Gary Densham Pre-Registers To Race Nitro Funny Car at Texas Nationals NORWALK, Ohio (March 6, 2006) -- Gary Densham has been a fixture on the NHRA circuit for a long time, making his first career start in 1982 and running the series full time...
Gary Densham Pre-Registers To Race Nitro Funny Car at Texas Nationals
NORWALK, Ohio (March 6, 2006) -- Gary Densham has been a fixture on the NHRA circuit for a long time, making his first career start in 1982 and running the series full time since the mid 1980's. He has eight career NHRA victories to his credit and finished 13th in point standings in 2005.
He recognizes, however, that times are changing. With the proliferation of multi-car big budget teams dominating the NHRA Tour it is getting harder and harder for the single-car team, one without millions of disposable dollars, to keep up to speed. When IHRA announced the Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car class would be a reality for the 2006 eMax Drag Racing season, Densham figured he might as well give it a try in San Antonio. He pre-registered for the Amalie Oil Texas Nationals presented by Ancira Cars, Trucks and RVs and the San Antonio Express-News, March 24 -- 26, and is expected to be among the first Nitro Funny Cars to tear down an IHRA track in sanctioned competition in 15 years. After San Antonio Densham, a California resident, will figure out what his team will do the rest of the season.
"We're going to play it by ear," Densham said. "The thing of it is, if I had my druthers we would race the whole (eMax Drag Racing Series) deal. But to race all 11 events it would cost me 65-70 percent what it would cost me to race all 23 NHRA events because of where the tracks are and where my racing operation is located in California. But we would like to come over and have some fun and get away from a lot of the things we have to deal with on the NHRA side. The three-car teams with big budgets are making it harder and harder for guys like me."
Densham thinks the big-budget multi-car teams are creating difficult challenges for the independent drivers.
"Is it bad for the sport? I don't know," he said. "But all three Forces, the Worshams, the Pedregons have huge budgets. They are going to get down the track and have excellent times, which will make it good for the fans. But you have to wonder at what point will the guys like me, the independent guys, not be able to break into the sport anymore because they can't afford to compete. I was lucky when I started because it wasn't like it is now."
Densham is not only looking forward to competing in a different circuit, he is excited over bringing his sponsor, Racebricks, additional exposure. Racebricks is an auto racing collectibles company offering laser etched glass products to race fans.
"Any time you can give different exposure to your sponsor, in different markets, it's a really good thing," Densham said. "I think IHRA fans will really like what Racebricks has to offer."
As for his race team, Densham and the gang are looking forward to making the trip to Texas.
"All the crew people are really excited about San Antonio," Densham said. "That is always a plus. A lot of the crew members of big money teams grumble when they have to go to work again. My guys are cool and they love to go racing."
Headquartered in Norwalk, Ohio, the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA), a division of Live Nation, promotes professional, semi-professional and local level racing opportunities for drivers at all levels. The eMax Drag Racing Series is an 11-event North American professional drag racing circuit. In 2006, the series will be comprised of eight events in major cities throughout the United States and three in Canada. The Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Championship consists of competition at national events and 35 events in six regional divisions, while IHRA's Summit SuperSeries is conducted nearly every weekend at over 90 IHRA-sanctioned tracks. Providing a safe environment to develop future stars, IHRA offers the PM-1 Junior Dragster Racing Series for youths ages 8-17. Stand-alone events include Live Nation's entertainment-filled "Thunder Jam" shows and the street legal racing and lifestyle event series Kumho Street Warriorz presented by Hooters. More information can be found at www.ihra.com.