DENSHAM FALLS SHORT ON BID TO DEFEND U.S. NATIONALS TITLE INDIANAPOLIS (September 5, 2005) -- Racebricks Funny Car driver Gary Densham's bid to defend his U.S. Nationals title ended Monday in the opening round of this year's race when ignition...
DENSHAM FALLS SHORT ON BID TO DEFEND U.S. NATIONALS TITLE
INDIANAPOLIS (September 5, 2005) -- Racebricks Funny Car driver Gary Densham's bid to defend his U.S. Nationals title ended Monday in the opening round of this year's race when ignition problems slowed his 7,000 horsepower ride near the finish line, which allowed fellow former winner Frank Pedregon to sail by for the win.
"Something died on this thing," Densham said. "It just quit down there. We were in the middle of a great race and it just laid over.
"No one wants to lose at Indy. It's the biggest race of the year. We had an all-time high one year ago winning the Skoal Showdown and the U.S. Nationals. It would have been tough to top that no matter what we did this weekend."
Densham did take comfort in the fact he successfully qualified for the quickest Funny Car field of all time. He used a season-best 4.835-second elapsed time to make the cut.
"Certainly, compared to last year, we were big underdogs today," the former schoolteacher said. "But I'm pretty darn proud of the way our guys responded to the pressure this weekend. They gave me a solid car and we ran four good qualifying passes.
"We've grown a lot this season and we'll be in contention to win a race before the year is over. I wanted to shine here for Racebricks and Torco, but at least we made the field and gave them a little excitement in the first round. We were neck-in-neck until the car just quit."
The Racebricks crew will have a weekend off before competing in Reading, Penn., at the 21st annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals.
ESPN2 will televise final eliminations for the U.S. Nationals at 8 p.m. (ET) that evening.