NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals
Numbers game follows Worsham to Las Vegas
Worsham will enter this weekend's NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals with a group of 4s and one 7 in his hand, while he hopes to draw the critical numbers that would allow him to win the $40,000 prize as the Funny Car champion on Sunday evening. All of his goals will hinge on even more numbers, and if recent history continues to hold true the most important digits may be those that come two, or even three, places to the right of a decimal point.
Worsham's 4s are practically wild, as he sports a 4-4 won/lost record after four races. Four wins in the 1st round have been followed by four 2nd round losses so far this season, and the POWERade points generated by such a record have placed Worsham in the No. 7 spot in the standings. Considering some of the more negative alternatives, the No. 7 spot may not be "lucky" but it surely isn't bad, especially in the context of today's enormously competitive Funny Car class where even the reigning points champion, Gary Scelzi, currently sits outside the top ten with a DNQ on his record.
"We knew all along that this year was going to be ridiculous in terms of the competition," Worsham said. "But even knowing that, it was still a bit of a shock to see
Tough may be an understatement, and Worsham has first-hand experience in just how maddeningly close these races can be. As opposed to his four opening rounds wins, which have come via a relatively comfortable average margin of .947-seconds against the likes of Scelzi,
"There's no doubt we've already had a season full of heartbreakers and the year is only four races old," Worsham said. "In the old days, not too many years ago, the level of Funny Car competition was so varied you'd have first round races where a few of the teams had almost no chance to win. Even as the race progressed, the chances of seeing two cars go down the track side-by-side wasn't all that high. It seemed like a lot more of the races were won with at least one of the cars having problems.
"Now, we have more fast cars than the 16-car field can hold, so even the first round is full of tight racing and anyone can win. For us, we've just had an unbelievable knack for coming up a few inches or a few feet short in round two against some very tough competition. When 7,000 horsepower gets put to the track and two Funny Cars go charging down the quarter-mile in 4.8-seconds, it's amazing that it can come down to thousandths of a second, but it can. Let me tell you, it can."
This weekend, at a track where he has never won a race, Del Worsham plans to look everywhere for a couple of thousandths of a second. Should he find a few hiding in his clutch, perhaps within the supercharger, or maybe even in his own right foot, he may have the edge he needs to win that big jackpot.
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