Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
Key numbers in play for Worsham as tour heads to Las Vegas
Worsham first number is three. The last time Worsham finished a season with fewer than three victories was in 2000, when he went winless and had only three career trophies to his credit. Since then, he's won 18 times over the past five seasons, racking up a career-best five wins in 2004. Coming into these final two tilts on the '05 tour, Worsham has only two wins in the bank (not counting his "special event" victory in the Skoal Showdown,) so getting that third win in 2005 is a key goal. Keep an eye on that number three.
The next number is a lucky seven, perhaps followed by a boxcar six. Currently, Worsham sits in the eighth spot on the POWERade points list, but with two races to go he still has his sights set on seventh place, and possibly sixth. Worsham trails
"We really want another win this year, but it won't be easy," Worsham said. "We're not racing in a vacuum out here, we're right in the middle of a huge dogfight for the championship and guys like John Force, Ron Capps, and Gary Scelzi aren't going to let anyone grab a Wally without a big fight, in either
"Our primary focus is to gain on Whit this weekend. If we go one round further than him, we'll be just about tied for seventh heading into
With the subjects of race wins and finishing positions addressed, Worsham's next number in the spotlight is 88. That double digit number might be found on the back of an NFL wide receiver playing on the screens at any
"It doesn't seem that long ago that a couple of DNQs per year was about average for us," Worsham said. "What I'm most proud of is the fact we've gone on this streak when, in effect, it's never been tougher to qualify. A few years back, to DNQ you really had to stink up the place. This year has been the toughest year yet, and the last two races are prime examples. There were cars in the 4.8's in
"As much as we want to win another race before this season is over, we can't do anything if we don't qualify. Finishing the year with a clean slate is a huge goal, and if we do that we'll be heading into 2006 to work on a fourth full year with a spotless record. Of course, whatever we do we're still not in the same universe as Force. The last time he DNQd, they were still using sundials to time the runs and you stopped with your feet, just like Fred Flintstone. Well, maybe not quite that long ago, but it's a ridiculous Cal Ripken kind of record he has going, and I can't imagine that anyone will ever beat it."
For the record, Force's last DNQ came in 1987. Not the Dark Ages, perhaps, but there are crew members on Worsham's team who were in the lower grades of elementary school when Force last missed a race. At that point in their lives, they were just learning about numbers.
Like any good student, Del Worsham has his numbers memorized. Now, it's just a matter of putting them in play.
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