Densham out-distanced by Wilkerson TOPEKA (May 29, 2005) -- A quarter-mile doesn't seem like that long a span, especially when you're piloting a racecar that routinely reaches 325 mph and covers that space from a standing start in 4.7 seconds.
Densham out-distanced by Wilkerson
TOPEKA (May 29, 2005) -- A quarter-mile doesn't seem like that long a span, especially when you're piloting a racecar that routinely reaches 325 mph and covers that space from a standing start in 4.7 seconds. But for Funny Car driver Gary Densham, the 1,320 feet of Heartland Park Topeka seemed like an eternity, especially after his Racebricks.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo started to spin its tires just after half-track during his Round 1 race at the 17th annual O'Reilly Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX.
Densham was well ahead of opponent Tim Wilkerson at the 660-foot timers, thanks in large part to a gargantuan .036- to .127-second reaction time advantage he gained at the starting line. But his giant rear slicks couldn't hold the track after the transition from concrete to asphalt and his chance at victory was lost when Wilkerson streaked by for the win with a 4.862-second clocking.
Densham turned in a 4.5.334 at 212.63.
"Boy, it's heartbreaking when you're ahead of a guy and he gets around you," Densham said. "I heard him coming and when the tires started spinning I knew I'd see him fly by and that's exactly what happened. It was a good race up until that point.
"We actually learned a lot in Round 1, even though it ended up being a loss. The clutch repeated what it was supposed to do for the first time and that's really exciting. We'll get this thing figured out soon enough."
Densham and crew will now have a weekend off before heading to Chicago for the eighth annual Carquest Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, slated for June 9-12.
"Chicago is a bad-ass track where you can really pour the power to the tune-up," Densham said. "That's what we love to do more than anything else. The competition will be tough but we'll be ready to go."