Facing a very consistent Mark Pawuk in the first round of eliminations, CENTURY 21 Pro Stock Firebird pilot Tom Martino knew he would need a great run to advance at the O'Reilly Nationals at Houston Raceway Park. Relegated to the left side by...
Facing a very consistent Mark Pawuk in the first round of eliminations, CENTURY 21 Pro Stock Firebird pilot Tom Martino knew he would need a great run to advance at the O'Reilly Nationals at Houston Raceway Park. Relegated to the left side by his opponent, a determined Martino grabbed the advantage at the start by almost two hundredths of a second. However his chances for victory were quickly erased when his racecar was forced out of the groove. Martino had to lift in order to maintain control, allowing his rival to drive on for the round win.
"This was a tough weekend. We found ourselves battling both our CENTURY 21 Firebird and the racetrack throughout the race, and really didn't make what I would consider a good run while here. For whatever reason, the car rode very rough - you can't really call it tire shake when the tires bounce off the ground. We tried three different sets of shocks, and made a lot of adjustments, but we were never comfortable with how it was running.
"The lanes also made a huge difference today. For the most part, the NHRA does a great job of preparing the track, but I don't think they got it completely clean after all the oil-downs by the Top Fuel cars in the first round. More than one Pro Stock car got out of shape on the left side, and when I tried to correct it during my run, the car wouldn't come back, as if there was still oil present.
"What we have to do is make sure we qualify in the top half and get lane choice. I know we're going to do some testing before Richmond, to see if we can get this CENTURY 21 Firebird running like it was a few races ago. I'm confident we'll get it figured out, it's just a matter of how soon we'll do it."