Memphis: Martino Saturday qualifying notes

Tom Martino completed a solid qualifying effort at Auto Zone Nationals with his quickest pass of the weekend, a 6.873-second, 200.11 mph blast on Saturday that placed the Century 21 Firebird 14th on Sunday's final eliminations ladder. In...

Tom Martino completed a solid qualifying effort at Auto Zone Nationals with his quickest pass of the weekend, a 6.873-second, 200.11 mph blast on Saturday that placed the Century 21 Firebird 14th on Sunday's final eliminations ladder. In each of his four attempts, Martino was able to better his previous run, maintaining his position in a starting field that tied the mark for the quickest in the Pro Stock division's history. Martino's first round opponent at Memphis Motorsports Park will be No. 3 qualifier Larry Morgan, against whom Martino has a career 3-1 eliminations record. Even so, Martino knows it will take another strong run in order to advance on Sunday.

"Even though all four runs had us in the top sixteen, we weren't really pleased with them. We tried everything we could to make the car run well. We put in different motors, four-links, clutches, transmission ratios and tires, all trying to get on top of it. If we're able to straighten it out and make a good pass, I know this Century 21 Firebird would run 6.83 at 201 and change. Fortunately, we were able to get close enough to make it in the show.

"Tomorrow, our game plan for the first round is simple. Without lane choice, I know we'll be on the right side, which has a few bumps in it that people have had problems with. I guarantee we will go down that lane tomorrow. After that, I will try to leave on Larry (Morgan) and hope he doesn't catch me."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Martino