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Thomas "Moose" Praytor

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Praytor Flexes Plate Muscle To Start 20th Season

With a new paint scheme and whole lot of attitude, Thomas “Moose” Praytor began his  20th Season of Racing at Daytona International Speedway in the Lucas Oil 200 presented by General Tire.

“Our car has been bad fast since the very first composite body test at Talladega last year and we’ve been waiting on February 10th,” said Praytor.

The DK-LOK Chevy quickly drew notice at Daytona with the return of the Moose’s “Black & Yellow” Paint scheme rolling through the garage. It got even more attention when it made its first laps in the draft.

“Practice confirmed what we felt like after testing and our Chevy would just go wherever I wanted to put it. We worked on a gear and a few other small items before putting the car cover on it and getting ready for qualifying.”

Group qualifying was supposed to a pretty straight forward affair until 6 drivers brought their own agendas to the table and let’s just say the Moose ended up on the short end of the buddy stick. “We get hosed every year, don’t even know why we make a plan it never works out.”

Praytor wasn’t the only veteran to find himself in the middle of the field, 8 time Daytona winner Bobby Gerhardt would line up right -behind him. “Having Mr. Bobby back there made me feel a little better but I really wanted to get up to the guy who hosed us in qualifying.”

With the drop of the green flag the Ironman of the ARCA Series didn’t show any rust as he quickly started drafting towards the front.

Praytor and Veteran Cup Spotter Tab Boyd are in their third season of working together and the duo were as smooth as peanut butter and jelly. “Having Tab on the roof really gives me a lot of confidence in gambling on tricky moves.”

Praytor and Gerhardt quickly made up 10 or 12 spaces when the first caution flag of the day flew. Things were about to get interesting.

The caution was for teammate Ronnie Osmer’s Ford that had gone up in smoke off of turn 4. While the leaders including Praytor lined up to come to pit road for fuel bad stuff was happening in Praytor’s pit box.

Osmer brought his car to rest in his stall, which was one behind Praytors. The team started to push Osmer’s car to the garage when an official stopped them in Praytor’s pits, leaving the Moose nowhere to go.

While the elder Praytor argued with the officials the team pushed Osmer back into his stall, allowing Praytor to back up into his stall and other cars along pit road to do the same. Since the Moose wasn’t in his stall the domino effect hit everyone at the beginning of pit road. “It was just a cluster, I could hear my Dad through my earpieces and over the motor yelling at the officials.”

When Praytor returned to the racing surface all of the gains he had made were wiped out and then some. The effect was like waving a red cape in front of a mad bull or in this case a mad Moose.


Back under green Praytor was a man on a mission led by his eye in the sky, Tab Boyd. Praytor was picking off competitors in wholesale fashion, he even found his way up to the driver who hosed him in qualifying. The radio conversation went like this-“Did you just tell him he was number 1?” “Yep with both hands while I was driving with my knees.”

Within 10 laps Praytor had gained back all the ground he lost and was on the back bumper of Bobby Gerhardt.

“That section of green flag racing was a lot of fun. Our DK-LOK Chevy was getting big runs and we were able to move lane to lane. Tab was calling out positions 2 or 3 ahead of me we were gaining positions so quickly.”

With so much success picking up spots, a mid-race caution let Praytor come back to pit road to top off and ensure himself enough fuel to go the distance and into overtime, little did he know.

With the laps winding down the level of intensity was picking up with give and take turning into take only. Praytor seemed to be at the epicenter of every big wreck leading to the finish.

The first big one happened in turn 2 with the Moose sweeping to the outside to use a hole that closed behind him, collecting more cars.

On the first final lap a car ended up on his side sliding down the backstretch. Praytor dove low launching his DK-LOK Chevy in the air over the grass somehow landing on all fours and still pointed straight.

Fox Sports Video:

Praytor was now 5th with an overtime lap to settle it.

The top four cars had been pushing and shoving on each other for a while so a single lap was probably a good time for them to really lean on each other. Praytor dropped a couple of car lengths back on the restart and going into turn 3 the leaders did just what he expected and they started wrecking. “It played out perfectly for us and we got hammered from behind.”

