firstname.lastname@example.org With NBA Playoffs Over, Tom Hammonds Focuses on NHRA Pro Stock Racing in Camaro Z28 NEW YORK; May 12, 1998 -- Tom Hammonds, power forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves' basketball team, on one hand is ...
With NBA Playoffs Over, Tom Hammonds Focuses on NHRA Pro Stock Racing in Camaro Z28
NEW YORK; May 12, 1998 -- Tom Hammonds, power forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves' basketball team, on one hand is disappointed that his team was defeated by the Seattle Supersonics in the fifth game of the NBA playoffs; but, on the other hand, he says he now has the time to focus his attention on his other love: NHRA Drag Racing and his new Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Pro Stock race car. Hammonds, a drag racer in his spare time for the last nine years, is eager to begin his 1998 racing season in his Winnebago Motor Homes/Mac Tools/Kendall Oil Camaro Z28, with additional backing from American Racing Wheels. His original schedule listed the Nationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway in Englishtown, N.J., this weekend as his first event following the end of his NBA season, but Hammonds will now debut his Chevy Camaro at the Fram Route 66 Nationals in Joliet, Ill., on May 28-31. "I'm really disappointed that we're not ready to race in Englishtown this weekend," says Hammonds, 31, of Crestview, Fla. "But getting your equipment ready for drag racing is not like playing basketball. Drag racing is so equipment-intensive. There are so many parts involved in building a race car, from engine parts to fiberglass pieces for the body. Then you have to adapt the body to the chassis, and so on. It's very time consuming, and we just ran out of time. We do have a week's or so worth of work left, we'll do some testing at Gateway International Raceway outside of St. Louis, then we'll head to Joliet. After that we'll hit the General Motors wind tunnel and we'll be off and running." Whether he'll campaign all the remaining 13 events of the 22 scheduled after Joliet, is up in the air. "I am a free agent right now. I'm going to see how negotiations go with my new basketball contract. If things don't go the way I expect them to go I can run the full season and then some. I plan to make drag racing my career. I am eager to get out there and prove to a lot of people that we have one of the quickest Chevy Camaros in the country." In NHRA Pro Stock competition, qualifying in the top 16 in fields that sometimes exceed 40 cars is often a daunting task. "My goal is to qualify at every race," comments Hammonds. "That might be a lofty goal, but I think we have a good team, we have the components, a good Camaro body, a good engine program. Then I want to win. I want to crawl before I walk. I want to take it easy and not put too much pressure on myself. I think this Camaro body definitely has an aerodynamic edge over the competition. But that's my personal opinion, maybe I'm a little biased." Chevrolet is proud to support three teams in the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series' Pro Stock category: Kurt Johnson, the quickest and fastest Pro Stock Camaro Z28 driver in history, in the ACDelco Camaro; Larry Morgan, in the Raybestos Camaro; and Tom Hammonds. -end-