Indy ORP: Gary Densham final report

Densham disappointed with first round elimination INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 3) - The Mac Tools U. S. Nationals is the Super Bowl of drag racing and like everyone competing in this year's 53rd annual event, Funny Car driver Gary Densham had high hopes...

Densham disappointed with first round elimination

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 3) - The Mac Tools U. S. Nationals is the Super Bowl of drag racing and like everyone competing in this year's 53rd annual event, Funny Car driver Gary Densham had high hopes that his Torco Racing Fuels/ Racebricks Collectibles machine would see victory circle, but it wasn't meant to be.

Densham's 11th place qualifying effort would pair him with up-and-coming rookie Mike Ashley in the first round of final eliminations. Densham had a .010-second reaction time advantage over his competitor, but it was Ashley who reached the finish line first. Marching down the quarter-mile in 4.835-seconds at 327-mph to Densham's 5.023-seconds and 265-mph, Ashley moved on to the second round.

"I knew he'd be tough and we simply got our butts kicked," a disappointed Densham said. "We ran good all weekend, locked up one of our best qualifying efforts all year, never smoked the tires, even in the heat, but simply didn't give it enough power."

Prior to the run, however, Densham knew something was amiss with the car's brakes. After warming the big slicks with a signature Funny Car burnout and returning to starting line, Densham couldn't get the Impala SS stopped.

"Man I was pulling on that brake handle with all my might," Densham said. "It was everything I could do to keep the thing from rolling through the lights. I went in so deep, I turned out the top bulb. Deep staging is one thing but to red light by not being able to get the binders to work would have been embarrassing. Thank goodness that didn't happen, but by doing that, it did manage to mess with the numbers."

Densham is anxious to get back home to California.

"We're going home for the first time in two months," Densham said. "We've got to recharge our batteries and get ready for the last few races of the season. We've learned a lot and hopefully we will be able to parlay that knowledge into a win before the end of the '07 season."

-credit: dm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Densham , Mike Ashley