Charlotte: Tom Hammonds Saturday notes

TEAM HAMMONDS DISAPPOINTED ABOUT NOT QUALIFYING (CONCORD, N.C., Sept. 13, 2008) - - Team Hammonds is disappointed they did not qualify today for eliminations at the inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals at the new zMax Dragway in Concord, ...

TEAM HAMMONDS DISAPPOINTED ABOUT NOT QUALIFYING

(CONCORD, N.C., Sept. 13, 2008) - - Team Hammonds is disappointed they did not qualify today for eliminations at the inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals at the new zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C.

Hammonds launched to a good start in the front half of the quarter mile, but in the back half could not find the speed to bump into the field. Running an elapsed time of 6.738 seconds (204.94 mph) in the fourth qualifying session, placed him 21st to close the contest.

"This has been a learning experience with our chassis. We have changed 4-link combinations, tried different carburetors, different ignition boxes, everything. Nothing seems to make a difference in our performance," said a disenchanted Tom Hammonds, owner/driver of the No.20 Race for Achievement Chevy Cobalt.

Going into qualifying session three, the first of Saturday's two-round competition, in 17th place, the weather continued to be very hot and high in humidity. In preparation for the first run, the engine was changed and set-ups were made according to the data they received from the last run of Friday's qualifying. Team Hammonds ran down the track a lot slower than they would have liked. The Chevy Cobalt registered a speed of 204.94 mph, which is much slower than they know their engines are capable of running.

"It is just disappointing to know we have the horsepower to qualify. But, for whatever reason, we are not getting the most out of our engines that we should," said Hammonds. "Whether it is a chassis situation or whether it is a set-up problem, whatever it is we are not running what we are capable of running."

Moving down the qualifying field to 21st place after the third qualifying session, the team modified the Chevy Cobalt baseline by changing gear ratios, the front struts, and tuned-up the carburetors to prepare for qualifying round four.

"Obviously, we are happy that Richie Stevens ran well for the third session because he has our engine. But, it is disappointing to know that we should have run as well or better."

Stevens qualified 4th in the field with an e.t. of 6.685 seconds at 206.54 mph in the third qualifying round running a THE Engine in the No. 9 NitroFish car.

"We have been very fortunate to hook-up with Tom Hammonds and Jimmy Oliver in the THE Engine program and it has been really great for our program," said Kenny Koretsky, owner of the No. 9 NitroFish car driven by Stevens. "I think we have come a long way, and Tom's program looks promising."

-credit: the

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Hammonds , Kenny Koretsky