Gateway: Martino qualifying report

Higher temperatures on Saturday slowed the entire Pro Stock field during Saturday's second day of qualifying for the Sears Craftsman Nationals. Although Tom Martino fell shy of improving on his 6.878 second, 199.52 mph run from Friday night, the...

Higher temperatures on Saturday slowed the entire Pro Stock field during Saturday's second day of qualifying for the Sears Craftsman Nationals. Although Tom Martino fell shy of improving on his 6.878 second, 199.52 mph run from Friday night, the Farmingdale, NJ native nevertheless was impressive with a 6.899 second, 200.26 mph pass in the morning session. Once time trials were completed, the CENTURY 21 Grand Am pilot had captured the 5th position, his best qualifying performance of the 2001 NHRA season.

"This morning's run was very good. We were really heavy in low gear, so we were #26 to sixty feet, but from there we charged up the page and ended up with a really nice pass for not getting off the starting line. The fact that we ran so well disguised how bad we were in low, so we didn't make as big an adjustment as we should have for tonight's session, so it shook the tires really hard and I clicked it off.

"As usual when I have lane choice, the two sides are pretty darn close. Naturally, I'm glad I have it just in case one of the nitro cars oils down one lane. Although I think the left lane is a little better at the starting line, from second gear to the finish it's a toss up. It's an advantage to have it, but not as much as at other race tracks. I believe you can win in either lane.

"I am as confident heading into tomorrow's first round as I have been in quite some time. This CENTURY 21 Grand Am is well overdue to go some rounds, and we hope tomorrow is the day that it does."

-C@!R

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Martino