Gainesville Tom Martino; faster is better

Tom Martino and the CENTURY 21( Racing Team hope that seven proves to be their lucky number for tomorrow's final eliminations of the Mac Tools Gatornationals. Martino earned the position with a 6.914-second elapsed time recorded in the second...

Tom Martino and the CENTURY 21( Racing Team hope that seven proves to be their lucky number for tomorrow's final eliminations of the Mac Tools Gatornationals. Martino earned the position with a 6.914-second elapsed time recorded in the second qualifying session on Friday. Although Martino and Steve Schmidt posted identical E.T.'s, Martino was awarded the higher position based on his better top speed of 199.32 miles-per-hour. In addition, Martino will be able to choose his lane for his first round match-up against 10th qualifier Richie Stevens.

However, despite the accomplishment, Martino felt their performance could have been better.

"We're terribly disappointed that we didn't run better today. In the morning session, we should have been able to go 6.91 in the left lane and 6.92 in the right this afternoon. (Note: Martino recorded a pair of 6.95's) The car is just not responding the way we'd like it to.

"On the last run, it left well, but from second gear on it was like a Funny Car - shaking and spinning the tires and moving all over the track. We have some big decisions to make before the first round tomorrow. Richie (Stevens) will be tough, but he only ran a hundredth faster than we did in that last session, and we know there are between three and four hundredths left in our run.

"We're also happy to have lane choice, because that is always a factor. Here in Gainesville, the left side is better. In tonight's session, the fastest ten cars to sixty feet all ran in the left lane. It's our job to determine how we can take advantage of this and win some rounds in our Century 21 Firebird."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Martino , Steve Schmidt