Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Worsham's way includes Windy City wins
With Bazemore now driving in the Top Fuel class, the chance for any one driver to take the lead by grabbing his fourth career win at Route 66 comes down to Force and Worsham, and should either one accomplish the deed, it will be big news indeed. Force, of course, has only one round win all season, and is currently sitting 17th on the POWERade points chart. A
Worsham has fared better, to this point in 2007, with a runner-up finish in
"We've had some huge moments here, so there's no doubt it's one of my favorite tracks," Worsham said. "We had the Mountain Dew weekend in 2001, when we had that beautiful 'Do The Dew' car for the race, but then blew it sky-high on the last qualifying run. A lot of people remember that, but I remember putting together a funny looking CSK/Mountain Dew car overnight, transplanting some of the decals onto my red Checker, Schuck's, Kragen car, and then winning the race with that body.
"In 2002, we won the race but had to get past Force in the second round. That was the one where we were side-by-side, and he started having engine problems at about 900 feet. I saw him disappear and then the anchor fell out, because my parachutes deployed for no reason. I beat him by a few inches with the 'chutes out. In 2004, we came in here in the fall, right after we won
Rekindling those memories would, obviously, be Worsham's primary goal this weekend, but to do that he and his CSK team will have to maximize every ounce of their performance. The 2007 Funny Car class may go down in history as the strongest contingent to ever race on the NHRA tour, and every run is critical, starting with the first qualifying lap on Friday.
"It really is crazy out here," Worsham said. "You know, we started off just terrible, not qualifying at the first two races this season, and I know a lot of people thought we were toast and the sky was falling. It was tough for me, believe me, but I knew it would even out. There are just far too many good teams out here, and every week someone is going to stumble. So far, only my teammate Jeff and Gary Scelzi have been in all eight race fields, and even Force has a DNQ. There are race fans old enough to vote who weren't even born the last time that happened, so that ought to be all the proof you need that it's really tough out here.
Over the course of history at Route 66, Worsham has dealt with those challenges. He's overcome tough qualifying situations, even bumping into the race field on the last run if that was necessary. And three times, he's gone all the way. A fourth Wally in the
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