DENSHAM DRAWS ON GOOD VIBRATIONS PICKED UP IN INDY READING, Penn. (Sept. 14, 2005) -- Drag racers generally live their lives thinking about their next trip down the quarter-mile. They may be at work, in church, with their families, or hang...
DENSHAM DRAWS ON GOOD VIBRATIONS PICKED UP IN INDY
READING, Penn. (Sept. 14, 2005) -- Drag racers generally live their lives thinking about their next trip down the quarter-mile. They may be at work, in church, with their families, or hang gliding over Hawaii, but chances are their thoughts, like their nitro-fueled runs, come in five-second bursts.
That's especially the case when their last race featured a driver's best elapsed time of the year, which is exactly why Racebricks Chevrolet Monte Carlo Funny Car pilot Gary Densham can't wait for this weekend's 21st annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa., the 19th of 23 races on the POWERade Drag Racing Series.
"When your car's running the way our car was running in Indy, I'd be excited if you told me we were racing in a cow pasture," said Densham, a 59-year-old former schoolteacher from Gahr High School in Bellflower, Calif. "Stewy [co-crew chief John Stewart] joined our team last race and made an immediate impact. He brought a couple of pieces of the overall puzzle that we've been missing.
"We made six runs in Indy and five of them were good, solid passes. We were on our way to beating Frankie [Pedregon] in Round 1. I was already practicing my speech for ESPN halfway down the track until the crank hub sheared off and the Racebricks car nosed over just enough for him to steal the win.
"The encouraging thing is we have a racecar that can run as well as just about anything in the class. We haven't been able to say that until now. We didn't blow up, even though we probably should have on Monday. The car is there for us now and with Stewy's help, we're only going to get better."
Maple Grove Raceway has produced world record numbers in the past, specifically when the temperatures stay cool. But if Densham had a choice, he'd opt for warmer conditions.
"Right now we're very eager to run with everyone at night when the fireworks go off, but the truth is we're probably much more competitive in the heat," Densham said. "At least that's been the case this summer, especially at Indy.
"We're excited. Believe me, no one in the sport thinks about winning more than me. I want it bad. But I've been around long enough to know that sometimes you have to be patient and build your way up to that level. We're closer now then we've been all year."
ESPN2 will broadcast qualifying of the Toyo Tires Nationals on Sept. 17 at 4 p.m. while eliminations can be seen Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. and Sept. 23 at 3 a.m. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18.