Tom Martino's day ended sooner than he expected at the inaugural NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals. Without the benefit of lane choice, Martino knew as he staged for his first round encounter with Richie Stevens that he would have to have an ...
Tom Martino's day ended sooner than he expected at the inaugural NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals. Without the benefit of lane choice, Martino knew as he staged for his first round encounter with Richie Stevens that he would have to have an error-free run, and an excellent start if he was to have any chance of advancing. He was successful on one count, as the CENTURY 21( Pro Stock Firebird posted the quickest and fastest run on the less-preferred right side at 7.114 seconds and 195.25 mph. However, Martino's hopes for victory at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway were dashed back at the starting line, where a red light indicated he had left a fraction of a second too soon, automatically handing the win to his opponent.
"The left lane was definitely better than the right, but that had nothing to do with the outcome in our race. To be brutally honest, it was a case of driver error. Our CENTURY 21 Firebird made by far the best run in the right hand lane of anyone in the round. He (Stevens) outran us, but didn't have a very good light, so there is no reason why I shouldn't have been racing Warren Johnson in the second round."
Martino also took time to comment on the experience of racing at the newest stop on the NHRA Winston Drag Racing circuit.
"Despite the outcome, I really enjoyed our first trip to this Las Vegas track. The people were really friendly, packing the stands and staying in them through Pro Stock. I looked up there before I pulled into the water for the first round and it was mobbed. With the track being open for such a short period, the racing surface was excellent. It was as good as you could expect for a 130-degree track temperature and no rubber on it. Hopefully next year, the track will be even better, making it less tricky. I know I'm looking forward to coming back." ###