ride was smooth from the Memphis Motorsports Park starting line to the finish line -- just like it should be -- five times for Justin Humphreys. But those five runs came on Monday during a post-Mid-South Nationals test session.
However, the performance boosted Humphreys' spirits as he drove from Memphis to the Dallas area. The O'Reilly Fall Nationals are on the Texas Motorplex docket in nearby Ennis, Friday through Sunday.
"We definitely had some issues during qualifying last weekend," said the driver of the RaceRedi Motorsports/Knoll-Gas Energy Pontiac GTO.
The biggest one was the car did not want to go straight. Humphreys' lone quarter-mile run was 6.726 seconds and came on his first qualifying try. In each of the next three tries, the car pulled to the left when he let out the clutch, forcing him to abort the run and preventing him from making the starting line-up.
Bob Glidden, 10-time NHRA series champion and team consultant, spent Sunday chasing gremlins and, if testing was a true harbinger of what to expect when qualifying begins Friday at Ennis, it appears the car is working like it should again. The unexpected trouble came 10 days after one of Humphreys' finest first-season performances. He qualified sixth in a tough field for the U.S. Nationals and drove his way into the quarterfinals in impressive fashion.
"Bob and Richard (Maskin, the team engine builder) were able to sort out the issues during testing," said Humphreys. "We made seven runs and the car went from A to B like it should. There were several other cars testing and we were running with them, but we won't really find out how good those runs were until Friday afternoon at 3:45, when qualifying starts."
This will be Humphreys' second visit to the Motorplex. "I raced there in one of my first Nopi Series events," he recalled. "I remember the track has a narrow groove. We are looking forward to Friday when we can really see how good the changes are."
This is the 20th of 23 POWERade Series events this year. Remaining races are in Richmond, Va. (Oct. 7), Las Vegas (Oct. 28) and Pomona, Calif. (Nov. 4).