STEVEN DENSHAM'S GREAT CO2 ADVENTURE
If a dad can't throw calamity on his son, then who can?
Steven Densham had quite the ride into Sunday's competition and had his father Funny Car legend to thank for the experience.
Friday was your typical qualifying experience at the Good Vibrations March Meet for the Densham Family racing operation until the moment the second-generation driver prepared to roll into the beams for the Q-1 session, turning on his fresh-air system in preparation for the first run.
"It was not pleasant, it was not pleasant at all," Densham explained.
Apparently, father didn't know best, after all.
"He accidentally filled the air bottle with CO2, so I went to stage, pre-stage, I usually don’t turn on the air until I go to run because we don’t want to fill the bottle very often," Densham said with a grimace on his face. "So I went in, staged, as soon as the other car stages, I flip my visor and turn it on and go in to stage. When I did that and I stepped on the gas, I went to breathe, I couldn’t breathe."
The experience made for quite a run.
"It was just all over the place because I was trying, I couldn’t breathe," Densham said. "I was actually hyperventilating in the car. I was trying to get oxygen. So I was going UH UH UH… like that. And so I’m like way back into the seat because I’m hyperventilating so hard and I didn’t want to abort the run. I’m looking, I like can’t reach the shift because I’m way back.
"Finally I grab the shift and I realize what was happening, so now I’m looking for the visor trying to flip the visor up so I can get air. You know what I mean? So I’m all over the track, darting all over the track. So yeah, it was not fun at all, that’s all I got to say."
Densham had to double check with his dad.
"I came out of the car and I’m like, ‘What did we fill the air tank with? Because I couldn’t breathe," Densham asked. "He was like, ‘Nothing’ and I was like, ‘Who did you get it from?’ and he’s all like, ‘Clark’s’. I’m like, ‘Did they fill it?’ and he’s like, ‘No, I filled it."
"So we walked over there and he goes which one’s the air tank, and they pointed to the big one and he’s like, ‘Uh, I filled it with that one.’
Five seconds with pure CO2 was nothing like the elder Densham suffered through as a kid walking to school six miles one way, in the snow, uphill, barefoot and breathing only CO2.
"True," Densham said. "Very true."
In Saturday's first round, Densham had the right air in his helmet, but apparently had dynamite under the body as an engine failure made the team's Camaro peel back like a can of sardines, knocking them out of competition.