Justin Humphreys Focusing on Qualifying, Winning Rounds at Route 66 There are no guarantees of starting positions in NHRA's Pro Stock category. Typically, drivers are sent packing by margins as thin as one-thousandth of a second. Justin ...
Justin Humphreys Focusing on Qualifying, Winning Rounds at Route 66
There are no guarantees of starting positions in NHRA's Pro Stock category. Typically, drivers are sent packing by margins as thin as one-thousandth of a second.
Justin Humphreys, in his first NHRA season, has been on the receiving end of some of those decisions this year, but the driver of the RaceRedi Motorsports Knoll-Gas Energy Pontiac GTO has been moving up the charts in his last two races.
He qualified 15th at St. Louis last month and 14th at Topeka Sunday. He won his first two Pro Stock elimination rounds at St. Louis and will attempt to extend his qualifying streak at the Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals, Friday through Sunday.
Humphreys and his team, led by veteran crew chief Eric Luzinski, returned to Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis Wednesday to put some laps on two new Richard Maskin-built motors and finalize preparations for the Route 66 race.
"We tested at Route 66 Raceway two weeks ago," said Humphreys. "The track was awesome. I like it and we are looking forward to racing there."
The former Sport Compact and Nopi driver has a unique streak going. In his first three NHRA outings, Humphreys has qualified 16, 15 and 14. And, he says, if he could improve one starting spot per race the rest of the way, he'd be No. 1 at the Auto Club Finals, the last 2007 event.
That said -- and the fact lane choice has its advantages -- he would rather qualify in the top eight from here on.
The Route 66 quarter-mile asphalt has a reputation for yielding quick elapsed times and it may live up to that this weekend, should the early-week weather forecast remain the same. Humphreys established his quickest elapsed time, 6.634 seconds, and speed, 208.71 mph, at Gainesville, Fla., in March.
With Luzinski tuning the chassis, Humphreys put together three good qualifying runs on a very tricky racing surface last weekend at Topeka, Kan. He qualified 14th with a best of 6.768 seconds. He lost to Allen Johnson in the opening round.