Gainesville: Tom Bradford final summary

Bradford Takes the Blame "We couldn't have been feeling any better about our chances," Tom Bradford said about Sunday's Gatornationals. His Balbayis Asset Consulting/Hal's Speedshop Buell was qualified in the top half of the Pro Stock Motorcycle...

Bradford Takes the Blame

"We couldn't have been feeling any better about our chances," Tom Bradford said about Sunday's Gatornationals. His Balbayis Asset Consulting/Hal's Speedshop Buell was qualified in the top half of the Pro Stock Motorcycle field for the first time in his five career NHRA starts. "We had a really fast motorcycle and felt like we had a great tune-up. We were going in with lane choice and felt like we had everything we needed to do the job."

Though Bradford boasts 5 AHDRA professional championships, he's still a newbie on the NHRA's vastly bigger stage. Gann, on the other hand, had faced 36 different riders on NHRA ladders before his round with Bradford. "I'm a new guy out there," admitted Tom. "It's like a new dog in the dog kennel, and you have to make a stand."

But old dog Gann (though still only 28) would have none of it. He broke a staging duel by moving into the beams, then left Bradford pasted to the line when the lights came down. "We had a tough competitor, and you have to run Shawn hard," said Tom. "He got the better light and ran a stellar pass himself and came out on top. It falls totally on the rider's shoulders. As far as the team was concerned, they had done the job. Unfortunately, the rider had a bad day on the tree. I hate it for the team and the people we have on board with us.

"In hindsight, it (the staging duel) was the wrong move. I deviated from my routine, and I came up on the short end on that deal. I'm kicking myself for it but I'm not afraid to admit it."

So now Bradford is really looking forward to making amends at Houston, the next stop on the NHRA tour. "We've got a really fast motorcycle and I think we've proven that we can be a contender."

Tom and the Balbayis Asset Consulting/Hal's Speedshop Buell will hit the track next at the O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas, March 31-April 2.

-www.thundereagleracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Bradford