Densham forced to play it safe; loses in Round 1 DENVER (July 17, 2005) -- A devastating engine explosion in the final round of qualifying came back to haunt Racebricks Funny Car driver Gary Densham on race day in Denver. Unable to lean very...
Densham forced to play it safe; loses in Round 1
DENVER (July 17, 2005) -- A devastating engine explosion in the final round of qualifying came back to haunt Racebricks Funny Car driver Gary Densham on race day in Denver. Unable to lean very hard on his equipment in the thin air of Bandimere Speedway, Densham had to click his hot rod off at mid-track in his opening round race against Ron Capps, giving up any chance he had of winning the 26th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.
"We simply couldn't afford any more damage," Densham said. "It's not even a matter of money. It's a matter of there not being enough parts out there to buy. Denver is a very tough place to tune at anyways and when we threw the rods yesterday we really hit the critical stage in our parts supply. We're getting stuff as fast as we can but I didn't really want to step on the gas today and do something that might force us to miss a race."
The cautious call could have cost Densham a round win as Capps drove out of the groove and nearly hit the retaining wall before he got off the gas, corrected his aim, and blazed through the scoreboards with tires smoking at a very beatable 5.204 seconds and 273.50 mph. But Densham had clicked his car off and coasted through with a 6.65.
"It's better to live to fight another day," Densham said. "This Racebricks car has been running pretty well lately at regular altitude tracks and as tough as it is to play it safe, I believe it was the right call today. We've got a week to get some things repaired and we'll be ready to go Friday in Seattle."
The 18th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals begin Friday at Pacific Raceways in Seattle.
ESPN2 will air coverage of this weekend's event. Final eliminations can be seen on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.