Indy ORP: Justin Humphreys preview

Humphreys' confidence rises with Dodge's improved performances Justin Humphreys' performance in the RaceRedi Dodge is hitting mid-season stride. The only trouble is NHRA's regular season is down to its final event -- the storied Mac Tools U.S.

Humphreys' confidence rises with Dodge's improved performances

Justin Humphreys' performance in the RaceRedi Dodge is hitting mid-season stride. The only trouble is NHRA's regular season is down to its final event -- the storied Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.

Humphreys was given an opportunity to reach that plateau nine races ago by the father-son duo of Roy and Allen Johnson and car owner Don Schumacher. During that time, Humphreys and his crew worked with Allen Johnson's crew to get the car competitive while the driver mastered the switch to Dodge from his RaceRedi Pontiac GXP.

"They are two different race cars, for sure," said Humphreys, of Monrovia, Md. But he's figured out what it takes to get it down the track in competitive form. Now all he needs to do is get four win lights on Labor Day and move into the winner's circle.

Humphreys' best performance in a car other than his Pontiac GXP -- that was parked when the engine supplier suddenly departed -- came at Reading, Pa., two weeks ago. He qualified fifth overall and had one of the quickest runs on a hot, slippery race track -- the same conditions that are expected during this weekend's race at O'Reilly Raceway Park.

"We've definitely made progress with this race car," Humphreys says. "Roy and Allen's motors make good power."

Humphreys had a quarterfinal finish at Reading, losing a close race to Allen Johnson.

"We want to pick up where we finished at Reading and move forward," said Humphreys. "We really want to get a win, and the U.S. Nationals would be a great place to get it. That's our game plan."

Humphreys' performances have shown steady improvement since his Dodge debut in early June, but the change prevented him from placing in the top 10 and transferring to NHRA's Countdown to 1. The 10 drivers go into a separate, six-race championship shootout. He is 12th and intent on playing a spoiler's role in the title competition.

-credit: rrm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Allen Johnson , Justin Humphreys