Bradford Finishes Season in the Finals Tom Bradford parlayed a 16th qualifying spot into his first final round appearance at the final NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle race of the year at Pomona, California. Raceday for Bradford started with a redlight...
Bradford Finishes Season in the Finals
Tom Bradford parlayed a 16th qualifying spot into his first final round appearance at the final NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle race of the year at Pomona, California. Raceday for Bradford started with a redlight win over Andrew Hines, who then had to sweat it out until the second round before winning the championship when contender Antron Brown's bid failed.
Tom's racing luck continued in the second round when the Balbayis Asset Consulting/Hal's Speedshop Buell bogged badly but advanced when Geno Scali redlit in the other lane. "It nearly quit and threw me over the front of the bike it bogged so bad," said Tom, and that bog would haunt the team later.
A holeshot win over Matt Guidera in the semi continued the team's good fortune. "Matt had a really fast motorcycle, but we came out on top with a slower run," said Tom.
Tom's run ended in the final when the Buell slowed against Craig Treble. "The motor tightened up on us," reported Bradford. "It was the left hand bearing. Normally it's a routine replacement after X number of runs. We certainly didn't have that many runs on it, but we kind of abused it today in the second round and it tightened up on us and lost power.
"It was an awesome weekend, but it was anything but smooth. We had a few breaks go our way out on the racetrack but we sure didn't get any breaks in the pits. We struggled all day with the clutch tune-up as the track changed. We were warming the bike up for the final round and the battery took a dump on us. Then we had the motor problem that wouldn't let us run with Treble.
"There was definitely a chance that we wouldn't finish in the top 10 in points. We were the last pair out in round 1 and I saw G.T. Tonglet go to the next round and Guidera go to the next round. And those were the guys that really concerned us in points." As it turned out, Bradford advanced a spot to 8th.
"It's been an awesome year. We're all really relishing it and taking it all in. For a first year team to accomplish what we did is great. We're just really, really proud. I want to thank my wife and kids for putting up with me, thank all the sponsors, thank Jim Schneider and Rob Schopf, Bernie Cohen, Bob Loh, and my dad Brad.
"Now we'll take a look at some of our mistakes and come out next year with loaded guns." Bradford races next at the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, March 15-18, 2007.