Indy ORP: Tom Hammonds preview

TOM HAMMONDS ENTERPRISES, LLC BUILDS PREMIER ENGINE PROGRAM -Comeback for Hammonds Looks Promising- (HOLT, Fla., Aug. 24, 2008) - Though Tom Hammonds Enterprises, LLC (THE) took a small sabbatical from drag racing, the team never stopped ...

TOM HAMMONDS ENTERPRISES, LLC BUILDS PREMIER ENGINE PROGRAM

-Comeback for Hammonds Looks Promising-

(HOLT, Fla., Aug. 24, 2008) - Though Tom Hammonds Enterprises, LLC (THE) took a small sabbatical from drag racing, the team never stopped working towards building a premier engine program. The results of the NitroFish car driven by Richie Sevens and powered by a THE engine for the Brainerd, Minn. and Reading, Penn. gives credence to that.

"Although we have not been at the race track competing for the last few events, we have really been working hard on our engine program," said Tom Hammonds, owner/driver of THE.

Headed by 30-year engine builder Jim Oliver, THE's engine program is in its second year, and this season has leased engines to Kenny Koretsky and Jim Yates, with both drivers resulting in qualifying.

"Up until the time we leased an engine to Koretsky in Las Vegas this season, we did not know where our program was," explains Oliver. "All we had was an engine dyno, which gives you a number, and it's just a number unless we had one of the top players' engines on the same machine. We can say wow their engine is 30 horsepower better than ours, but until then we just had a number."

Oliver goes on to explain that it was not until they leased THE's number two engine to Koretsky, resulting in him being the number one qualifier, and Hammonds not qualifying in Las Vegas, that they were really able to gauge their engine program. That validated that THE's engines possessed the amount of horsepower needed to be quick and fast.

In a short period of time, THE's engine program has come a long way, and is still working to make the best engine ultimately for Hammonds. They have improved the valve train, which is the primary component that has improved over the past 10 years. Yet, if they were to take their best engine of today as opposed to the engine Hammonds had in 1998 and disassembled both of them on a bench, there would be very little difference to the untrained eye. There have been subtle changes over the years. The score board really tells the difference, obviously in the car running quicker and faster.

"The future of our engine program is not to rent to every pro stock driver that wants an engine," said Hammonds. "We are looking to partner with another team that will also bring the research and development element that is needed to continue to improve our product for competition."

Hammonds is looking forward to trying his engine improvements in his first race back at the MacTools US Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis. He believes this will show that his team is working to be a force for the second half of the season. The team is on its way to possessing what he believes are the three components to a good race team - a good crew and car, a good driver, and a good engine program.

"I think we have everything, and I'm eager to show it in our first race back," said Hammonds, who took a break from racing on the NHRA Pro Stock circuit in June of this season to regroup the team.

Though Hammonds has failed to be consistent with performance on the track, Oliver is confident in the engine for the comeback race, but has reservations about the car.

"Tom's Chevy Cobalt might be good. We made a lot of changes," comments Oliver, "but it is inherently slow."

Oliver feels there are so many variables to the Chevy Cobalt, and the car is the key, along with the crew surrounding it. The car is infinitely adjustable. If the crew does not know how to make adjustments, then the car will look bad. A bad car also makes the engine look bad. In this case, Team Hammonds knows what to do and wants the engine to shine.

-credit: thr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Hammonds , Kenny Koretsky