Densham Digging Deeper

DNQ has Densham digging deeper ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 19) -- Gary Densham, the 52-year-old former high school teacher and current pilot of the NEC/Auto Club of Southern California Funny Car, knows all about learning a lesson. After all,...

DNQ has Densham digging deeper

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 19) -- Gary Densham, the 52-year-old former high school teacher and current pilot of the NEC/Auto Club of Southern California Funny Car, knows all about learning a lesson. After all, he's been delivering them for most of his adult life.

At the National Hot Rod Association's last stop in Atlanta, Densham and crew pushed their machine to the limits of technology in an all-out attempt to keep up with their classes front runners. The end result of the over-exertion was that the team struggled through two days of qualifying and wound up outside of the 16-car field of drivers that competed for the event's crown on Sunday.

The Did-Not-Qualify (DNQ) finish reminded the team of a hard lesson they already knew but had perhaps forgotten -- the NHRA season is a marathon, not a sprint.

"We're trying to do too much at one time," Densham said. "I truly believe we have the race car to compete for the championship of every race we enter. And the fact that we've been in the top 10 of the points standings (currently ninth) all year proves that point. But the way John Force and Tony Pedregon are dominating the Funny Car class, I felt like we needed to take some chances and try to catch them any way we could.

"We were trying some different things on Day 1 that we thought would help us go faster. Then the track really started to go away for the fuel cars and before you know it, we had run out of chances to qualify. We were definitely reminded of a valuable lesson but it was all done in the spirit of trying to make a run at Team Force. Before you know it, he'll have the championship sealed up. The rest of us need to do everything we can to stop that from happening."

Densham and the rest of the Funny Car class will get another chance at slowing the Team Force juggernaut Thursday through Sunday at the 30th Annual Mopar Parts Nationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

"I'd like to think that we'll never make the mistake of DNQing again but we just proved that it can happen to anyone at anytime," said Densham. "Englishtown should be great for us. We have a lot of horsepower in the

NEC/Auto Club hot rod and that track has traditionally held whatever you throw at it. If I were a drag racing fan, I wouldn't miss this race for anything. I guarantee you that unless we get some crazy weather, then all of these cars will be flying down that track. It's one of the best ones we race on. I know one thing for sure, we'll be doing everything we can to redeem ourselves for last weekend."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , John Force , Gary Densham