Madison: Gary Densham final summary

Semifinal finish exactly what Densham needed MADISON, Ill. (June 26, 2005) -- Reigning U.S. Nationals champion Gary Densham will go into the NHRA's summer break off of his best weekend of the NHRA season, racing to the semifinals of the ninth ...

Semifinal finish exactly what Densham needed

MADISON, Ill. (June 26, 2005) -- Reigning U.S. Nationals champion Gary Densham will go into the NHRA's summer break off of his best weekend of the NHRA season, racing to the semifinals of the ninth annual Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. Densham beat hot shoe Tommy Johnson Jr. and former series champ Cruz Pedregon before bowing to local hero Tim Wilkerson in the semis.

The race against Wilkerson was a thriller, with Densham getting a huge jump on his good friend at the starting line with a .102-second reaction time to Wilkerson' .167-second launch. But the Springfield, Ill., native managed to catch Densham just before the finish line to win by seven hundredths of a second, 4.871 to 5.006.

"That was a good ol' drag race right there," Densham said. "I didn't see him at all until the last 50 feet. I know I was ahead at half-track. I guess he just tracked us down right at the end of the race. Still, this was a great weekend for us, especially going into the summer break.

"We're running a lot better. We just don't know how far to push the tune-up yet but we're not going to make any drastic moves to find out. We'll just keep pecking away at this thing and get a little bit better each run. That's the goal."

Densham was joined this weekend by tuning consultant Rob Flynn, who worked with Doug Herbert for the first half of the year. Flynn mostly observed the action as he got used to his new team but his input certainly seemed to help.

"It's always good to have another set of eyes," Densham said. "Rob's a very bright guy and I have a lot of respect for him. He didn't feel comfortable enough to jump in this weekend but he was a great sounding board for Greg and I. It would be my guess that he'll fit in well with this group.

"It was a great help having an additional crew person. It took a lot of pressure off of me personally and I know we made fewer mistakes because we weren't so hurried all the time. This is still a very young team but they're learning. I'm happy."

-gs-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Gary Densham , Cruz Pedregon , Tim Wilkerson , Tommy Johnson Jr.