Reading Hammonds interview (Pro Stock)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 NBA FORWARD HAMMONDS RETURNS TO SITE OF PRO STOCK TURNING POINT MOHNTON, Pa. -- As Tom Hammonds' Oldsmobile rolled on its roof and smacked a retaining wall during an...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 NBA FORWARD HAMMONDS RETURNS TO SITE OF PRO STOCK TURNING POINT MOHNTON, Pa. -- As Tom Hammonds' Oldsmobile rolled on its roof and smacked a retaining wall during an accident last September at Maple Grove Raceway, it also appeared that his fledgling NHRA Pro Stock career might come to a crashing halt. Hammonds, a 6-foot-9 power forward with the Denver Nuggets, was unhurt in the accident during the Pioneer Electronics Keystone Nationals. But many figured that dose of racing reality would keep Hammonds off the dragstrip for keeps, ending his dream of racing full-time when his NBA career is over. Wrong. "A lot of people thought we wouldn't be back," Hammonds said. "We came back, and we came back with a bang. We came back, ran well and showed people what we could really do." Hammonds, from Crestview, Fla., returned to NHRA competition for a second season this May, after the Nuggets' season ended. He'll return to Maple Grove for his last race before training camp, the 13th annual, $1,562,150 Pioneer Electronics Keystone Nationals, Sept. 11-14. The race is the 17th event of the 22-event, $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997. While Hammonds has failed to qualify in all nine events he has entered this summer, he and his young team continue to improve. Hammonds has missed the 16-car field by one spot three times in the Winnebago Oldsmobile Cutlass, coming within two-thousandths of a second of qualifying at the Northwest Nationals in early August at Seattle. "It's taken a lot of hard work, a lot more work than I anticipated," Hammonds said. "That's something I'm used to. I'm used to going out and working hard for everything that I've got. This is just going to be the same thing. I'm looking forward to that challenge."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Hammonds