Phoenix: Tom Hammonds preview

TEAM HAMMONDS SETS OUT TO QUALIFY AGAIN AT ARIZONIA NHRA NATIONALS (HOLT, Fla., Feb. 19, 2009) --Team Hammonds gears up for its fourth career appearance at the Arizona NHRA Nationals in Phoenix after qualifying for the first round of...

TEAM HAMMONDS SETS OUT TO QUALIFY AGAIN AT ARIZONIA NHRA NATIONALS

(HOLT, Fla., Feb. 19, 2009) --Team Hammonds gears up for its fourth career appearance at the Arizona NHRA Nationals in Phoenix after qualifying for the first round of eliminations at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. The team is looking forward to advancing even further in this weekend's competition.

"In Pomona, [Calif.] the conditions were so, so different than what we normally race, and the track was really marginal," explains Team Hammonds Crew Chief Tomi Laine. "Unfortunately, we were one of those cars that did not get down the track, and I am really disappointed about that. But, on the other hand I see a lot of potential, and we accomplished our goal of qualifying at the Winternationals."

Plagued with inclement weather for five straight days in Pomona, Calif., competitors manage to get in only one qualifying run, where Team Hammonds (6.682 sec. e.t. at 206.20 mph) qualified 14th in the field to make it to eliminations. Usual Sunday eliminations took place on Tuesday under cold track conditions, where the Race for Achievement Chevy Cobalt was not able to get down the track, knocking them out in the first round.

"Though Tom did an excellent job with driving our car, it was really hard for me to make decisions due to the weather and track conditions in Pomona, [Calif.]; we just did not have the data. But, going into Phoenix, I am hoping it will be more like a normal deal."

Laine is hopeful the rain will stay away so their Chevy Cobalt can run all four qualifying sessions. He is confident he has enough base data to set-up the car to be fast enough to qualify in top half granted weather and track conditions are good. Laine plans to start at base and get more aggressive for each qualifying round. With this plan, he knows Team Hammonds will be able to show what they can do and hopefully end up with a win.

"We are on schedule and are making progress, and, again, there is a lot of potential - not even close to where we can be. Our Chevy Cobalt can really run a lot faster, and I can't wait to show it in Phoenix."

-credit: th

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Hammonds