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Thomas "Moose" Praytor

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Latest News
 

Praytor Records Best 2017 Short Track Finish 10,000 Miles

The long 5 race road tour including Ohio, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin came to an end Friday night in the Montgomery Ward 200 at Madison International Speedway. Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his Mobile, Alabama team logged over 10,000 miles over the last 5 races saving the best finish for last.

The last couple of weeks the team failed to take full advantage of good race cars leaving spots and points on the table for competitors to take advantage of. With Madison so similar to Mobile, the Moose and the team were loaded for Badger in Wisconsin.

Over the last few races our DK-LOK Fords have been undergoing big changes under the chassis. While our results haven’t shown the gains, the stop watch has.

“We really have taken everything we thought we knew about set ups at each track and drastically changed them to get the right feel in the race car. If you had told me 5 weeks ago we would be where we are today I would have said no way. But starting with Toledo it’s really made a big difference.”

Off the trailer the Moose was quicker at Madison than in 2016. The team improved the driveability, put in some adjustability for when the sun went down and Praytor qualified 14th, the best of this 5 race road trip.

With a field full of Ilmors in front of the Mobile driver, Praytor new patience and conservation would be the key to a good night. The second issue was the crew.

With wedding, family obligations and Spring Break our all UNOH pit crew was light 4 guys headed in to the weekend. This seems to hit at Madison every year.

Like last year the team reached out for help and soon found it with Dick Doheny. Dick or as we call him “Bubba” drove for us some last year and is a great mechanic at the race track. Plus by the time we got to the weekend the 10 car had lost it’s driver and Doheny was then called in as a substitute.

Super Sub Bubba would start the race for the 10, make a few laps and then come gas the 9 for Praytor. Much in the same way Josh Reeves did for us last year. We then stole, excuse me borrowed the rest of the 10 car guys and we had a full team.

With the drop of the green flag the Moose did his job in the DK-LOK Ford and kept pace while conserving tires and brakes. The field would come for tires at lap 74 but Praytor was kept out trying to stretch tire wear and it bit the Moose.

Off sequence the leaders and everyone else was hauling the mail putting Praytor down a lap that was soon recovered with the lucky dog. Under caution many laps later Praytor was able to take tires and get moving again.

In the midst of all the old tire issues, Mike Basham who had an engine problem in practice came to life with new tires and quickly put Praytor in his rear view mirror.

Praytor took tires, Basham to the back. Basham took tires, Praytor to the back. This went on until 20 to go when Praytor had a final set to change while Basham’s were gone, advantage and spot to Praytor.

“Mike and I had a lot of fun racing each other tonight. I don’t know how many times we passed each other but it is always fun racing with someone you can trust.”

The DK-LOK Ford rolled home unharmed and 13th, the best of the 5 race road trip.

“You wouldn’t think 13th would be all that satisfying but we got all the spots we could get tonight, that’s something we haven’t done the last few races. Want to thank Dick and all of our part time crew for helping out, they did and awesome job. I think with what we’ve learned we’ve decided to take Betty to Iowa in 2 weeks. Really looking forward to being back home for more than a couple of days.”

The team has a weekend off before the Fans With Benefits 150 at Iowa Speedway on July 8th.

 

 

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

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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: https://speedsport.com/stock-cars/arca-stock-cars/praytor-mullins-low-budget-competition/

Picture Dinah Thompson                                                                                                               

 

Praytor Escapes Toledo with 14th

Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his Mobile, Alabama based team have seen good and bad runs at the ARCA Series home track in Toledo, Ohio, with a stacked field of cars Praytor and his DK-LOK team knew they would have their hands full.

Weather once again dominated the weekend with teams dodging rain in route to the Speedway and once on the ground in Toledo.

The first lap of practice was an indicator of what kind of weekend the DK-LOK Ford had ahead when a fellow competitor hit the Moose in the driver’s side door ripping the front fender off the Ford.

“There is always a big field of bad ass cars at Toledo and you know it’s going to get physical but dang, we hadn’t even made lap.”

The damage to the DK-LOK Ford was minimal but the tone was set for the weekend.

Later in practice Praytor was behind the 80 of Brian Finney when he suddenly slowed on the race track. Initially Praytor checked up then went around the wounded Finney machine to see it was on fire.

“Hated to see that happen to the Finney’s. They are a great racing family and have been great friends and competitors. Glad Brian is OK and I hope they get back to the track really soon.”

With the most eventful practice of the year in the rear view mirror Praytor and his team got ready for qualifying. Mother nature took over washing out the rest of the afternoon, the field would roll off by practice times, the DK-LOK Ford 21st.

Race day in Toledo is big even when the weather is not cooperating and a big crowd showed up for autographs before the race.

“As one of the guys that’s been around the longest now it’s fun seeing the some of the same people at certain tracks that are following you all year long.”

Rain pushed the start of the Menards 200 back an hour a so but the wait was worth it as  the ARCA drivers put on a a 2 wide, 3 wide and even 4 wide thrill show for the next 2 hours.

With the drop of the green everyone was grabbing for all they could get with no one expecting the race to make 200 laps. The Moose picked up 4 spots on the track and stayed in a spirited battle for more until the first caution on lap 45.

Smart money had rain moving back in before 200 laps and the front runners took tires thinking they were racing to lap 100. Praytor stayed out.

“We felt like our best shot was to hang on until around 50 to go and catch the leaders with old tires.”

Under green Praytor was working hard to stay on or near the lead lap holding each position, looking for cautions to save his tires.

“I knew I was supposed to be saving tires but these guys were racing hard and we got in there and mixed it up having a blast.”

Mixing it up was an understatement with Praytor spending the bulk of the race side by side and at points 3 wide or even 4 wide.

In order for the teams tire strategy to work timing was the key. You wanted tires soon enough to keep from going a lap down and late enough to be effective against the top 10.

“We missed out tire window by 1 caution and we stayed green too long costing us a lap and keeping us from getting to mix it up with the top 10.”

After a wild 200 laps Praytor brought the DK-LOK Ford home 14th, a little battered and bruised but it will be ready for Elko in 2 weeks.

“We had a shot at a little better finish today it just didn’t work out. Solid day for our race team, especially considering my track record at Toledo. Crazy racing on the track it’s been that way all year and it will get even wilder at Elko.”

Team has a week off before heading to Elko Speedway in Minnesota for the Shore Lunch 250.

Picture Top: Moose racing hard with 8 time Daytona Champion Bobby Gerhardt, the duo are clearing a 3 wide move going in to turn one.

 

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:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthunckler/2017/01/19/like-betting-on-sports-this-app-turns-lost-bets-into-charitable-donations/#2b79519b5d52

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.

https://youtu.be/o4p-Wx8GUlw

“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!”

 

ARCA Get to Know Thomas Praytor

In 2016 ARCA has been producing a series of “Get To Know” video segments with some of the top drivers in the Series. Unfortunately, they sent the newest addition to the ARCA PR team Katie Wernke to interview Thomas “Moose” Praytor. The actual interview was over 30 minutes long but Katie was only able to salvage about 3 minutes to use for this segment. You get a sense in the first 10 seconds that this interview is already off the tracks, Thomas picked inside the safer barrier at Pocono for the location. If you were ever wondering if race car drivers were let’s say different, well here is your answer.

http://www.arcaracing.com/videos/2028940


 

Lets Talk Racing!
 

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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 06/26/17.