Texan Dave Dinsmore is an ideal recipient of the Founder’s Award which is emblematic of one’s career long contributions to drag racing. In many ways, some subtle, and some as obvious as a Mike Tyson delivered punch, Densmore has influenced the sport in a very positive manner. Decades after the tenure as NHRA’s advance team, Densmore and Steve Earwood are still revered for the professional manner in which they were to fill the grandstands and to provide local newspapers with stories about the races. They produced an astonishing amount of publicity and goodwill for the sport in the years before fax machines, email, and social media. They did it the hard way, by hand delivering results to every media outlet within 100 miles of a race site, working 18 hours a day to do so.
Years ago, when many writers seemed almost afraid of arousing the ire of drag racing’s management, or went off on mindless rants; Densmore’s well-written, thoughtful editorials forced racers, fans, sponsors and even management to sit back and seriously consider his options. Once a confidant of NHRA Founder Wally Parks, their relationship soured over Densmore’s use of the term “high sheriff’s” to describe the sports leaders, and they really came to detest the term when it was repeatedly used by other writers. Before his passing, Parks and Densmore buried the hatchet, but the biography that might have been never happened because they couldn’t agree on the books content.
As a public relations expert, for Jon Force Racing, Densmore’s work ethic and professionalism inspired dozens of others to try and emulate his success. He constantly demonstrated that hard work would pay off in positive publicity for his clients, but he was more than that for Force. His was the voice of reason that was sometimes successful in tempering Force’s proclivity for hasty speech. Despite his work obligations, Densmore never hesitated to offer assistance and advice to those coming up behind him. Just as he was always the first to volunteer his knowledge to the sports reporter covering his first drag race.
First and foremost, Dave Densmore represents the best of drag racing. Throughout his outstanding career he’s repeatedly proven to be an exceptional ambassador for the sport as he worked timelessly for its betterment.