Densham continues uphill battle
Atlanta, Sunday: Early-season disappointment is nothing new for Funny Car driver Gary Densham. He’s been there before. Despite having high hopes with a good qualifying pass Saturday, it didn’t translate into a win during final eliminations Sunday at Atlanta Dragway.
Qualified in the 14th slot, the Densham piloted Torco Racing Fuels / Racebricks Collectables Impala Funny Car lined-up against Jeff Arend’s Chevy in Sunday’s first round of eliminations. As soon as the Christmas tree flashed green, Densham’s car lost traction and the race was over. Arend tripped the quarter-mile timer at 4.902-seconds at 311.20 mph to Densham’s tire smoking 10.595-seconds at 95.99 mph.
After a post-race inspection, it was a clutch malfunction that ended Densham’s day early.
“Just to be part of the show on Sunday is a remarkable feat,” Densham said. “When you’ve got teams out here like Don Prudhomme’s that have deeper pockets than most of us and can’t make it into the field of 16, that should tell you how tough and competitive Funny Car has become.
“You can’t get discouraged, just more determined. Our time will come because our team has worked so hard and has come such a long way since the first race in Pomona.”
The debut of the new Chevrolet Impala body kept both the driver and the team on their toes this weekend as slight adjustments to chassis mounting points and brackets were tweaked.
“The new body performed well,” Densham said. “The guys worked until 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning and until midnight Saturday night on both the body and the engine. I think that says a lot about how hard we’re trying.”
Despite the disappointment, Densham was excited about stable-mate Doug Herbert’s success at Atlanta Dragway.
“We want to send our congratulations to the Snap On Top Fuel team, who made it all the way to the final round Sunday,” Densham said. “He’s been struggling as much as we have and it’s good to see our sponsors, Evan Knoll’s Torco Racing Fuels and Racebricks Collectables, finally get a little payoff from all the support they have been giving both Doug and me. It’s our turn next.”
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