Joliet: Justin Humphreys preview

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.

-credit: rrm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Allen Johnson , Justin Humphreys