Hammonds misses field by one, but engine makes it in
Houston, Saturday: Tom Hammonds is quite disappointed with not making the field for elimination Sunday at the O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals at the Houston Raceway, but yet he is elated Kenny Koretsky, driver of Nitro Fish No. 107 Car, will compete tomorrow with an engine that is from the Tom Hammonds Enterprises, LLC engine program.
“We are still having some of the same problems that plagued us in the past, which we thought were solved,” said Hammonds, driver/owner of the No. 20 Chevy Cobalt. “We are going back to our baseline set-ups as far as the carburetor is concerned.”
Missing the field by one slot sitting in 17th place, the second run of the day was the deciding round. Hammonds had to beat the bump elapse time of 6.700 seconds to place in the qualifying field. He registered a hard 6.733 seconds (205.60 mph) due to the car’s inconsistent idle at the start line. Crew Chief Jerry Eckman questioned if he would even make the run.
“The car sounded really bad when he pulled up to the start line,” explains Eckman, “and I didn’t know if we were even going to make the run.”
As Hammonds staged at the line, the Chevy Cobalt’s idle sounded erratic. He first thought it was a possible needle and seat hung open in the carburetor was causing it to idle high, and then it started to feel as if it wanted to cut off. By the end of the run, he pinpointed the problem as being a possible float in the carburetor.
Earlier in the day Hammonds had a solid first round qualifying run (6.715 seconds (206.16)) which moved him up to the 17th spot.
“Overall, we ran things on the dyno that looked good and created horsepower, but you cannot run the dyno down the track. This is a disappointing weekend for us somewhat, with our team not being able to qualify, but I am happy that a part of our team through our engine program, which Koretsky is a participant, will be running tomorrow,” Hammonds concluded.
In the second run Hammonds faced Koretsky, whose Pontiac GXP runs with an engine built by Tom Hammonds Enterprises, LLC engine program and qualified 13th in the field.“Obviously, thanks to Tom we have a good motor with good horsepower. We had the fifth quickest car in the session. I wish Tom would have gotten in,” said Koretsky.
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