Fox Sports Video:

The melee set up another single lap for the finish.

Praytor’s once shiny new car was now a mangled mess but all it needed to go was 1 more lap. The Moose got a push to pit road and the taping, pulling and shoving started. Several times through the Moose returned for the final lap. A final lap that didn’t go as planned.

On his way to take the green flag, Praytor’s Chevy must have had some body parts still hanging loose and a piece get into the right front tire, blowing the tire and taking out the right front fender. Instead of making a charge to the end Praytor limped home to a 14th place finish.

“Really a great effort for our race team, it’s a shame it didn’t work out all the way to the end but we had a bad ass race car, we were in the hunt with all weekend. Can’t say enough about Tab (Boyd) making calls from the roof, what a great job in helping me get around. Way too many people to thank for getting this car ready and here to Daytona, our guys back in Mobile, Bruce Shakespeare who dropped in from Iowa and our UNOH kids did a nice job in their first outing. I wish Ronnie (Osmer) had been able to make all the laps but I’m glad he is OK, that’s pretty wild. We can’t go fast without all of our marketing partners, DK-LOK along with AQUASALT and Wade Distributing really stepped up for Daytona. We’ll get her fixed back home and be ready to be back home in Alabama at Talladega.”

Watch Thomas Praytor and Randy Patrick Saturday night on WKRG TV 5 Special "Countdown to Daytona" at 6:30 CST.


Osmer’s Debut Cut Short by Errant Pipe Through Motor Then Car

At Daytona International Speedway competitors and their crews prepare for the unexpected, almost anything can happen and when you think you’ve seen it all, Scotts Rookie of the Year Challenger Ronnie Osmer adds a new one.

Osmer rolled his Hub International/Supreme Ford-Slidell Fusion on to high banks of Daytona for his first Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire looking for a solid day and making all 200 miles.

“The first few laps at Daytona are always hectic and Ronnie did a really good job navigating traffic and doing what he needed to do,” offered spotter David Pepper. “It looks easy on TV but you can get in trouble really quick going this fast.”

The Green flag signaled the beginning of the 55th running of the ARCA Series at Daytona and Osmer quickly brought his HUB/Supreme Ford-Slidell to life.

“Lots of nerves leading up to the race but getting in the car and taking the green flag really got me focused on my job and let me shut out everything going on around me” said Osmer.

Osmer’s Ford circled the World Center of Speed at a pace close to 180 MPH and the Scotts Rookie was having a text book first start at Daytona.

“Having the experience of David Pepper spotting for me, giving me great info really helped me work the draft and the other cars around me.”

Osmer was settling into the demands and G Forces of the draft when just past the ¼ way mark things started to go bad, really bad.

“I could smell the motor going bad but my gauges all looked good then a big ball of smoke came out from under the hood.”

Osmer quickly put his wounded HUB/Supreme Ford down on the apron and made his way to pit road. The team pushed his lifeless machine back to the garage while the driver made the mandatory trip to the infield care center.

Back in the garage, the team searched for the issue with the motor and found a foot and a half piece of bumper bar in the trunk. The bar had come off another car, going through the front of Osmer’s Ford taking out oil and water lines on the motor before blowing a hole in the crush panel of the trunk and landing in the rear of the Ford.

“It doesn’t get much crazier than that,” said Osmer. “I just knew the motor had gone south but it’s hard to keep one going with a pipe beating on it at 180 MPH.”

Osmer’s day was shorter than hoped for but the experience-“It’s just hard to put in to words getting an opportunity to race at Daytona. So many people helped make this possible, HUB International, Supreme Ford Slidell and our tire sponsors; Roberts Tech, J Wire, Arata & Arata, Larry Trumbaturi House Plans and Ride to Give.”

“We created some amazing partnerships to make Daytona happen and we hope it’s the first of more to come. I’m definitely hooked!”


Did You Hear the One About the Hindu and the Rednecks?

The title sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but in fact it is the story of how Pawan Vittal made it 8,565 miles from Mysore, Karnataka, India to UNOH to working for an ARCA team based out of Mobile, Alabama.

Vittal is part of the UNOH High Performance Team that sends interns to race teams from Dirt to NASCAR. In 2017 he was assigned to Max Force Racing with 6 other UNOH students to work for Thomas and Tommy Praytor.

