Joliet: Martino final qualifying notes

On the strength of a 6.820-second run recorded on his final attempt on Saturday afternoon, CENTURY 21Grand Am pilot Tom Martino qualified 6th for Sunday's final eliminations of the NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Illinois. This represented an...

On the strength of a 6.820-second run recorded on his final attempt on Saturday afternoon, CENTURY 21Grand Am pilot Tom Martino qualified 6th for Sunday's final eliminations of the NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Illinois. This represented an improvement of over two hundredths of a second over Martino's previous best of 6.843 seconds, and set the stage for a first-round encounter with Larry Morgan. This represented the quickest field in the history of the "factory hot rods", with a 6.844-second pass required to simply make the top sixteen.

"I would have loved to have been a fan for that final session, because it had to be awesome to sit in the stands and watch every car fly down the track. Going in, we thought it would be better than the earlier one, especially after the trucks ran and lowered their bump by two hundredths. Even though we were confident of making another good run, since we were near the bottom of the field, we were a little nervous.

"On our first three runs, we were shaking the tires. The CENTURY 21 Grand Am was good in low gear, but then it would shake in second third and fourth gears. Halfway through fourth, it would clear up and take off. We moved a little weight around, but didn't think that was going to fix it, so ten minutes before we ran I put in a completely different clutch package, and that's the only reason it ran as well as it did tonight.

"I'm looking forward to tomorrow, although the first round has given us problems this year. Tonight, I'm going to have a nice dinner, relax and get some rest. In the morning, we'll come out to the track and get ready to go some rounds. Somebody is going to be a first-round loser tomorrow, and I don't plan on it being me."

-TMR-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Morgan , Tom Martino