Bradford's Qualifying Streak Ends in Englishtown Since entering The Sportsman Channel Buell for the first time at Brainerd in August of 2005, Tom Bradford has qualified for 26 straight NHRA POWERade races during the most competitive period in...
Bradford's Qualifying Streak Ends in Englishtown
Since entering The Sportsman Channel Buell for the first time at Brainerd in August of 2005, Tom Bradford has qualified for 26 straight NHRA POWERade races during the most competitive period in Pro Stock Motorcycle history. That streak ended this past weekend at the ProCare Rx Supernationals in Englishtown, New Jersey. Bradford missed the cut by .025 of a second.
Bradford started the weekend behind when a fuse popped out and shut the S&S motor down during the first round of qualifications. "When does that ever happen?" groaned Tom. "The Sportsman Channel Buell is A to B every round, and it's really uncharacteristic of this bike."
Bradford's fourth lap was his best of the weekend, and showed that he and the team were finding the tune-up. "You can't give any runs up," said Tom. "We finally got on top of it in the fourth and final session and found the combination that was needed out here.
"With the help of S&S and the G2 camp, we've been working really hard to find our shortcomings to get The Sportsman Channel Buell deeper in the pack. We've put on the completely new S&S fuel injection system. It's a really nice piece and had nothing to do with our qualifying effort.
"It's a different year, we're running a different tire, and we're without longtime crew chief Rob Schopf. It's a big deal. We're running quicker at every race this year. Last year we went to the semis with a best of 7.06. That's an indicator of how much better and more competitive the class has become.
"On the other side of the coin, we received a warm reception and were still signing autographs despite not qualifying. We had Rachel Buck and Lisa Swan from The Sportsman Channel here, and they entertained guests from Comcast both Saturday and Sunday."
Bradford and the team spent raceday in the Englishtown pits, working on the bike and preparing it for the next week's round in Norwalk, Ohio. "We put a new motor in this morning," said Tom. "Rob's been searching for some more power, and he feels there are some things in this motor that are advantageous. We've also got some new parts to put in for Norwalk, and we've got our sites set on the top side of the ladder there. We're just as determined as ever. We still feel we've got a contender in the race for the championship, and everybody in the team is working hard for that goal.
"I have many years experience racing at Norwarlk with the AHDRA. It's one of my favorite places. They have great ownership and a great facility, and I'm really looking forward to racing there and eating their famous $1 pound of ice cream. A lot of people will be thinking about Eric Medlin while we're there." Funny Car driver Medlin, tragically killed in a testing accident in March, famously once said "No one can be upset with a big bowl of ice cream."
-credit: Tom Bradford Racing Team.