In India, the Vittal family is very successful in many fields of endeavor but Pawan has the racing bug that includes being a navigator for a road rally team back home.

“I am definitely the black sheep of the family,” said Vittal. “The rest of my family is so successful and all I want to do is race.”

From India to the biggest racing stage in the world Vittal was dropped off in the deep end with the Praytor’s at Daytona.

“I asked Pawan what his name was 3 times before I asked the rest of the group what did they call him,” laughs Tommy Praytor. “Finally somebody said we call him Pete.”

Prior to Daytona “Pete” had never been anywhere in the United States other than Lima, Ohio. Since Daytona Vittal has made stops in Talladega, Nashville, Salem and Toledo and will soon be in Elko Minnesota. By the end of the season he will have seen more of America than most Americans.

“It has been fun seeing the US, there are so many unique places,” offered Vittal.

Needless to say pairing a devout Hindu with a team from Alabama, created some cultural differences.

“First thing we found out was Pawan was a vegetarian. The only vegetarians in Alabama are rabbits. For a team that survives on Hamburgers and Monroe Sausage my Mom had to adjust her cooking plan quickly,” said Thomas Praytor.

After a couple of races the team understood Pete enough to know his name was Pawan and even Tommy has gotten into the closing the cultural divide. “Each morning I greet Pawan with the traditional Hindu greeting, Namaste while bowing and clasping my hands together. Pawan will shake my hand with an American, Good Morning.”

While not exactly détente having Vittal on the team has been a learning experience for everyone. 

Julie Praytor, “Pawan is so kind and considerate, he’s really been a big help and a lot of fun to have on our team.”

In the midst of the cultural divide and a language barrier that is rapidly disappearing (neither side is certain whether Pawan’s English is better or they can just understand him) Pawan and his UNOH teammates have gelled into a cohesive unit that’s pushed Thomas Praytor back into the top 10 of the ARCA Series standings.

“At the end of the day we don’t care if you’re from India, Michigan, Maine or Alabama we have a race team to run and everyone has to do their job,” offered Tommy. “In just 5 races Pawan is doing a great job of fitting in and working hard with the rest of our guys.”

Elko Speedway is the smallest track on the tour and the team will have its most challenging pit stop during the Shore Lunch 250 on June 3rd.

Reflecting on his first 5 races Vittal offered these thoughts, “This has been a great experience for me, the Praytor’s welcomed me as part of their family. That means I get yelled at like everyone else by the Boss but I’m also learning a lot about racing and rednecks.”

Racing with Rednecks and a Hindu.

Mullins & Praytor: Low Budget Fast Competition
Speed Sport News, By: Adam Fenwick


FREDRICSBURG, Va. — When Thomas Praytor and Willie Mullins teamed up as drafting partners during the General Tire 200 at Talladega (Ala) Superspeedway on May 6, it was actually just the latest collaboration between the pair of low-budget racers.

Praytor and Mullins have been helping each other since 2015 when Mullins Racing fielded a car for J.J. Pack in the season opening event at Daytona Int’l Speedway. Praytor let Mullins enter the car with Praytor’s 2014 ARCA Racing Series owner points, which allowed Pack to make the race via provisional.

“Coming up to Daytona we didn’t have a number with any kind of points,” Mullins recalled. “Our crew chief Andy Belmont put us together with Thomas Praytor and we got their points from the previous year. Inevitably that is what got J.J. Pack into the show that first year. By using their points we were able to get that 40th-place starting position at Daytona in 2015.”

Praytor, a veteran racer who has 89 ARCA starts under his belt, said the friendship with Mullins grew quickly following that weekend at Daytona in 2015.

“Ever since then we both realized we were small teams and we needed to help each other because that is how racing is these days,” Praytor said. “Now we’re three or four years down the road and we’re still good friends.”

Since then Praytor and Mullins have helped each other out many times. In fact, Praytor once let Mullins borrow a sway bar from him for more than nine months. Mullins eventually returned it, but not without a bit of harmless ribbing from Praytor.

