What is your view of the increasing number of multiple car teams?
Densham: Unlike NASCAR, I don’t really think that the multi-car team with the same owner in one class is a good idea. In NASCAR, where you might have one owner of the Budweiser car, the Home Depot car, the Tide car, and the Kellogg’s car, no matter what happens, if you want to help one of those cars win the championship you might be able to have your other cars help by blocking and drafting and whatever else and he might win. But the bottom line is that they’re all still out there for the same two or three hours, bumping and passing and getting the TV time and exposure. With our sport the way that it is, if John Force or Don Schumacher ends up owning 16 cars with different sponsors I don’t see how eight of them can’t be pissed off after the first round because they’re gone.
That’s an interesting perspective coming from a past member of Force’s team.
Densham: I thought the two-car team of John Force with the two Castrol cars was a great idea—same sponsor, double your chances of exposure, double your chances of winning, double your chances at information—great idea. Even when I was there, my suggestion to John at the time would have been to take the Auto Club money and build a Top Fuel car. That was always my suggestion, even though I would’ve driven me out of a job. I just always thought that would’ve been a more common-sense type of thing to do.
What don’t you like about multiple car teams?
Densham: It’s just a situation where I don’t think multiple sponsors on multiple cars from the same owner in one class is a good idea. Do I mind if John Force or Don Schumacher own a lot of cars? Well, not really, but I just don’t think it’s good for the sport in general. Are they still going to have an advantage if they only have two Funny Cars or two dragsters? You bet they are, because they’ve got the money, the technology, and the people. It wouldn’t make it any easier to beat them; I just think NHRA should help spread the wealth around and try to direct some new companies to the lower teams in our sport and it would lead to a better deal.
Do you have any timetable in mind for staying in the driver’s seat?
Densham: I think if I had an ideal dream world and everything went the way I wanted, I’d love to drive the car a few more years. I’d like to form a good relationship with a long-term sponsor and maybe put a younger guy—maybe my son—in the car at a later date.
What’s your son’s name? Does he work with you now?
Densham: Steven, he’s 22 and goes to college right now for mechanical engineering, but we were able to run a car for him the last three years I was working with John because I had a little time and a little money, but I had to steal everything back from him to run this one. We had put together an Alcohol Funny Car on a low-budget deal to run on the West Coast and he did real well and had a lot of fun with it.
The big deal, though, has to be his decision. I mean, I love the sport and he seems to, but we both agree he’s got a lot invested in his education and whether he ever uses it or not, he should finish it. That’s a year-and-a-half off at this point and after that, who knows?