Tom Martino Chicage Preview

MARTINO AND CENTURY 21( CREW EXCITED BY THEIR CHANCES IN CHICAGO CENTURY 21( Racing Team looks to use their runner-up finish in New Jersey as a springboard for the Fram Route 66 Nationals Parsippany, New Jersey, June 1, 1999 - In addition to the...

MARTINO AND CENTURY 21( CREW EXCITED BY THEIR CHANCES IN CHICAGO CENTURY 21( Racing Team looks to use their runner-up finish in New Jersey as a springboard for the Fram Route 66 Nationals

Parsippany, New Jersey, June 1, 1999 - In addition to the accolades and financial rewards of a runner-up finish, a racing team takes home at least one additional benefit from that performance: extra confidence. Any time a participant has a strong showing at a particular race, their self-assurance is bolstered for the next one. Having shown the ability to succeed to themselves and their rivals, fuel is added to the crew's competitive fire. Coming off their strong run in New Jersey, Tom Martino and the CENTURY 21( Racing team head into this weekend's Fram Route 66 Nationals poised to not only repeat that performance, but improve on it.

"Running as well as we did in Englishtown was a real shot in arm for the entire CENTURY 21( Racing team," stated Martino. "The progress we showed there was our reward for countless hours of working on our Firebird to make it run the way we want it to. We're not quite there yet, but we're getting closer."

But the Martino crew knows it takes more than strong sentiment to run well in the NHRA's Pro Stock division. At this weekend's event just outside Chicago, last week's results will be of little consequence to the nearly forty entrants battling for a spot on Sunday's eliminations ladder. As always, it will be a challenge to adjust the racecar to the conditions. This will be only the second time the NHRA's best visit the outstanding Route 66 Raceway, so precious few notes exist on the racing surface, which should have improved after a year's usage. If the results from this season's first eight races hold true, teams should be prepared to better the previous year's marks.

As a result, Tom Martino will leave little to chance. Within hours of his final pass in Englishtown, he was back at the team's shop removing their primary race motor in order to start rebuilding it. In addition, the racecar and transporter were thoroughly gone over, as this event marks the first of consecutive weekends of competition. There will be no time to return to New Jersey, so every contingency must be thought of and planned for before leaving for Chicago. While most of the country relaxed around a pool or enjoyed a barbecue on Memorial Day, crew member Rick Triana and the CENTURY 21( Racing Team truck left for the Midwest, while Martino and crew chief Tom Kling put in long hours on the dynamometer. Having come so close to victory in their last attempt, this close-knit crew wants to make sure to maintain that positive momentum in Illinois.

"Our goals for the Joliet event are the same as they've been all year," detailed Martino. "We want to make each pass down the track a productive one. First, we want to qualify in the top half of the field, ensuring lane choice for the first round of eliminations. Once we are solidly in, we can then turn our attention to Sunday and winning rounds.

I know this team feels a lot more confident heading into the Fram Route 66 Nationals than we have at any other race all season, but we're not going to get ahead of ourselves. If we are able to stick to our game plan, we will put our CENTURY 21( Pro Stock Firebird in a position to win, which is our top priority. We got a glimpse of the winner's circle in New Jersey. I don't think we will be denied the next time, which will hopefully be this weekend."

MARTINO MOMENTS: Tom Martino will be making a personal appearance at the Charlestown Mall in St. Charles, Illinois on Thursday, June 3 from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. For directions, please call (630) 513-1120.... This will be Tom's second Pro Stock appearance at Route 66 Raceway ..... Tom qualified 7th for last year's inaugural event and advanced to the quarter-finals.

Fast Facts

WHAT: 92nd annual Fram Route 66 Nationals, the ninth event on the 22-race 1999 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series Schedule.

WHEN: June 3 - 6, 1999

WHERE: Route 66 Raceway, Joliet, Illinois

SCHEDULE: Professional qualifying sessions start on Friday, June 4 with two sessions at 2:45 and 6:45 p.m., and conclude on Saturday, June 5 with two rounds at 11:00 a.m. and 5:35 p.m. Final eliminations begin at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 6.

TV:9ESPN2 will air two hours of same-day final-round coverage from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 6. In addition, ESPN2 will two hours of qualifying highlights on Saturday, June 5 from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. (All times are Eastern). As always, please check your local listings.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Martino