Houston: Sam Tompkins optimistic as O'Reilly Nationals begins

Baytown, Texas - - Sam Tompkins, from Atlanta, owner and driver of the Tompkins Motorsports Chevy S-10 Pro Stock Truck, is eager for qualifying for the O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park to begin on Friday. Even ...

Baytown, Texas - - Sam Tompkins, from Atlanta, owner and driver of the Tompkins Motorsports Chevy S-10 Pro Stock Truck, is eager for qualifying for the O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park to begin on Friday.

Even though Tompkins didn't make the field at last weekend's Mac Tools Gatornationals, it should be noted that Tompkins' results from that event point to favorable results for future events. That fact gives Tompkins every reason to be optimistic at the O'Reilly Nationals.

"We got behind right at the start at Gainesville. We needed to just go back and start from the bottom line. Circumstances forced us to revert to our old set up," said Tompkins. Although we didn't qualify, we knew our problems weren't with the motor. It's a Panella Motorsports engine and it's great. With the kind of mile-per-hour we got we should've been able to step it up. I did set my career best elapsed time and speed, so I am pleased with that. We can only go forward from here. I am very optimistic about our chances at Houston. We feel we will have the best opportunity that we have ever had to qualify this weekend."

Eliminations for the Gatornationals were rained out, but Tompkins was able to click off a career best elapsed time and speed in the final session of qualifying with a pass of 7.560 seconds at 178.78 mph.

"Because we lack a major sponsorship, we had not planned to run at Houston. But the circumstances at Gainesville dictated otherwise. We need to keep our momentum going. I would love to run the full national event schedule, but to do so I must have some outside monetary support," added Tompkins.

Qualifying for the O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil begins Friday for all professional classes with two sessions and concludes on Saturday with two additional sessions. Final eliminations begin at 12 noon (ET) on Sunday.

If you can't attend the O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil in person, be sure to catch all the action on television: <pre> Saturday, March 24: ESPN2 Qualifying Highlights 6:30-8:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday, March 25: ESPN2 Final Round Action 6-9 p.m. (ET)

-www.tompkinsmotorsports.com

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Series NHRA