Indy ORP: Justin Humphreys preview

Humphreys Wants to Go Straight . . . into the Pro Stock Lineup The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals is recognized as NHRA's most prestigious event. It's the oldest, with the 53rd edition due Aug. 31-Sept. 3 at venerable O'Reilly (nee Indianapolis)...

Humphreys Wants to Go Straight . . . into the Pro Stock Lineup

The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals is recognized as NHRA's most prestigious event. It's the oldest, with the 53rd edition due Aug. 31-Sept. 3 at venerable O'Reilly (nee Indianapolis) Raceway Park.

Justin Humphreys, in his first Pro Stock season, definitely wants to be part of it. "It's exciting to be going to Indy," said the driver of the RaceRedi Motorsports/Knoll-Gas Energy Pontiac GTO. "But we have to get our car sorted out so it goes straight down the track. And then we can concentrate on getting in the show."

Humphreys is relying on the expertise of crew chief Eric Luzinski, Pro Stock icon Bob Glidden and engine builder Richard Maskin to find the gremlins that keep making the car move to the left while en route to the finish line.

The team has a test session on tap Tuesday and Wednesday (Aug. 28-29) at Martin, Mich. "We're going to run it up and down the track and keep beating on it until it goes down the track in a straight line," said Humphreys. "We know we have power there because we ran near the top in speed during several sessions at Reading (Pa., site of the rain-delayed Toyo Tires Nationals)."

The frustrating part for Humphreys is that he knows the car is capable. He's been to the semifinals twice (St. Louis and Bristol, Tenn.). He had a near-perfect .003 reaction time in the St. Louis semis against Dave Connolly but had to abort the run when tire shake occurred. "Dave said I would've whipped him if that hadn't happened," said Humphreys.

The combination of a good car and good motors bodes well -- when the chassis reacts like it should.

The team could use a little more good fortune, too. For example, Humphreys' good motor dropped a valve during qualifying at Reading, Pa., and he missed the starting 16.

"It's all part of racing," he commented. "Pro Stock is a tough class. But, as I've said before, we aren't giving up."

-credit: rrm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Glidden , Justin Humphreys