Sonoma: Gary Densham final report

NHRA's Gary Densham Upsets Two Championship Teams in One Weekend Nitro Funny Car's Gary Densham takes down John Force and Cruz Pedregon in rounds one and two at the 22nd annual Fram Autolite Nationals SONOMA, CA-July 29, 2009-Densham...

NHRA's Gary Densham Upsets Two Championship Teams in One Weekend
Nitro Funny Car's Gary Densham takes down John Force and Cruz Pedregon in rounds one and two at the 22nd annual Fram Autolite Nationals

SONOMA, CA-July 29, 2009-Densham Motorsports' Funny Car owner and driver, Gary Densham, scores two major upsets in one weekend. With the countdown- to-ten format in the National Hot Rod Association's (NHRA) 24-race season, Densham's wins will have opposing teams either thanking or cursing him. Adopted in 2008, the NHRA's efforts to mirror NASCAR's championship points format have teams on both sides of the fence.

"Cruz (Pedgreon) is barely hanging on to tenth place right now which means he has to hold on to his points position just to advance to the countdown. I'm sure with my win over him in round two that he won't be sending me a holiday card this season. On the other hand, after I defeated John (Force), he was rooting for me because my wins could potentially help him stay in the championship points race," says Densham.

Although Densham would concede to the event winner Tim Wilkerson in the semi-finals, his wins over both John Force and Cruz Pedregon were significant. "John Force is a 14-time champion who is never easy to beat. Cruz is the reigning 2008 champion which tells you that he's coming off of a very successful season," says Densham. "Even though I won't make the countdown due to running a limited season, I've proved this weekend that my team can race against the best out there even with a smaller crew and limited resources. If I had raced at every event on the 2009 schedule, there's no doubt in my mind that I would be in the top ten."

Densham contends that he will continue to race a few more times this season. "I love to race and even though I won't be racing for the championship, I enjoy going out to the track and showing that a team with a limited budget has the ability to not just race against, but to beat the top teams out there."

-credit: dm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Gary Densham , Cruz Pedregon , Tim Wilkerson