Humphreys Enthused with Performance of Knoll-Gas Energy Pontiac One of these days, racing luck and Justin Humphreys will attend the same race. Perhaps it will be this weekend, when the delayed O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals will be run, ...
Humphreys Enthused with Performance of Knoll-Gas Energy Pontiac
One of these days, racing luck and Justin Humphreys will attend the same race.
Perhaps it will be this weekend, when the delayed O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals will be run, Friday through Sunday, at Bristol Dragway. A problem with the racing surface has been corrected and it comes at the same time as Humphreys' performances are improving.
The rookie driver from Monrovia, Md., was quite pleased with his qualifying effort last week in Norwalk, Ohio. Not only was he able to get the RaceRedi Motorsports Knoll Gas Energy Pontiac GTO down the track with competitive numbers in the key Friday night qualifying session, but he showed crew chief Eric Luzinski's chassis tune-up is competitive.
"Everything is coming together," said Humphreys, who earned the highest qualifying effort of his 11-race NHRA POWERade Series career at Norwalk, starting 11th. "We have killer horsepower from Richard Maskin's motors and Eric has the car running well in the heat. It's only going to get hotter in the upcoming races so we think we'll be in pretty good shape. We are getting better as the season goes along.
"We thought we had a good setup for race day (at Norwalk). The car ran .986 (second) in the first 60 feet and that was the best of the first round." But he was denied a possible round win when the transmission broke.
"I went to put it in second (gear) and it wouldn't go in," Humphreys lamented, and Jason Line advanced to the next round.
Humphreys has two round wins -- both at St. Louis in May -- and has qualified for four of the series' first 11 races. He had moved up one qualifying position in each of three his previous starts, from 16th, to 15th, to 14th.
Pro Stock is one of the toughest -- if not the toughest -- of NHRA's professional categories. Humphreys has been on the outside looking in after missing line-ups by as little as one-thousandth of a second. But those days may be history. For example, he ran the quickest elapsed time in Saturday's hottest session at Norwalk and got down the track Friday night in 6.676 seconds in the important session.
"As long as we can keep running good on Friday night, I think we can be a player on Sunday," he concluded.
The third of six consecutive races, Thunder Valley Nationals Pro Stock qualifying is scheduled at 5 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 12:30 and 3 p.m. on Saturday. Eliminations get underway Sunday at noon.