Hammonds regains early season form, qualifies 2nd in Joliet. Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care Cavalier driver Tom Hammonds returned to the form he had displayed during the first seven races of the 2002 season during qualifying for the Chicagoland Dodge...
Hammonds regains early season form, qualifies 2nd in Joliet.
Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care Cavalier driver Tom Hammonds returned to the form he had displayed during the first seven races of the 2002 season during qualifying for the Chicagoland Dodge Dealers Nationals in Joliet, IL. Hammonds's 6.870-second, 200.74 mph effort on Friday evening earned the Crestview, Fla. native the 2nd position for Sunday's final eliminations, matching his career-best effort from earlier this year.
The combination of a warm racetrack and high temperatures on Saturday precluded any changes in the line-up for the normally aspirated Pro Stockers. With his position in the field secure, Hammonds used the two qualifying sessions on Saturday to fine-tune his race car. Although his elapsed times did not influence his position on the qualifying ladder, they did provide important tuning information for this young team.
"Going into tomorrow's eliminations, we wanted to find out what the track would or would not take. But, since the weather could be totally different tomorrow, we decided to leave our set-up the same, taking a little clutch out of it, and lowering the rpm a little to see if we could ease it off the starting line and have enough gear to make it in the back half. We were a little too aggressive in the last session, but that's something we needed to learn.
"It's feels really good to be back in the show, not only for myself and my team, but for my sponsors, Winnebago, GM Vehicle Care, Chevrolet, Mac Tools, Kendall Motor Oil and American Racing Wheels. They've stuck with us through the good and the bad times. I hope we can put together four good rounds tomorrow to reward them. It's been a great weekend so far, and we want to keep it going."
Somewhat lost in Hammonds' accomplishment was the fact that he had performed many of the tuning duties himself, having released his crew chief prior to this event.
"It's been different this weekend. I haven't tuned the car in a long time, but we're not going to use that as an excuse. We simply have to get the job done. It's just like going to the free throw line in the last minutes of a big basketball game. You have to concentrate and get it done. We're just going to do the best we can and see what happens."