Two weeks after rain postponed the originally scheduled running of the O'Reilly Fall Nationals the NHRA returned to the Texas Motorplex in hopes of completing the event. Unfortunately, Friday's scheduled day of qualifying found competitors...
Two weeks after rain postponed the originally scheduled running of the O'Reilly Fall Nationals the NHRA returned to the Texas Motorplex in hopes of completing the event. Unfortunately, Friday's scheduled day of qualifying found competitors once again glaring at the skies as a constant downpour pelted the area. With the weekend's forecast calling for continued rain, and the season finale in Pomona less than a week away, officials were forced to take dramatic action, canceling qualifying for the first time in the history for the NHRA. The final eliminations ladder will be filled with those competitors occupying the top sixteen positions in the Winston Drag Racing season's point standings. As such, CENTURY 21 Firebird pilot Tom Martino will slot 11th and face No. 6 qualifier Troy Coughlin in the first round.
"I know we can't control the weather," said Martino. "But these conditions make it hard on everyone, especially the fans. I think the NHRA had no option but to fill the field on points, because listening to the forecast that seems like our only hope of getting the race in. This Century 21 Firebird Racing team would certainly like to get a chance to race, because we're battling for a spot in the Top 10, and we can use every opportunity we can get. But right now, it's out of our hands. If Mother Nature smiles on us, we'll go out and give it our best shot. If not, we'll pack up and head to Pomona. All we can do now is wait and see."
Final eliminations are scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, weather permitting. However, should the rain continue to fall, the NHRA has announced that they will put an indefinite hold on all activities, and are prepared to wait until Monday in hopes of completing the event. Should that not prove possible, the race will be officially canceled, another first in the series' forty-nine year existence.