Bradford Runs Career Best in Englishtown
Tom Bradford and the Balbayis Asset Consulting/Hal's Speedshop crew rebounded from a broken chain in round 1 of Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying at the NHRA event in Englishtown, New Jersey, to nail a career best 7.061 in round 2 to leap from 21st to 5th.
After a 1.104 60 foot time, Bradford's Buell broke the chain at around the 330 mark. "A brand new 630 chain," grumbled crew chief Rob Schopf. "Tore up some carbon bodywork on the bellypan, but not too much of anything else." The bike also broke the 16-tooth sprocket. "So we went to a 15-tooth on the front and went from a 275 to a 273 on the back."
"I was looking for a really nice, clean first run," said Bradford, who ran 7.07 in testing on Monday in Chicago. "I really thought after Monday's pass we would come out here and do really well. All we can do is chalk it up as a fluke deal, 'cause we certainly should not be breaking 630 chains. So the boys will have us tuned up and we'll get it in the show.
"It felt awesome," said Bradford. "It went straight, it was smooth. I felt like I hit my shift points dead on. After the chain situation, we had out bike 90% torn apart it seemed like."
Not that Tom's best pass ever was without white-knuckle excitement. "I did go into the gravel. I had no rear brake, so I'm really laying on the front brake real hard. It started to wash out on me three times. It was pretty hairy, and I just dropped the front wheel into the sand. The Safety Safari guys all came over and said 'Heck of a job riding! We saw you washing out and thought you were gonna go over about three times!'
"We're looking forward to stepping it up tomorrow and feel like there's at least an .02 in it. Obviously, we're elated but we're also a little tired. My wife Theresa is flying in tonight. Tomorrow's our anniversary, so we're looking for some good runs."
"We're obviously gonna put a new tire on it for tomorrow," added Schopf. "And Tom wore his shoes completely through, so he'll need a new pair of those..."