Bradford in Quickest PSM Field Ever
Tom Bradford brought The Sportsman Channel Buell from Wisconsin to Gainesville for the ACDelco Gatornationals without the benefit of preseason testing. Facing the highly anticipated opening of the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle season, Bradford also made the switch to the 16" Mickey Thompson rear tire and, of course, had yet to test it. "We came out of the box with the best concept of a tune-up that we had," said Tom. "It turned out to be a pretty good guess." True enough. Bradford's first lap of 2007 was a 7.07.
"We went over the bike 100% in the off season and came down here with complete confidence in the integrity of the machine," said Tom. "We then made a change for next round to see how the tire responded. Unfortunately, it went the wrong direction."
"We went back to where we were, came out with our 7.07 tune-up, and focused on making a nice clean pass. We did that and got off of the bubble for now."
"This is the toughest Pro Stock Motorcycle field in history, and we're excited to be a part of it. Of course, we want to move forward the next round. We had a very, very bad 1.12 60-foot time and left about 5 hundredths on the table that time. So we're adjusting the clutch and launch RPM. But we're very happy with the power we're making. We ran 191 plus, so we're showing some muscle there. Our S&S/Rob Schopf-built motor is making front-of-the-pack horsepower in these phenomenal conditions."
"Our 60 foot went the wrong way to a 1.139, but I'm in the quickest Pro Stock Motorcycle field in history, so I'm very happy. We're working on the clutch management end of it. These bikes are so touchy and it takes just a little to throw them over the edge. I've got 100% faith in Jim Schneider and his tuning. Jim's proven himself time in and time out and he's gonna get this right for tomorrow's race with my buddy Antron Brown."
"The runs we made today, we were over-clutched," said Schneider. "And that's basically because we started running the 16 inch tire. So we need to learn the clutch set-up all over again, learn what it likes compared to the 15 inch. Without having any test runs prior to qualifying, we've sort of been in test mode while qualifying. Based on the data we've got right now, I think we can come up with a set-up tomorrow to get our 60 foots back where they need to be. And based on our down-track numbers, for our two rounds today, those two runs should have been in the 6.95-.96 range.
"We're also very pleased with The Sportsman Channel coming on board. We'll be able to run this year and hopefully improve on our finish last year. Right offhand, based on the fans and the rest of the racers and NHRA officials, everybody's pretty happy about a new sponsor coming into the Pro Stock Motorcycle class."
"The reception to our team and new partnership with The Sportsman Channel has been phenomenal," agreed Bradford. Indeed, crowds gathered all weekend around the team's new Arrow Components hospitality tent, picking up signed posters of Tom and the Realtree(r) All Purpose camouflaged bike. "America's full of sportsmen, racing is as American as sportsmen and apple pie, and that's exactly how we've been received here. The fans love to see an entity of this nature get involved with one of America's favorite motorsports. I'd like to say I'm as American as they come, so a relationship like this really makes my job easy. It's just me being me and talking about the things that I talk about everyday anyway: hunting, fishing, and racing motorcycle's. We've had two representatives from The Sportsman Channel out here this weekend, Michelle Scheuermann and Rachael Buck."
"This is from The Sportsman Channel's first involvement as a primary sponsor in the NHRA, and we didn't know what to expect, but Tom really blew us away today," said Scheuermann, The Sportsman Channel's director of communications. "We couldn't be happier for Tom and his team, and we believe the crowd has really embraced us. It's going to be great to see the bike in the winners circle for the first time! And we're taking back ideas from this weekend to really promote Tom Bradford Racing and The Sportsman Channel at future races. NHRA fans should look for contests and promotions geared towards them at our website, www.thesportsmanchannel.com."