Notes from the first day of qualifying for the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals
Friday qualifying in Phoenix finds Martino sitting on the bubble
Date: Friday, February 22, 2002
Location: Firebird International Raceway, Chandler, AZ
Tom Martino made two solid runs during Friday's opening qualifying sessions for the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals. After opening with a 6.959-second effort, Martino came back in the afternoon session to improve to a 6.935-second elapsed time with a top speed of 199.76 mph. This placed the Jesel Motorsports Grand Am in the precarious sixteenth and final qualifying position heading into Saturday's twin time trials, which translates into a long night for the Martino crew as they look to find the performance necessary to solidify their spot in Sunday's final eliminations.
"The competition in Pro Stock is so fierce that you can't afford to leave anything on the table like we did today. We're faced with figuring out the racing surface as well as the new tire Goodyear has produced, and some teams are adapting quicker than others in all the professional categories.
"We made two passable runs with our Jesel Motorsports Grand Am today, but we've got to find some additional performance by tomorrow morning to make sure we race on Sunday. We'll put our heads together, look at the data from today and decide what adjustments we have to make. I guess we're looking at another sleepless Friday night!"