Bristol: Gary Densham Saturday summary

Densham looking for a sunny Sunday in Bristol BRISTOL, Tenn. -- The good thing about Gary Densham is that he doesn't panic easily. Densham took an unusual route Saturday during the only qualifying session for the O'Reilly Thunder Valley...

Densham looking for a sunny Sunday in Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- The good thing about Gary Densham is that he doesn't panic easily. Densham took an unusual route Saturday during the only qualifying session for the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. It worked regardless.

Densham's Racebricks Chevy Monte Carlo made a 5.321-second pass at 236.09 mph to qualify in the No. 14 spot. He nearly didn't make the run last all five seconds as the Racebricks Monte Carlo's wheelie bar broke and Densham went for a ride without a view of the track.

"When there isn't a wheelie bar, you get launched back and you can't see the track because the Funny Car body is in the way," Densham said. "I'm lucky we are at Bristol, surrounded by all of the trees because they gave me a little perspective on where I was and that was the only reason I stayed in it as long as I did.

"I think I was riding those back tires for about 300 feet and if we were racing almost anywhere else, I wouldn't have been able to see anything and would have been forced to get out of the run a lot sooner. Luckily, I stayed it the run and we get to play on Sunday because of it."

With more than 30 years of racing experience, Densham of all people know that racing on Sunday with just one qualifying session can be tricky. The rain forced NHRA officials to cancel Friday's qualifying sessions and the rain stayed away just long enough Saturday for one pass for all pro competitors.

"Tomorrow we just have to make sure that we don't make any of the mistakes we made today," Densham said. "You always wish that you can have four qualifying passes. That's the best thing for the racers and the fans. Only one session is tough because the track could be completely different.

"To win you have to be able to make very few mistakes, if any at all. We are going to put our best shot possible on the track and hope it's better than the other guy."

Final eliminations start at noon. All the action can be seen on ESPN2. Final eliminations will start at 7 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.

-gs-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Densham