Dale, Dale Jr. show two hours away

By Jeff Birchfield

Star Staff
jbirchfield@starhq.com

    Dale Jarrett is scheduled to sign autographs at his headquarters in Conover, N.C. today as part of the open house that will take place all day. Approximately 800 armbands will be distributed to fans wanting to secure an autograph from Jarrett.
   Distribution of the armbands will begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 23rd. Also as part of the open house, NASCAR Winston Cup driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will sign autographs at Dale Jarrett, Inc., beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 24th.
   Armbands are also required to guarantee an autograph.
   A recent poll of NASCAR fans showed Earnhardt well ahead in the voting for this year's Most Popular Driver Award.

ROUSH IGNITION INTERRUPTER SYSTEM IS AVAILABLE TO ALL TEAMS

   After its introduction in the fall of 2000, the Roush Ignition Interrupter System is now being used by several NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck teams and is the only NASCAR approved automatic ignition interrupt system included in the 2002 NASCAR rule book.  
   This system has been track tested for over 125,000 race miles with no documented component failures, and has been used by the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Winston Cup championship team.
   The system is a device meant to shut off a racing engine system when the conditions of a "stuck throttle" exist. That is done through sensing the intake manifold vacuum and the vehicle brake system pressure.
   The driver only has to hit the brakes while the throttle is stuck for the system to shut down the engine ignition system.
   The Roush Ignition Interrupter System includes two sensors that measure pressure inside the car. One sensor is located in the intake manifold, while the other is in the brake system.
   If the driver applies 1,100 psi of brake pressure, and there is minimal pressure in the intake manifold indicating the engine is at or near full throttle, the ignition shuts off.  
   The system is designed to hold the ignition system in the inoperable mode until the system is manually reset. There is an additional switch added in parallel to the brake line pressure switch so the system's operation is insured in the event of a complete brake failure.
   The system, meant to enhance the safety already built into the NASCAR series, can be purchased through Roush Industries.  
   For more information, or to purchase the system, please contact Steve Loyd at (704) 632-1600, or Roush Competition Parts at (877) 41ROUSH.
  
DENSHAM SEEKS RETRIBUTION

   During 20 years of disappointment on the NHRA drag racing tour, even when he was trying to face down corporately-backed teams with budgets that dwarfed his own, Gary Densham never doubted that one day he would win one of the events that comprise the sport's principal series.
   A series championship, though? Not even Densham could have imagined that.
   Nevertheless, when the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series moves this week (May 24-26) to Heartland Park-Topeka for the 14th annual O'Reilly Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX , there sits Densham atop the standings for the first time in his career two points ahead of his boss, teammate and benefactor, John Force.
   On the strength of a convincing victory last week at Englishtown, N.J., his second of the current campaign, the 55-year-old former auto shop teacher has become only the 14th driver to lead the NHRA Funny Car driver standings over the last 13 seasons.
   Thanks to the public relations firms of UPS Racing, Roush Racing and John Force Racing for sharing the above information. My next racing column will have more of a local flavor, showcasing how many of our Carter County racers are fairing in competition at Bristol Dragway.