Joliet: Martino final report

Sunday's final eliminations of the NHRA Nationals saw the Pro Stock division continue the furious pace they had set during qualifying, despite warmer temperatures that hinder their performance. After qualifying 6th with a career-best elapsed time...

Sunday's final eliminations of the NHRA Nationals saw the Pro Stock division continue the furious pace they had set during qualifying, despite warmer temperatures that hinder their performance. After qualifying 6th with a career-best elapsed time of 6.820 seconds, Tom Martino and the CENTURY 21 Grand Am Racing Team added his own impressive performances, including increasing his career best top speed to 201.52 mph during his 6.831-second first-round win over Larry Morgan.

Martino's string of success extended into the second round, when he used a 6.838-second, 201.37 mph blast to eliminate Jim Yates. However, Martino would enter his semi-final meeting with Darrell Alderman without the benefit of lane choice, which proved to be significant, as in the first two rounds, only three of twelve races had been won from the right lane, and these had come either by a distinct starting line advantage or a red-light start.

Unfortunately, Martino was unable to break the trend, for although he recorded a solid 6.899-second elapsed time, it was not enough to propel him into his second final round of the season. Even so, Martino was pleased with the weekend's results.

"We lost lane choice by five thousandths in the second round, and that proved to be the determining factor. We were actually closer in performance than we showed in the semis, but the changes we made were not what the car wanted, and slowed us down.

"Although naturally, you're not happy unless you win, we're leaving here pretty satisfied. I drove well, and our CENTURY 21 Grand Am performed well throughout the weekend. The way this car is running right now, I believe we will be in the hunt these last four races. We're going to be competitive and a few strong runs will give us a little boost to work even harder over the winter."

-tmr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Darrell Alderman , Larry Morgan , Tom Martino