Phoenix: Gary Densham preview

FIR one of Densham's favorite haunts CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 20) - For most people, competing at the same NHRA event year after year and never having carried away the Wally would seem like an exercise in frustration, but not for seasoned veteran...

FIR one of Densham's favorite haunts

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 20) - For most people, competing at the same NHRA event year after year and never having carried away the Wally would seem like an exercise in frustration, but not for seasoned veteran Funny Car driver Gary Densham. To him, not having won the event brings an even bigger challenge,to hold the trophy at the end of the day.

Heading into the 23rd annual Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals, the former high school teacher, from Bellflower, Calif., is ready to prove 2007 is the year to make it happen.

"We've always done well in Phoenix," Densham said. "We've won a lot of rounds and even gone to the final once but just couldn't make it to victory circle. With Evan Knoll's Torco Racing Fuels joining Racebricks as our major sponsors this year, plus a tuning relationship with the Ashley, Lucas and Troxel teams, I feel the best I've felt in years about having a real shot at the championship."

Since the season opener, Densham, Crew Chief Greg Amaral and the rest of the team have been focusing on the steering system on Chevy Monte Carlo SS.

"After hitting a timing block at the quarter-mile mark in Pomona we felt we needed to free it up a bit," Densham said. "We try to get as much downforce in these Funny Cars as possible. By doing so, we can put more power to the track and in turn, go faster. But it also makes them harder to steer. For Phoenix, we've added some bearings in the steering supports that should make it feel as if it has power steering. I know there's going to be a learning curve involved, but it should help us keep from hitting those orange blocks."

The Torco Racing Fuels / Racebricks Funny Car team is also sporting a new hauler for the 2007 season.

"Its like moving into a new house," Densham said. "We're still hanging pictures and getting things just the way we like them and that has added to the overtime we've been putting in since Pomona."

-credit: dm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Densham