Madison: Tom Hammonds final qualifying report

Hammonds rebounds, powers into Gateway field Tom Hammonds and the Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care crew knew they had their work cut out for them heading into Saturday's final qualifying sessions at the Sears Craftsman Nationals. With his best effort...

Hammonds rebounds, powers into Gateway field

Tom Hammonds and the Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care crew knew they had their work cut out for them heading into Saturday's final qualifying sessions at the Sears Craftsman Nationals. With his best effort on Friday of 6.942 seconds finding him outside the top sixteen, Hammonds would have to hope that conditions on Saturday would allow him to run quick enough to gain a spot on Sunday's final eliminations ladder.

At first, it seemed Mother Nature would be against him, as the day dawned with warm temperatures and high humidity, both of which work against the carbureted "doorslammers". However, for the second consecutive race, the NHRA adjusted the time of the first Pro Stock session, moving it ahead by two hours in order to hopefully provide the division a better chance of qualifying.

This was all the help that Hammonds needed, as he powered down the Gateway International Raceway quarter-mile in 6.923-seconds with a top speed of 199.32 mph, which was second quickest for the session. This allowed the Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care Cavalier to move up into the field in the fifteenth position, the only car of twenty-three to accomplish this feat.

Although rising temperatures precluded any improvement in the class on Saturday afternoon, Hammonds showed he was ready for Sunday's eliminations by once again posting the second-quickest time of the round at 6.931 seconds.

"We had a great day today. Fortunately, we knew what we needed to do to our Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care Cavalier based on our analysis of last night's run. I have to give credit to my crew, Eric Luzinski, Mike Matthews and Brian Morris - they did a great job at making the right calls today.

"I'll tell you one thing - once I put it in high gear, it was all engine power, and for that I have to thank Jimmy Oliver, Tom Roberts and Boone Roberts and everyone at KRJ engines. It's a shame that I have to race Ron in the first round, but he fully understands that this is a business and we have to go out there and get the job done.

"It was also important to go out this afternoon and come as close as we could to duplicating this morning's run. That will give us some confidence heading into eliminations, and we're looking for this Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care Cavalier to have a long day tomorrow."

-thr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Hammonds