Commerce: Gary Densham preview
Densham determined to make some noise BELLFLOWER, Calif. - Funny Car driver Gary Densham's win at the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Nationals last September in Indianapolis was the highlight of his four-decade-long career. After all, any drag racer ...
Densham determined to make some noise
BELLFLOWER, Calif. - Funny Car driver Gary Densham's win at the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Nationals last September in Indianapolis was the highlight of his four-decade-long career. After all, any drag racer will tell you a win at Indy, the sport's longest running and most prestigious event, is every bit as memorable as a series championship.
Densham, who now drives the powerful Racebricks Chevrolet Monte Carlo, often thinks of that race and what it means to be the defending champion of the vaunted U.S. Nationals. He also thinks about the fact it was a dozen races ago when he visited Indy's winner's circle, his last time to pick up a national event trophy.
As the 23-race POWERade Drag Racing Series makes it's way to Atlanta Dragway for this weekend's 25th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals presented by Pontiac, Densham and crew are gearing up for their next chance to score a "Wally" trophy.
"Winning is such a huge deal," said Densham, whose trophy case is crowded with hardware, including the eight pieces of NHRA heavy metal he collected over the last four years when he raced under the John Force umbrella. "It's so hard to do, especially nowadays with all these great teams out here. That's why I try to relish every moment when I've been fortunate enough to win. I always make sure to get the team together and let them really enjoy how it feels.
"It takes hours and hours and hours of work by a big group of folks for me to have one 4.7-second run. The life of a crew person is downright brutal at times but we're all out here because we love it. That's why you have to savor those wins because they're tough to come by."
Although Densham severed his relationship with John Force Racing in the off-season, he hasn't missed a race, quickly forming his own team once again, and securing the backing of racing collectables company Racebricks. The group has made giant strides in its short time together and Densham feels he's poised for a breakthrough race.
"The car is doing everything we're asking it to do," Densham said. "This crew has been together long enough now that we're all working well with each other. We have the potential to really shine. I know what winning rounds does for a team's morale and I'd love to see us get a big boost this weekend in Atlanta."
Friday's first two rounds of professional qualifying begin at 4 and 7 p.m.