Topeka: Gary Densham preview

With additional funding, Densham tickled about Topeka BELLFLOWER, Calif. (May 25, 2005) -- Sponsorship dollars are the lifeblood of motorsports and Racebricks Chevrolet Monte Carlo Funny Car driver Gary Densham is riding a huge new wave into ...

With additional funding, Densham tickled about Topeka

BELLFLOWER, Calif. (May 25, 2005) -- Sponsorship dollars are the lifeblood of motorsports and Racebricks Chevrolet Monte Carlo Funny Car driver Gary Densham is riding a huge new wave into Heartland Park Topeka for this weekend's 17th annual O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals after signing industry giant Torco Race Fuels as a major associate sponsor.

Densham, an eight-time winner on the POWERade Drag Racing Series and defending champion of the U.S. Nationals, the most prestigious event in drag racing, ventured back out on his own in 2005 after a four-year run with the powerful John Force Racing camp. If there's one thing he learned while being a part of JFR it's that sponsorship dollars are the difference between contending and pretending.

"This is just the shot in the arm we needed," Densham said. "We couldn't be happier to welcome Torco Race Fuels on board and we can't wait to bring them an NHRA victory. Everyone on this crew, from [Racebricks CEO] Marty Yacoobian on down is just thrilled to pieces. I've been on a spending spree all day ordering all the parts on my wish list.

"Evan Knolls (founder of Torco Race Fuels) decided a while back he didn't want to dump all of his advertising budget into one team. Instead he wanted to spread the wealth around and help out a bunch of race teams. Luckily, we're one of those teams and, let me tell you, it's been a big morale booster over here.

"These things don't run on cubic inches, they run on cubic dollars and for us to get a 30-percent boost in our budget is absolutely huge. It will allow us to not sweat every run that we're going to blow something up we can't afford. Heck, we might even go and test now. The pressure has definitely been relieved a great deal."

The new deal has Densham anxious to get to Topeka for this weekend's race.

"Topeka's always been on my list of favorite places," said Densham, a former schoolteacher from Bellflower, Calif. "The main reason for that is the people in the community. They absolutely roll out the red carpet for us and are genuinely happy we're there. Everyone has a smile on his or her face and everyone goes out of their way to make you feel welcome and make sure you're having fun. That's unique."

Qualifying begins Friday at 5 p.m.

-gd-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Gary Densham