Gainesville: Tompkins Motorsports final qualifying

Gainesville, Fla. - - Improvement was the key word for Sam Tompkins, from Atlanta, owner and driver of the Tompkins Motorsports Chevy S-10 Pro Stock Truck. On the second day of qualifying for the Mac Tools Gatornationals. Tompkins, the first pair...

Gainesville, Fla. - - Improvement was the key word for Sam Tompkins, from Atlanta, owner and driver of the Tompkins Motorsports Chevy S-10 Pro Stock Truck. On the second day of qualifying for the Mac Tools Gatornationals. Tompkins, the first pair out, piloted his truck down the Gainesville Raceway quarter-mile in 7.590 seconds at 170.05 mph. The run was two-tenths of a second faster than Tompkins' run of yesterday but only good for 28th place position after three sessions.

In the second and final session to qualify, Tompkins again improved, when he blazed the track in 7.560 seconds at 178.78 mph. Both the elapsed time and speed were career best for Tompkins. His previous career best came at Memphis in October of 2000. Unfortunately, Tompkins didn't make the field of 16 that qualified. He finished the four qualifying sessions in the 27th spot.

"We got a little behind on the first day and had to regroup," said Tompkins. "We went back to basics - - our old clutch set up, our old transmission. Yesterday, I got a small taste of the power that this new Panella Motorsports engine would produce. Today, was a real feast. This engine has the power and is capable of running with the best out here. It's just a matter of getting the combination right.

"We need to keep working at our set up and testing. Therefore, we will be at the O'Reilly Nationals next weekend in Houston. We don't want to loose any momentum and want to capitalize on what we learned here this weekend. I'm optimistic on our racing future."

-Mickey Schultz

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