Denver: Justin Hemphreys preview

Justin Humphreys Shoots for Place in Pro Stock Top 10 at Denver Just when Justin Humphreys and the RaceRedi Motorsports Pro Stock team were finding a tune-up comfort zone for the Dodge he's been driving for four races, the NHRA schedule sends...

Justin Humphreys Shoots for Place in Pro Stock Top 10 at Denver

Just when Justin Humphreys and the RaceRedi Motorsports Pro Stock team were finding a tune-up comfort zone for the Dodge he's been driving for four races, the NHRA schedule sends them skyward to 5,280 feet and more.

The POWERade Series stops in Denver for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, Friday through Sunday. The air is thinner there and the lack of oxygen affects the cars' engines, resulting in slower elapsed times and the need for motors built specifically for this occasion.

"We should be okay," said Humphreys, who drove his way into the semifinals at Norwalk (Ohio) two weeks go and back into contention for the 10th and last point position in the new Countdown to 10 championship format. Only the top 10 drivers advance to the six-race finale beginning September 14 in Charlotte, N.C.

"We are closer to getting the tune-up figured out in this car for sea level conditions," he continued. "And we know the changes needed for running the Dodge at Bandimere are different than those for our Pontiac GXP. But Allen Johnson (who, along with his dad Roy, builds engines for the Dodge Humphreys drives) has tested up here and they will have a lot of data that will help us out."

Meanwhile, Frank Gugliotta, Humphreys' crew chief, will miss this race to prepare for his return to IHRA Pro Stock competition. "I hated to do it, but I'm in contention for the Pro Stock championship," Gugliotta said.

"Frank figured out some combinations for us to use and they should be pretty close to what we'll need," added Humphreys. "He had some things he needed to take care of . . . and he will be available if we need a telephone tune-up."

The Mile-High event is the first of the annual Western Swing and features sea-level stops in Seattle (July 18-20) and Sonoma, Calif. (July 25-27).

"As a driver, I like the three races in row because we stay busy," said Humphreys, who is 12th in series points with 462, 18 points -- less than a round of racing -- behind 11th and 72 out of 10th.

"Our goal is go qualify well and go rounds on Sunday and make our way back into the top 10," he concluded.

-credit: rrm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Allen Johnson , Justin Humphreys , Frank Gugliotta