Brainerd: Tom Hammonds event summary

Hammonds has an abbreviated stay in Brainerd. The second day of qualifying for the Rugged Liner Nationals was punctuated by overcast skies and cool temperatures, which produced ideal conditions for the Pro Stock division. Despite facing wind ...

Hammonds has an abbreviated stay in Brainerd.

The second day of qualifying for the Rugged Liner Nationals was punctuated by overcast skies and cool temperatures, which produced ideal conditions for the Pro Stock division. Despite facing wind gusts exceeding thirty miles per hour, the "factory hot rods" tamed the Brainerd International Raceway surface with each session producing wholesale changes in Sunday's starting line-up, as illustrated by the fact that the No. 1 elapsed time from Friday would have only gained the 28th position on Saturday.

After posting a solid 7.008-second elapsed time on Friday night, Tom Hammonds and the Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care Racing team looked to keep pace with the field and preserve their Cavalier's spot in Sunday's final eliminations. Despite having to fight for control of his race car near the end of his third attempt on Saturday morning, Hammonds was able to knock two-hundredths of a second off of his best time. Even so, his 6.984-second, 187.05 mph pass fell shy of keeping the former Minnesota Timberwolf in the field.

With one final chance, the Hammonds crew worked feverishly, analyzing the data from the three previous runs and making the adjustments they felt would produce the performance necessary to qualify. However, soon after launching, Hammonds found himself once again fighting to keep his race car headed in a straight line, eventually clicking the power off early and ending his weekend.

"After making a decent run last night, we were fairly confident that we had finally found the handle on our Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care Cavalier. Coming into today, we made a few adjustments to compensate for the improved conditions. Unfortunately, the car did not respond the way we expected it to, and I had my hands full on both runs. The bottom line is that you can't expect to qualify if you can't run straight.

"The competition in Pro Stock is so tight that you have no room for error. For example, the field here in Brainerd was separated by thirty-eight thousandths of a second. You have to be on top of your game from the second you unload off the trailer, and quite honestly, this weekend we weren't.

"We have a lot of work to do in the two weeks before our biggest race. We're going to take a long, hard look at our program to see how we can finally get things back on track. We'll start by testing in Indianapolis and take it from there, making sure we're ready to prevent this from happening again in the future."

-j2r-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Hammonds