Nailbiter lands Worsham 16th
Dallas, Saturday: By the proverbial hair on his chinny, chin, chin, Del Worsham managed to land a spot in the Dallas field, and by doing so he broke an immensely frustrating 2-race DNQ streak. To earn a spot in the show here, he needed to bump his way into the program on his final lap (after having thrown two rods out of the motor during Saturday's first session,) and then wait out the next five cars in line, as they took shots at him one by one. Worsham's final lap 4.934 was good enough for the 12th spot when he ran, but the next pair of cars featured teammate Phil Burkart (who Worsham had just bumped out) and Tim Wilkerson. Both ran 4.89s, and it was obvious Worsham's 4.93 was in peril, and could easily be knocked right back out. When Gary Scelzi and Scott Kalitta each bettered his mark, and shoved Worsham down to the 16th spot, Gary Densham represented the last possible racer who could keep Worsham from the field. Densham smoked the tires, and Worsham was locked into the 16th spot.
Worsham will face Robert Hight in round one.
"First of all, 16th is way better than 17th, after what we've been through lately," Worsham said. "We hadn't gotten to the other end here, for three straight laps, and we managed to kill a motor earlier in the day today, so we had to focus on getting to the finish line. Were we maybe a little chicken, a little too conservative? Yeah, I think we most likely were. We didn't quite have the nerve to lean all over it and shoot for a 4.80, but man it's been tough on us lately and the thought of smoking the tires and missing the field here was way too scary. In the end, we needed a break to stay in, and for the first time in a long time we got a break. You hate to see a good guy like Gary have misfortune for you to make it, but man I've been there lately, and I know how it feels.
"Even though it was a little slow, that last lap was still pretty clutch and it got down there. It was darting around on me quite a bit, and I had to make some hard corrections way down track. I was thinking 'Oh come on car, don't do this to me.' We got it there, though, and we're in. It's nice to be in. Okay, that's the understatement of the weekend, but it's true."
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