Richmond: Justin Humphreys preview

NHRA Rookie of Year Nominee Justin Humphreys Ready to Contend for Torco Racing Fuels Nationals Win As one of five nominees for this year's Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award (also known as NHRA's Rookie of the ...

NHRA Rookie of Year Nominee Justin Humphreys Ready to Contend for Torco Racing Fuels Nationals Win

As one of five nominees for this year's Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award (also known as NHRA's Rookie of the Year), Pro Stock driver Justin Humphreys thinks the time is right to begin swaying those casting ballots.

A victory in the Torco Racing Fuels Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park near Richmond, Oct. 5-7, would bring attention his way. The event is in a prime location for the Monrovia, Md., resident because it is less than a two-hour drive from home and there will be plenty of friends and family watching this weekend.

"It definitely is exciting to be one  of the nominees for the award," said
Humphreys, driver of the RaceRedi  Motorsports/Knoll-Gas Energy Pontiac GTO.  "
It shows some people have been  paying attention to us.  I wish we would've
had a better start to the  season, but we have picked up our performance
recently.  Our goal is to win  at least one of the last three races."
He qualified a  career-high fifth for the Dallas race (Sept. 23) and advanced
to the  quarterfinal round before a faulty transmission sidelined him. But
team  consultant Bob Glidden, a 10-time Pro Stock champion and 85-race winner,
and the  crew made transmission repairs that should enable him to make the
necessary  shifts without interruption at VMP's quarter-mile track. "We are going
to test  at Maryland International Raceway (Budds Creek, Md.) Tuesday and
Wednesday to  work on some new parts we are trying," Humphreys added.
He  couldn't get the car to shift into second gear on his quarterfinal run at
Dallas  after he bolted to a quick lead with a near-perfect .003-second
reaction time  against Allen Johnson. "We had a good car there and it was
disappointing,"  Humphreys, 30, recalled.  "The same thing happened earlier in the
year at  Norwalk (Ohio).  We want to make sure it doesn't happen  again.
"This is the last of the races this year that are close to  our home," he
continued.  "I hope we have a good race, qualify well and win  some rounds
before our home fans.  The track is pretty fast so it should be  exciting."
The former Sport Compact and Nopi series driver has been  to two semifinal
rounds this season in the highly-competitive Pro Stock  category.  His
performances began improving when the team signed with  veteran engine builder Richard
Maskin early in the campaign, and Maskin, in  turn, brought in Glidden to find
the tuning consistency needed to win rounds  and, ultimately, races.
The other nominees  for the Road to the Future award include Ashley Force
(Funny Car), Craig  Hankinson (Pro Stock), Barry Henson (Pro Stock Motorcycle)
and Matt Scranton  (Pro Stock).  The winner will announced at the annual awards
ceremony Nov.  5 in Los Angeles.

Only races at Las Vegas (Oct. 28) and Pomona, Calif. (Nov.4) remain after the Torco Racing Fuels Nationals.

-credit: ekr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Glidden , Ashley Force , Allen Johnson , Justin Humphreys , Matt Scranton