Englishtown: Tom Bradford final summary

Bradford Goes Deep on Raceday Tom Bradford shed his round 1 curse, taking the Balbayis Asset Consulting/Hal's Speedshop Buell all the way to the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle semis at Englishtown before falling to eventual winner Matt Smith. Cagey...

Bradford Goes Deep on Raceday

Tom Bradford shed his round 1 curse, taking the Balbayis Asset Consulting/Hal's Speedshop Buell all the way to the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle semis at Englishtown before falling to eventual winner Matt Smith.

Cagey veteran Paul "Fast By" Gast redlit against Bradford in round 1. "That's more like it," said Bradford's crew chief Rob Schopf. "Get that monkey off our backs. We have to tune the bike for a mechanical advantage through gearing because you can't really make any horsepower in this air. We went two teeth bigger than we were on Friday in the first round."

"I had my career best 60 foot-a 1.071, the best of the round," said Tom, who earned lane choice for his round 2 pairing with Steve Johnson. "I really don't have a favorite lane here. This track is phenomenal, baby smooth."

Number 1 qualifier Chip Ellis gave Bradford a bit of a break by redlighting away low ET of day and advancing 16th qualifier Johnson. Still, in the tight PSM fields, anybody who qualifies can win on raceday. But not this time, as Tom easily turned Johnson away.

"For the quarterfinals, we had a little bit of extra work in the primary area which required us to pull the whole primary area and clutch apart," said Tom. "But Rob was all over it and thank God it was easy to fix."

"This was a good day, I'm ecstatic," said Bradford. "Going into this race we were 13th in the point standings and we needed to go rounds, so that'll move us up (to 10th). Plus, for me to go rounds is what I really, really needed to get the handle on the competition side of things as a driver. It's a huge, huge boost for my confidence level. Now everybody on the team can be confident about both the bike and the rider.

"We were quickest of the round in the quarters, and second quickest in the semis, but we're going home. But every round feels like a win. We ran our career best in qualifying, and to show you how tight it is, I still ended up ninth. It's unbelievably brutal out here."

"As far as the team is concerned, they did an excellent job tuning the bike in these conditions. Matt Smith and I were the quickest two bikes in the semis by far. We held our own and I feel like a dragbike rider again. When you go rounds, you get settled in."

"And I really can't say enough about Jim Schneider and his clutch tuning on this motorcycle. He's really staked his name in the ground as a clutch tuner. He's taken a lot of pride in it and it's fun watching him get excited about this motorcycle. He knows what he's doing and he's taking all the items into the equation."

Tom thanked sponsors Balbayis Asset Consulting, Hal's Speedshop, Hal's H-D/Buell, Vanson Leathers, Stitch-it-Embroidery, CRD Inc., T-N-S Machining, S&S Cycle, Buell Motor Co., Mustang Shelly's Roadhouse, Red Line Oil, MicroBlue Racing, Autolite, Simpson, Wiseco, Rinehart Racing, and The Carburetor Shop for their support of the Hal's/Thunder Eagle team.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Steve Johnson , Chip Ellis , Tom Bradford , Matt Smith