Topeka: Century 21 qualifying update

Tom Martino battled through qualifying at the NHRA Advance Auto Parts Nationals. Working furiously on his Century 21 Firebird after every run, he improved on his previous effort on three of his four attempts. On his final run, he recorded his...

Tom Martino battled through qualifying at the NHRA Advance Auto Parts Nationals. Working furiously on his Century 21 Firebird after every run, he improved on his previous effort on three of his four attempts. On his final run, he recorded his best elapsed time of 6.999 seconds, with a top speed of 196.10 mph, which was the eighth quickest of the session. Unfortunately, it was not enough to place Martino among the top sixteen necessary to qualify, falling short by a mere twelve thousandths of a second. "This class has gotten so competitive that you need to make a good run every time out. Right now, our performance level has slipped a bit, giving us no room for error. As a result, if we don't nail the set-up during the good session, we're going to run into the problems we had here. Today was a perfect example. Our last run was our best of the weekend, both car-wise and time-wise. Unfortunately, it came at the wrong time. If we had that run in this morning session, we'd be racing tomorrow. But we didn't.

"It's very hard to race that way, and we know we have to get better. We're going to head over to St. Louis to test for the next few days before Memphis. We are going to make as many runs as we need to, so we can head to the next race confident that our Century 21 Firebird will react in a predictable manner, so we can be both consistent and competitive."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tom Martino