Hammonds finds reasons for optimism despite disappointment in Topeka. For the fourth consecutive race, inclement weather reduced the number of qualifying sessions at an NHRA national event. However, after unseasonably cold temperatures and an...
Hammonds finds reasons for optimism despite disappointment in Topeka.
For the fourth consecutive race, inclement weather reduced the number of qualifying sessions at an NHRA national event. However, after unseasonably cold temperatures and an incessant drizzle on Friday eliminated one attempt, competitors at this weekend's O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals were finally able to take to the track on Saturday under clear and sunny skies.
However, the sudden atmospheric changes essentially reduced the qualifying opportunities for the normally aspirated Pro Stock field to one session, as rising track temperatures would severely limit performance in the final time trial. The result was a tightly packed field, with the first twenty-three contestants covered by a mere five-hundredths of a second.
Tom Hammonds and the Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care Racing Team were able to record some of their best runs in recent weeks at Heartland Park Topeka, with their Cavalier improving its performance each time down the track. Unfortunately, their best effort of 6.898 seconds and 200.38 mph, which came in the heat of Saturday afternoon, was not enough to secure a position in Sunday's final elimination field. Even so, their performance was enough to have both driver and crew looking forward to next weekend's race in Chicago.
"Naturally, we're disappointed by today's results, but I think we're finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. For the first time in several weeks, we made what we would consider good runs with our Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care Cavalier.
"The track was a little too cold and slick on Friday night, but we came back and had two solid passes today. In fact, if we had kept the same gear ratio in the car for that last run, I'm pretty confident we could have qualified. But we had made some adjustments to compensate for the track being hot and slick, and the car bogged a bit early, which cost us. Still, the car responded today much like it had at the start of the year.
"We can't wait for next week's race in Chicago. The last few races have been very frustrating, and we're anxious to get our Winnebago/GM Vehicle Care Cavalier back on a winning track. Starting with the first session on Friday we're looking to qualify well, go rounds and put ourselves in a position to win."