Atlanta: Century 21 Racing wrap-up

Martino Moments Final results from the 21st annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals Heading into the first round of eliminations of Sunday's Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals, Tom Martino had reason to feel optimistic. He had come off...

Martino Moments
Final results from the 21st annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals

Heading into the first round of eliminations of Sunday's Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals, Tom Martino had reason to feel optimistic. He had come off a solid qualifying effort, placing 11th after putting together four good runs, logging a best elapsed time of 6.932-seconds with a top speed of 198.47 mph. In four previous meetings, the CENTURY 21 Grand Am pilot had compiled a perfect 4-0 record against his first round opponent, No. 6 qualifier George Marnell, who would have the luxury of choosing his lane over the New Jersey native.

Unfortunately, one aspect of their first round run that the Martino crew could not predict involved their racecar. Almost immediately after launching, Martino's car slowed to a crawl, the victim of a mechanical malfunction, forcing Martino to watch helplessly as his rival drove away for the win.

"As soon as I hit the throttle, the car began to miss and sputter, so I knew we were in trouble. There was nothing I could do but coax it to the top end. When we got back to the pits, we found the ignition coil had failed, killing the engine.

"It's very disappointing, because we felt good about our chances today. We thought we had a handle on the combination this weekend and were looking to go some rounds. You try to keep ahead of these things, but sometimes you're going to have parts failures. We have some time and a lot of work ahead of us before Englishtown. Between it being Century 21's home race and with all of our family and friends, we'll have a lot of people there that we won't want to let down."

-C21-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Martino