Glidden tunes Humphreys to Pro Stock showdown win
Mike Edwards led qualifing with a 6.681@ 206.99mph. Cold and overcast conditions made full runs a rarity, Justin Humphreys was the winner of the annual Pro Stock Showdown at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor SpeedwayMaking just one qualifying attempt, Humphreys was the star of Sunday’s event, making three runs in the 6.7-second zone in his Pontiac GXP, including a 6.74, the quickest pass of the day. In the final round posted a 6.79 while Johnny Gray, like many other drivers before him, shook the tires as soon as he dumped the clutch.
“It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take it,” said Humphreys, who credited his ability to get down the tricky surface to the tuning abilities of 10-time Pro Stock world champion Bob Glidden. “We only made one qualifying run because my truck wasn’t here, and then we had to put the car together. Considering how rushed we were, it turned out pretty well. It’s great to have ‘Mad Dog’ [Glidden] back out here with us. He’s going to be a big help this year.” Difficult for many Pro Stock racers to get down the LVMS quarter-mile, several drivers, including reigning Full Throttle world champ Mike Edwards, Allen Johnson, Ron Krisher, and V. Gaines, decided to sit out eliminations altogether.
“Believe me, I came here to race and I want to race, but there is just too much at stake to risk something going wrong, especially this close to Pomona. I appreciate the effort [of the LVMS staff] to prep the track, but it’s just too cold out there. Even if you can make a full run, you won’t learn anything useful.”
Rodger Brogdon, won his first-round race when Bob Yonke was a no-show, would have had a bye run into the semifinals but also elected to retire for the day. Brogdon had qualified seventh with a 6.74 in his Attitude Apparel entry.
“I’d like to make some runs because we’re still sorting out our new car, but I’m going to wait for Monday and hope that the sun comes out and the track warms up a bit. I’ll also stay Tuesday if I need to because we’ve made some progress, but we’re not close to where we need to be.”
Absence of several of the top qualifiers juggled the ladder; the final round between Humphreys and Gray was actually supposed to be a semifinal pairing. Earlier, Humphreys got a single run when Krisher was a no-show, and he later defeated Greg Stanfield’s new Nitro Fish entry. Gray did not have to race anyone until the final round but made three half-track passes in his new GXP, a twin to the car that will be raced by his son, Shane.
“We were more interested in gathering data and making runs than we were in winning this race,” said Gray. “Now, don’t get me wrong. I would like to have won, but we’ve got a lot of work to do before Pomona, so that was our main focus.”