Denver: Justin Humphreys preview

Humphreys Happy with Improved Pro Stock Performances The hard work is beginning to pay off. Justin Humphreys appears to be on his way to becoming a regular member -- or as regular a driver can be in NHRA's highly-competitive Pro Stock...

Humphreys Happy with Improved Pro Stock Performances

The hard work is beginning to pay off.  Justin Humphreys  appears to be on
his way to becoming a regular member -- or as regular a driver  can be in NHRA's
highly-competitive Pro Stock category -- of Sundays' starting  lineups.

The first-year driver from Monrovia, Md., is getting more comfortable in his RaceRedi Motorsports/ Knoll-Gas Energy Pontiac GTO at the same time crew chief Eric Luzinski and engine builder Richard Maskin are melding their chassis setups and horsepower production talents.

The results  are showing.  Humphreys has qualified in four of the last six
races,  including the last two stops at Norwalk, Ohio, and Bristol, Tenn.  He
was a  semifinalist at Bristol Sunday and counts another semifinal finish (St.
Louis)  among the accomplishments of his first 12 Pro Stock events.
Now  comes another stern test -- the 28th Mopar Mile-High Nationals at
Bandimere  Speedway, Friday through Sunday.  Humphreys did test at the track that
presents a once-a-year challenge of oxygen depravation for Pro Stock  motors.
"We had the opportunity to test at Denver about six  weeks ago so we do have
some data to work with," Humphreys said.  "The  motor we used Sunday was our
Denver motor so we were able to put some laps on it  at Bristol, too."
Humphreys, 30, previously competed in Sport  Compact and Nopi Series racing.
"I'm having the time of my life," he  said.  "We didn't expect to do much
this year because it was our first  one.  Just to qualify is something else . .
. but to get to the semifinals  twice feels great."

He has made the 16-car starting lineup five times and missed four races by a total of 14-thousandths of a second -- two-thousandths, three-thousandths, four-thousandths and five-thousandths. His best qualifying effort has been 11th.

"Everything is coming together," he says with a smile. "It just takes time."

-credit: jh/jls

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Series NHRA
Drivers Justin Humphreys