Columbus: Martino falls just shy in first round

Martino Moments Final results from the 37th annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals Date: Sunday, June 17, 2001 Location: National Trail Raceway, Kirkersville, OH Tom Martino knew he was facing a tough assignment in the first round of the Pontiac...

Martino Moments
Final results from the 37th annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals

Date: Sunday, June 17, 2001
Location: National Trail Raceway, Kirkersville, OH

Tom Martino knew he was facing a tough assignment in the first round of the Pontiac Excitement Nationals. After qualifying the CENTURY 21 Pro Stock Grand Am 11th, he would be facing No. 6 qualifier Greg Anderson without the benefit of lane choice, a significant factor on the tricky National Trail Raceway surface. In order to advance to the second round, the Farmingdale, NJ native would need to make a perfect run in the less preferred lane.

Martino did his part, gaining over two hundredths of a second at the starting line, and powered down the track, covering the quarter-mile in 7.007 seconds with a top speed of 197.51 mph. However, it did not prove enough to overcome his opponent's quicker 6.946 elapsed time, ending Martino's hopes of repeating his winning performance at this track in 1997.

"Although not having lane choice definitely hurt us, but we still should have run a 6.96, which would have made it a really close race. Unfortunately, we just didn't make a good run. We're going to stay here and test tomorrow, since this is the first time we've had this car on a hot, slick racetrack and try to make changes to get down this type of surface, since we'll be facing quite a few in the next few months.

"We're still learning about this particular car, and making runs tomorrow will; go a long way towards showing us what it needs and how it reacts. We have a few days before St. Louis, and this CENTURY 21 team is going to make the most of them."

-C21T-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Greg Anderson , Tom Martino