Winning tune-up eludes Hammonds in Sonoma. After a productive mid-week test session in Woodburn, Oregon, Tom Hammonds and the Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care Cavalier Racing team were optimistic heading into the Fram-Autolite Nationals. Not only had...
Winning tune-up eludes Hammonds in Sonoma.
After a productive mid-week test session in Woodburn, Oregon, Tom Hammonds and the Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care Cavalier Racing team were optimistic heading into the Fram-Autolite Nationals. Not only had they fixed the hood scoop, which had cracked in Denver and robbed their 500 cubic-inch V-8 of horsepower-producing air, but their racecar had responded nicely to the adjustments they had made. Their confidence renewed, the team looked forward to a successful weekend in northern California
Upon arriving at Infineon Raceway, the NHRA POWERade tour was greeted by the pleasant combination of sea level altitude, a reworked racing surface and cool, dry weather. As a result, qualifying in the Pro Stock division produced one of the fastest and tightest fields of the year, with only eight hundredths of a second separating No. 1 qualifier Greg Anderson's 6.791-second effort from the twenty-seventh entry.
Unfortunately, the Hammonds crew was unable to take advantage of the conditions, as they struggled to find the right set-up to get down the Sonoma quarter-mile. Although Hammonds did record one of the quickest sixty-foot times of his brief Pro Stock career, he was unable to complete a pass under full power, and found himself watching Sunday's eliminations from the sidelines.
"This certainly was not the way we expected to perform this weekend, or throughout the entire West Coast swing. Although we are extremely disappointed, we're not about to make excuses.
"We knew this year would be a learning experience, and we hope to be able to look back on this period in twenty or so years and see these tough times as setting the foundation for long-term success.
"We know we have to regroup, and have already put our game plan in motion. We're going to start by heading to St. Louis to test. We're going to put our basic tune-up back in and figure out exactly what this Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care Cavalier needs to run, so we can head into Brainerd with some confidence.
"There are several reasons why it's important that we have a strong showing in Brainerd. It's a home race for Winnebago, and we expect to have a lot of people there watching us. In addition, we're getting into the later part of this season, and there are still some goals we need to achieve. Any way you look at it, we need to get to going."