Memphis: Tompkins Motorsports final qualifying

Millington, Tenn. - - The opening two sessions on Friday of the NHRA AutoZone Nationals presented by Pennzoil were a mixture of good and bad for Sam Tompkins, from Atlanta, driver of the Tompkins Motorsports Chevy S-10 Pro Stock Truck. Tompkins...

Millington, Tenn. - - The opening two sessions on Friday of the NHRA AutoZone Nationals presented by Pennzoil were a mixture of good and bad for Sam Tompkins, from Atlanta, driver of the Tompkins Motorsports Chevy S-10 Pro Stock Truck.

Tompkins established a good baseline in the first session when he cranked out a run of 7.704 seconds at 174.93 mph. In the last session of the day, Tompkins' Chevy S-10 got out of the groove (the preferred spot on the lane to run) and coasted through the finish line speed traps at 100.76 mph.

Tompkins had this to say regarding Friday's two passes, "That first pass was a pretty decent run. We felt that we had something that we could work from. That second run, we got loose in fourth gear, went toward the center of the track and shut it down and aborted the run. We don't know what caused the sharp turn, It might have been the track."

Saturday found the Memphis Motorsports Park quarter mile track hot and slippery, the air temperature approached the 90's, and the humidity high. Conditions not conducive to making up big chunks of elapsed time and putting yourself in the show.

In Saturday's first session, Tompkins negotiated the tricky track laying down a run of 7.738 seconds at 174.44 mph. Then in the day's second and final session, Tompkins unleashed his best run of the weekend, a 7.676 second pass at 175.91 mph. The only downside of today's second pass was that it left Tompkins in the group of the nine drivers not qualified for tomorrow's eliminations.

"It not what I wanted out of the weekend," said Tompkins, after qualifying ended today. "But from the other side of things, I can see some positive things happening. I think one of the things that seem to hurt us more than anything else is that we don't race or test often enough to give the team time to gel. You could see a big difference in the way the team functioned after the first session and then session to session. They seemed to get back in the swing of things. I will say my crew does a great job and I wouldn't be where I am today without them When you only run four or five times a year and test once or twice you don't get the precision that teams that are out here race after race have. Of course, running a full schedule is all a function of money and we are presently looking for a marketing partner to give Tompkins Motorsports the financial backing to compete at the highest level of competition.

"We might race Dallas. I'm not sure yet. I would like to continue to add to the crew's experience. I'll go back to Atlanta and make a decision in a few days. I plan to pre-enter so that I will have the option to go."

-TM-

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