DENSHAM QUALIFIES AFTER ON-TRACK INCIDENT JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 1, 2005) -- Gary Densham took a nasty turn into the wall Saturday at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing series event at Route 66 Raceway. He was uninjured in the accident. On top of that,...
DENSHAM QUALIFIES AFTER ON-TRACK INCIDENT
JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 1, 2005) -- Gary Densham took a nasty turn into the wall Saturday at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing series event at Route 66 Raceway. He was uninjured in the accident. On top of that, Densham stayed inside the 16-car elimination field that will race Sunday.
Densham will start the Ameriquest NHRA Nationals from the No. 16 position after he turned in a 4.842-second pass at 319.98 mph. He nearly missed the fourth and final round of qualifying. During the first pass on Saturday, Densham's Racebricks Chevy Monte Carlo suffered a mechanical problem that drove the car into the retaining wall. Densham started in the right lane, but slammed into the wall in the left lane, barely missing Mike Ashley's Funny Car entry.
"Something in the steering obviously broke," Densham said. "The car just went left and there was nothing I could do to turn back. I tried, but nothing worked.
"Thank God the car in the other lane was out of the way by the time I had the problem."
Densham was not injured in the incident but the car body was totaled and the team worked frantically to get the car back in race shape.
"Are you kidding, my wife has slapped me harder than that," Densham joked.
"It was a pretty good hit, but I feel worse for the team. I can't begin to explain how hard the team worked to get everything back together. We had to make a lot of things work and it happened under a lot of pressure."
Densham was able to make the fourth session and turned in a 4.862 pass at 316.38.
"I was just happy that we got the car to go down the track like it was supposed to do," Densham said. "Tomorrow is going to be one of the best race days I've ever seen. There are a lot of bad fast hot rods out here and to be involved in the quickest field in Funny Car history is just awesome.
"Any fans that miss this race will be sorry because this is going to be a great day of racing. It's going to be real exciting."
Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. Sunday. Densham will face Cruz Pedregon in the opening round of eliminations.