MARTINO LOOKING TO RIDE TO VICTORY AT FRAM ROUTE 66 NATIONALS Parsippany, New Jersey, May 26, 1998 - To win a national event in the NHRA's Pro Stock division is an accomplishment. At every race, over thirty competitors fight to reach the...
MARTINO LOOKING TO RIDE TO VICTORY AT FRAM ROUTE 66 NATIONALS
Parsippany, New Jersey, May 26, 1998 - To win a national event in the NHRA's Pro Stock division is an accomplishment. At every race, over thirty competitors fight to reach the winner's circle. A victory at any of the twenty-two stops on the 1998 Winston Drag Racing Series schedule would be the highlight of many teams' seasons. But this weekend, the inaugural event at the Route 66 Raceway offers participants an extra incentive. Every winner at the Fram Route 66 Nationals in Joliet will make drag racing history as the first to record a victory at this new facility. A two-time winner in 1997, Tom Martino and his Six Flags Theme Parks Racing team look to make some history of their own by posting their initial win of the season.
"To win in Joliet would be outstanding," stated Martino. "With a totally new track, the advantage will go to those who best learn and adjust to the conditions, which is where we excel - it should be a good weekend for the Six Flags Theme Parks Thrill Machine!"
As usual, the Six Flags team's schedule has been full since the Englishtown event. First, Tom and his wife Robin spent Monday at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey taping the NHRA Today TV show which aired this past weekend. Immediately afterward, Martino and crew balanced their time between their full-time jobs and preparing for the next event. With Pro Stock fields covered by mere thousandths of a second, there is no room for error, only improvement, and actions taken at the shop prior to the race can often dictate a team's success. The primary 500 cubic-inch powerplant, nicknamed "T-Rex", was removed from their purple and yellow Firebird, and thoroughly checked. Other areas of concern were addressed, with changes made and improvements incorporated. A Sunday test session was used as a final shakedown. Finally, the Martinos returned to Great Adventure on Memorial Day to host the Six Flags Thrill of Racing Tour event, where 300 children in three age groups competed in miniature Thrill Machines for a variety of prizes, including a trip to California at season's end. These tasks completed, the Six Flags crew's concern now lies in taming the Chicago quarter-mile.
"Naturally, qualifying will be our first challenge," declared Martino. "With over thirty cars fighting for just sixteen spots, every qualifying pass is crucial. Our goal is to put our Six Flags Thrill Machine in the top half of the field, and gain lane choice for the first round. Once you're in for Sunday, it's anybody's race, depending on how things play out. We would sure like the first name on the Fram Route 66 Nationals winner's trophy to be ours!"