Gainesville: Tom Bradford final summary

Bradford Advances at Gators In a killer first round of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle eliminations that saw champions fall and top qualifiers flounder, Tom Bradford kept his cool and advanced at the Gatornationals for the first time. Bradford posted...

Bradford Advances at Gators

In a killer first round of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle eliminations that saw champions fall and top qualifiers flounder, Tom Bradford kept his cool and advanced at the Gatornationals for the first time. Bradford posted a solid .042 reaction time, while Antron Brown crept away in .109 in the other lane. Brown had the speed but Bradford had the savvy and advanced The Sportsman Channel Buell to round 2 by a slim .0023 margin of victory-about 8 inches at 185 mph!

Tom could be seen pumping his fist and bobbing his head in the shutdown area, and the team was understandably excited. Back at their pit, the team poured over the Realtree(r) All Purpose camouflaged bike to prepare it for round 2. But that's when they ran into fellow Buell campaigner Matt Smith, who was nailing the tree and running low ET every round. Bradford fell victim to Smith's run through the field.

"All-in-all it was a great weekend for the The Sportsman Channel Buell and Tom Bradford Racing," said Tom. "We went a round, and we all knew what we came here with as far as no preseason testing. It definitely put us a little bit behind the curve, but the team dug in deep and responded well. By the second round today we were making headway with the tune-up, so it's exciting to be going to the next race in Houston. We faced very, very heavy competition this weekend, with close to 30 good quality bikes and we came out sixth."

"Just being able to be a part of the quickest bump ever is pretty amazing," said clutchman Jim Schneider. "And we're leaving here having gone one more round than we did a year ago. Our last run was our best 60 foot, a 1.09, which is off of our normal but shows we're moving in the right direction. We have a decent clutch graph, so now we have something to look at and tune with. We have some runs under our belt, and we have some time to relax over this deal. We've been working on the bike at my shop four nights a week 'til midnight, and then it's an hour for Tom to drive home. It's been pretty intense."

"We're better off than we were last year, coming out of here in the top 10 in points," added Tom. "Everybody performed phenomenally, and this race is one for the history books, really. It was an excellent, excellent race, a great way to start the season. It was also great to have Michelle and Rachael from The Sportsman Channel and Kelly Kerrigan from Redline Oil here this weekend."

"Even a lot of the racers were very complimentary about the camouflaged rig and the whole program, so we're pretty happy," finished Schneider. "We went through 1600 posters, a couple boxes of The Sportsman Channel magazines, and people were asking for clothing. They wanted to trade us shirts!"

The next opportunity for Jim to trade shirts with NHRA fans and for Tom to go rounds is at the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals, March 30-April 1 at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.

-credit: tbr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Tom Bradford , Matt Smith