Las Vegas: Gary Densham preview

Densham looking to be the short guy on stage LAS VEGAS -- Gary Densham's wife, Joanne, has been by his side throughout his racing career. She is his best friend and she supports him in his quest for Funny Car success week in and week...

Densham looking to be the short guy on stage

LAS VEGAS -- Gary Densham's wife, Joanne, has been by his side throughout his racing career. She is his best friend and she supports him in his quest for Funny Car success week in and week out.

This weekend, however, Densham isn't afraid to say he wants to earn the right to be kissed by another woman. Yep, it's time for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That means one thing: Showgirls.

Joanne didn't mind the little peck on the cheek Densham earned after his Las Vegas Funny Car victory in 2002. It's reasonable to suspect that if Densham can win four rounds on Sunday, she won't mind again.

"I've won in Vegas before and it will always be one of the best places to race," Densham said. "We get to race at a great facility and when you win, you get to hop on stage with the beautiful showgirls that are always six inches taller than me because they are wearing 12-inch heels. It's a blast and you know you've done a good job of racing that weekend if you get that kiss on the cheek with the red lipstick. It's a great time and I can't wait to get there."

Densham could possibly be more excited that usual to see the bright lights of Las Vegas. The Racebricks Chevy Monte Carlo has just one qualifying performance so far this season. The new team came together late and Densham and the rest of the Racebricks team have been hustling to catch up and compete with the rest of the Funny Car category.

"This is the first time this season that I think we're finally ready for qualifying," Densham said. "We have a great group working on this Racebricks car, but we just don't have a ton of experience and we didn't get to test before the season started. But I honestly think it's finally coming together and this will be a great weekend because being ready to race and being in Las Vegas at the same time is a great thing."

If anyone can be positive with a slow start to a season, it's the former teacher from Bellflower, Calif.

"If I sat around and really thought about it, I could get down on myself in a hurry," Densham said. "But that's not me. We have to remain optimistic. The fact is we've only made 15 runs on this car. That's nothing. We have so much upside potential."

Densham earned the No. 2 and 3 qualifying spots during the spring and fall events in Las Vegas last year, respectively. His first goal is to get qualified. Then he wants to qualify high in the order. Then he can think about adding to his Vegas win from 2002.

"We're in a place where we're making too much power like we were earlier in the season," Densham said. "Only this time we're finding ways to adjust it without hurting the engine itself. We just need to figure out how to apply the power band to our setup and we'll be running with the pack."

All the action can be seen on ESPN2 starting with the qualifying show at 10 p.m. (ET) on Saturday followed by the eliminations at 7 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.

-gs-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Densham