Chicago Hammonds' Rte. 66 Debut Postponed

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES ROUTE 66 RACEWAY JOLIET, ILL. FRAM NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES THURSDAY, JUNE 3, 1999 TOM HAMMONDS, WINNEBAGO/KENDALL OIL/MATCO TOOLS CAMARO Z28, was planning on competing here in his first event of the...

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES ROUTE 66 RACEWAY JOLIET, ILL. FRAM NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES THURSDAY, JUNE 3, 1999

TOM HAMMONDS, WINNEBAGO/KENDALL OIL/MATCO TOOLS CAMARO Z28, was planning on competing here in his first event of the 1999 NHRA season following test sessions held here last week and at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio, today. However, he has cancelled his plans after transmission problems cut short his test runs today. Hammonds, power forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves basketball team, is returning to NHRA drag racing competition in the Pro Stock category after his team lost the fourth race of the first round in the Western Conference of the NBA Playoffs to the San Antonio Spurs.

"We had the same problem in Columbus that we had testing at Route 66. It would not shift out of first gear. We tried and tried and tried, but it wouldn't shift. I can't just show up in Joliet just to be there. I need to know that we are completely ready and have a good chance of qualifying. We have two new transmissions from Liberty coming to Rick Jones' (chassis builder) shop on Monday. We will get it straightened out and test on Wednesday in St. Louis and be ready for the Columbus (Pontiac Excitement Nationals) race. I'd rather wait a week for our debut and have the Camaro right and have everything right for being able to win the race. It's not fair to myself, to Chevrolet, Winnebago, Matco Tools and Kendall Oil to go to Joliet and do half a job. It's tough enough as it is in Pro Stock without having to have any problems, and we've had our share the last couple of weeks. The only thing to do now is to use the same transmission that about 98% of the field is using and have that ready before Columbus." ON RETURNING FOR THE '99 SEASON: "I am definitely looking forward to racing again. I had mixed feelngs about the playoffs; I wanted to win, but I wanted to get back to drag racing too. Columbus last year was the first race for us with a brand new car, and we qualified and ran well. I don't see anything different this time. As long as we have the bugs worked out of the transmission we should go out and run well."

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