“He came walking in the trailer at the end of last year with that sway bar and I said, ‘Oh…the infamous sway bar,’” Praytor recalled between laughs. “There it was coming back in to my possession.”

As a show of support, and admittedly a bit of a joke, Praytor even wore one of Mullins’ T-shirts under his driving suit during the General Tire 200. Mullins admitted when he saw Praytor before the race wearing his shirt, he couldn’t help but smile.

“The story behind that is it started off with my girlfriend giving his girlfriend a T-shirt just because of some friendly kidding back and forth,” Mullins explained. “Well when we were getting ready to get in the cars he came up to me and said, ‘Oh, by the way…’ and it was just too funny.

“It actually made my day that someone would go out of their way to make me laugh and it made us feel good and appreciated a little bit. After the race I wanted to make sure I got a picture with him.”

Praytor said that picture, taken by Mullins’ fiancee Dinah Thompson, is much more than just two racers having a good laugh. It’s a pair of friends and competitors who have each other’s back.

“When I showed him that I was wearing it and saw the look on his face, I said I guess this does mean a little something,” Praytor said. “All I’m sure anybody see’s is me wearing a shirt that says ‘Big Willie Style’ on it and another racer standing next to me. Really nobody knows the meaning of that picture or what is going on, but it is kind of cool to have our own little meaning to the picture.

“Of course it turned out it was the best we’d done at Talladega in quite awhile, so I’ll be sure to wear that thing next time out. I’ll have to dig it out of the dirty clothes and wear it at Toledo in a couple of weeks,” Praytor said with a laugh.

Both Mullins and Praytor say that its important for the small teams, like Mullins Racing and Praytor’s Max Force Racing, to work together to combat the bigger teams like Venturini Motorsports and Cunningham Motorsports.

“We don’t do this every weekend, so if we’re missing something on pit road and we don’t have time to go back, those guys are the ones that are there to help us,” Mullins said. “At Daytona we needed help on pit road and we went down to the Praytor’s and those guys were more than happy to help. They sent a person down to help us because we were having trouble getting the window net up. They saved our qualifying position at Daytona when that happened.

“It’s important that all us little guys band together to try and make a little bit bigger of a team to put on a better show for ARCA.”

Praytor echoed Mullins’ thoughts, saying that people like Mullins are exactly what the phrase “racing family” represents.

“These big, fully funded teams have got every kind of resource you could possibly think of to get whatever they need,” Praytor said. “I could think of several occasions where Willie has come down to me or I have gone down to Willie looking for a certain piece that I didn’t have but he had or vice versa.

“It just shows how big the racing family is. Willie can walk down to me and take two or three drawers in my toolbox just because he needed it and I wouldn’t think twice about it. That’s just what we’ve got to do to make it.

“At the end of the day, it’s crazy that a couple of small town guys that don’t have a lot of money are getting to compete with the big guys in the ARCA Racing Series at Daytona and Talladega.”

LINK to story:

Picture Dinah Thompson                                                                                                               

Sponsor-GoodBookey Featured in Forbes

GoodBookey America’s online charitable gaming site and sponsor of the Thomas “Moose” Praytor’s ARCA car is featured in Forbes. Follow link below for full article:

Watch GoodBookey President Tony Pease and Operations Officer Sarah Deasy give a short presentation on GoodBookey using their involvement with racing as part of their presentation.

“Congratulations to the entire GoodBookey team on being recognized by Forbes. We had a lot of fun with GoodBookey and The Chive Charites on the car in Kentucky and Kansas,” said Praytor. “They are making a difference in a fun way that everyone can be involved with. I’m taking all bets against the Patriots, download the app and put your money up!”


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This site and our team are dedicated to winning and having fun.  Each week during the season we will update this site with a report of racing action from the previous week.  We will also be posting pictures of the team and scenes from the track.  Originally this site was designed for Tommy Praytor and his Fat Boy Racing team.  Over the last few years Tommy's son Thomas has been making a mark on the racing scene and  Thomas's or Thomoose's   racing has been added to our site.  On June 4th, 2001 the Praytor family lost their third child, Max.  In 2002 we changed the name of our combined racing efforts to Max Force Racing in his memory. 

This page was last updated on 02/15/18.