Phoenix: Tom Hammonds Saturday notes

team hammonds qualifies 14th for elimination sunday (PHOENIX., Feb. 23, 2008) -- Hammonds knew Phoenix qualifying would bring about a different outcome, an outcome that would make him a contender on elimination Sunday. Qualifying 14th for ...

team hammonds qualifies 14th for elimination sunday

(PHOENIX., Feb. 23, 2008) -- Hammonds knew Phoenix qualifying would bring about a different outcome, an outcome that would make him a contender on elimination Sunday. Qualifying 14th for tomorrow's competition at the 24th Annual Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals in Phoenix, the team's strategy proved to be right on mark.

Cancellation of qualifying yesterday due to weather brought about some anxiety for today's race. Only having two tries to make it in, Hammonds concentrated on sticking to the strategy of making sure his front half track number coincide with his top end horsepower. Staying on task, he documented the fastest sixty-foot time (0.972 seconds) in the second qualifying round, running a time of 6.687 seconds (205.47 mph). For this run, softening the clutch to tone down tire spinning was accomplished to give a fast start, but as a compromise, they lost speed at the end of the track.

"We are excited to be racing tomorrow, but the sixty-foot time was just one small part of it," explains an elated Hammonds. "We did a good job getting to the sixty-foot mark, but I think everything down track suffered." Back half numbers were off due to Team Hammonds' tune-up and carburetor adjustments made as a result of the first qualifying run.

In the first qualifying run, Hammonds spun the tires a little too much in first gear, but the run was good overall. Team Hammonds first qualifying run resulted in placing 16th in the field with a time of 6.710 seconds (206.23 mph). The team came into qualifying today from testing on Wednesday at a track that gave excellent conditions which were thought to mimic the Phoenix track, but proved to overcompensate.

For elimination Sunday, matching front half numbers with the top end horsepower will remain key. The Chevy Cobalt is finally running the way Crew Chief Jerry Eckman and Hammonds wants. Changing set-ups in terms of tune-ups and carburetor adjustments, as well as getting more horsepower, will give them a good run, translating into a win.

"We feel optimistic about all the adjustments we will make for a good run and a win," says Eckman.

Being consulted by long time racer Rickie Smith, Hammonds will face the number three qualifying slot held by Warren Johnson tomorrow at the Firebird International Raceway.

-credit: thr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson , Tom Hammonds , Rickie Smith