Topeka: Justin Hemphreys final report

Connolly Edges Humphreys in Close Race at Topeka Humphreys' Quick Start Not Quite Enough to Hold Off Connolly All the thrashing Justin Humphreys' RaceRedi Motorsports Pro Stock team and Allen Johnson's team did on Johnson's Dodge...

Connolly Edges Humphreys in Close Race at Topeka
Humphreys' Quick Start Not Quite Enough to Hold Off Connolly

All the thrashing Justin Humphreys' RaceRedi Motorsports Pro Stock team and Allen Johnson's team did on Johnson's Dodge Stratus almost paid big dividends in Sunday's opening round of the Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.

With four qualifying runs of experience in the Dodge and a change in the clutch pedal, Humphreys parlayed a near-perfect .008 reaction time into a starting-line advantage over No. 1 qualifier Dave Connolly that held until just before the finish line. But the nose of Connolly's car got the win light in 6.737 seconds at 204.32 mph to Humphreys' 6.769 at 203.03. The winning margin was .0115-second.

"He gave it his best shot," said Johnson, who, along with team owner Don Schumacher, offered the use of a spare Dodge to Humphreys when he had engine supply problems.

"I certainly can't complain," Humphreys said. "We went down the track on all five runs and we haven't done that since (the race at) Atlanta (April 27). We have to give one big thank you to Don Schumacher and Allen and his crew for all the help they gave our crew. We are happy."

Humphreys didn't pick up the car until 48 hours before Friday's first qualifying round and he spent the qualifying runs trying to pick up the nuances of the Dodge compared to his Pontiac GXP.

He did say the clutch-pedal switch was a definite improvement. "I could tell when I staged the car that it was better," Humphreys said. "And that definitely helped."

Humphreys, meanwhile, stayed 11th in NHRA POWERade Series points with 327.

-credit: rrm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Allen Johnson , Don Schumacher , Justin Humphreys , Dave Connolly