Indy ORP: Del Worsham preview

* Dell Worsham has qualified for the Countdown to 1 Playoffs which begin Sept. 17-20 at the second annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. A total of 10 drivers will compete for the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car ...

* Dell Worsham has qualified for the Countdown to 1 Playoffs which begin Sept. 17-20 at the second annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. A total of 10 drivers will compete for the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car championship.

* Worsham will be working his first race with new crew chief Dickie Venables this weekend. Venables served as a consultant during last week's test session at O'Reilly Raceway Park and joined the team on a fulltime basis shortly thereafter.

* Worsham is in seventh place in the NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car point standings; he trails sixth place by 53 points and fifth place by 67 points. He is 10 points ahead of eighth place.

* Worsham has two wins this season; he visited victory circle in Madison, Ill. and Bristol, Tenn. Last month in Reading, Pa., Worsham was the No. 10 qualifier; he defeated Cruz Pedregon before losing to Tony Pedregon in the second round of eliminations.

* One year ago at the U.S. Nationals, Worsham was the No 8 qualifier and lost to Tim Wilkerson in the first round of eliminations. Worsham won the U.S. Nationals in 2005.

* Worsham has 24 wins in his Funny Car career; he is seventh on the NHRA's all-time Funny Car wins list trailing sixth place by just two wins.

Worsham prior to Indianapolis:

"A lot has happened since our last race, and it's all positive. Dickie (new crew chief Dickie Venables) will be a great addition to our team, but that doesn't take anything away from what Aaron (former crew chief Aaron Brooks) did for us. He was with us from the very beginning; he built this team and got us into the Countdown. We appreciate all he has done for us, and I'm glad he'll be staying at Alan Johnson Racing.

"Dickie started with us kind of as a consultant when we tested last week so he's already figuring out what we need to work on. We all want a consistent car we can count on to go down the track every time. That's Dickie's goal for Indy. We want to find the consistency so we can be competitive in the playoffs.

"Fortunately, we've already qualified for the Countdown, and after Indy, the points will be reset. When we start the playoffs, all 10 teams will be pretty close in points so everyone will have a shot at the championship. For us, it all starts this weekend -- our first job is to make the car consistent so we can do everything we can do to make a solid run for the championship.

"With that said, I really want to win this race again. I was talking to my wife earlier this week, and I didn't realize how big of a deal it was to win the U.S. Nationals until I won it in 2005. That was a pretty special weekend because we won the Skoal Showdown for Funny Cars and then the whole event. I didn't realize how big of an accomplishment it was until I did it that weekend, and I really want to experience that again."

-credit: ajaar

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Cruz Pedregon , Tim Wilkerson