Gainesville: Tom Hammonds preview

HAMMONDS SEES GATORNATIONALS AS BEING THE RACE FOR A WIN (HOLT, Fla., Mar. 11, 2008) - One year ago Tom Hammonds made his return to racing at the Gatornationals competition in Gainesville, Fla. after being on hiatus for three seasons. His...

HAMMONDS SEES GATORNATIONALS AS BEING THE RACE FOR A WIN

(HOLT, Fla., Mar. 11, 2008) - One year ago Tom Hammonds made his return to racing at the Gatornationals competition in Gainesville, Fla. after being on hiatus for three seasons.

His debut proved he made the right decision as he set personal records by recording a career-best elapse-time of 6.631 seconds and a career-best speed of 209.64 mph. Though personal bests are not as important as bringing home a win, Hammonds is excited about the competition at the 39th Annual ACDelco Gatornationals, Mar. 13-16, Gainesville Raceway.

"We did well last year at the Gatornationals, because all factors such as weather and track temperature were all perfect, perfect for everyone," says Hammonds, "but we are more concerned with doing our best to record a win."

To record this win, Hammonds and his crew needed to hone in on the problems that have plagued the Chevy Cobalt for the past two races. The problems have ranged from an inconsistent clutch to the tire shake, which lead to outcomes of a DNQ for Pomona, Calif. and placing 14th in the qualifying field in Phoenix.

"We know that we have the horsepower to compete," says Hammonds, "but we were missing little things that can possibly help us run better. That is why we brought in Rickie Smith to the help us catch some problems, which paid dividends."

After further review and breaking the engine down, they discovered their Chevy Cobalt was running at 40 percent due to detonation problems. The detonation problem caused the Chevy to lose horsepower. This is important because the engine needs to transfer as much heat as possible as to not increase cylinder head temperatures. Though a hard problem to catch, Hammonds feels confident they will be running at 100 percent.

"This Gainesville race is in my home state, and a lot of fans will be coming from my home town to watch us compete; so, we are optimistic about getting a win. I do know it will be an exciting time."

-credit: thr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Hammonds , Rickie Smith