Tommy Praytor Photo's
Snowball Derby 2000-The last
race in Mobile was costly, the guys worked overtime taking out everything from the back of
the block through the rear end out of the car repaired or replaced it put it back and
changed the setup for Pensacola. Needless to say we were guessing as to what we had
and I guessed wrong for qualifying and it cost us. We qualified 32nd out of 64 which
was not enough to get us in the race so we had to go the qualifying race. We had a
good start and led briefly until we got together with another car and ripped the left side
off the car. The guys changed a tire pulled away some sheet metal and kept us on the lead
lap. We worked our way back in to the top 10 and got collected in another wreck.
We finished the race but we limped home with what was very good car. After
such a bad start I thought the weekend would be shot but it ended up being a fun weekend
with a lot of great racing.
11-25-00 Mobile World 200-During the 2 weeks off the guys worked hard and changed a lot of the car over to the new rules for 2001. Of course we had to work hard at the track chasing the set up. I qualified bad which is a common theme for me and they kept working with the set up and we hit on one that worked. We had a good run up in the top 5 and blew a tire which had us settle for a 8th place finish.
9-30-00 We showed up at the
big 75 Lap Race with some lofty expectations after the last race. We made some
changes to the car at the shop trying to make it even better. Unfortunately, after
the second practice we realized I made the wrong call on the change. Ward and Thomas
went back to work changing it back after we qualified and had a pretty good car back
underneath us. My wife Julie and daughter Hayley made a rare trip to the track, we
even talked Julie into scoring for me. Of course, I had an ulterior motive, the last
time Julie came to the track we won but even all that couldn't help our sorry driver to
the front this week. We started 16th and cruised along until a spin avoiding a wreck
sent us to the back. We worked our way back to the front and I spun the car again
getting us another trip to the back. Ward made some great calls spotting and we
worked our way back into the top 10 with a 9th place finish.
9-9-00 After being rained out last week and having made huge changes to the car we were ready to test out our new set up. Our car responded right off the bat and we knew we were headed in the right direction. We qualified 11th made more changes and worked our way up to 2nd in the heat race before the car slipped out from underneath me on the last lap and we lost a few spots. We made some more changes and the race started with a long green strecth and we worked our way up to 7th. We had a short green flag stint to end the race and we finished 7th on the night. Our car has undergone some massive changes in the last couple races and we are close to having a really good car, if we could only find a driver we would have the total package.
8-11-00 Friday night we rolled out the new GTE to ALLTEL hood and drew a great starting spot with a racey race car. I got hung out on the start lost a couple of spots and then started to work our way back up when the right front started to vibrate. the longer we race the worse it got and made the car really hard to drive. We poked it around and limped home a 10th place finish. After the race we found we had burnt up the right front wheel bearing and I guess we were lucky not to be in a wall. that would only be the beginning of our weird lucky streak for the weekend.
8-13-00 We fixed the right front and made major changes to the spring package in the car for Mobile. As usual I went too far with the changes and we were struggling. I missed the black fag race by spinning the car out in qualifying, "I ran out of talent before I ran out of courage". We made more changes to the car and started at the back of the heat race. We worked our way up to 3rd and then the fun started. After a caution the safety crew left some debris on the track. We sent one of our guys over to the safety truck to let them know and they didn't get it. We raced a couple of laps and sure enough the car in front of me ran over it and kicked it up in the air, it skipped off my hood, hit the edge of my roof then collapsed my windshield and hit me in the chest. It was then I found out the debris was a drive shaft out of one of the cars and it was now laying on my floorboard. I had another problem, the windshield was laying on top of my hands and the steering wheel and I couldn't steer. I pushed the windshield up with one hand and drove with the other, we finished 3rd. My guys went to work on fixing up some kind of windshield for the feature and it ended up looking like an IMCA Modified. We survived several cautions and then went airborne off of 1 coming down on the right front. I thought we were OK but when the race went green I had sparks and flames shooting out from under the hood on the right front. We brought it in with a broken right front brake rotor and we were done for the night. A weird night to say the least.
7-15-00 friday night in pensacola should have been an omen and we should have stayed home saturday night. Ward & Cameron Davis worked on the car all day Saturday and got us ready to race. Of course it didn't last long. Congratulations to Cale Gale on hhis third in a row.
A special thanks to the Huntsville & Montgomery tracks and our road crew-Ward Davis, Anthony Claxton, Tom Claxton and Thomas Praytor.
6-2-00 Friday Night,
Huntsville-After a long haul up, we unloaded at a 1/4 mile bull ring with
walls all around and after Mobile with no walls and a big half mile we had some major
changes to make. As is custom in Huntsville we only had 1 practice and then had to
qualify, we weren't very good and started 12th. Before the street stock race we ran in the
media race. The schedule was for 2 media races and then a finale but since we lapped
the field in the first race we didn't run in the finale and got ready for the feature.
Because the track was so much shorter than Mobile we decided to run the feature in
3rd gear which made the car work better and we were able to pass cars, dodge wrecks and
moved up into 6th without putting a mark on the car (real unusual).
6-3-00 Saturday Night,
Montgomery-While the car body was unmarked from Huntsville we did lose another clutch.
We borrowed another racers shop on Saturday morning and Ward and the guys put a new
one in and we were ready to go, but we were late. We missed all the practice in
Montgomery and had to qualify without ever having made a lap. We guessed at the set
up and qualified 8th. After qualifying we noticed the water pump had problems and
Tom & Ward replaced it and had me out in time to make the race. We ended up
finishing fifth, but the changes we made after qualifying made the car worse and we were
really just happy to have it all in one piece.
5-6-00, we struggled for speed our first 2 outings and finally found some. We improved our qualifying time by 5 tenths of a second from the previous outing and had a much improved race car. We qualified 13th and worked our way up to 5th before the clutch started to slip and we had to settle for a 7th place finish.
4-22-00, After taking 2 weeks off to race go carts with my son and Talladega we were back at the track. Opening week found us towards the bottom of the speed chart and this week wouldn't be much better. We qualified in the back and spent all night trying to get it back up front. We won the heat race and followed it up with winning the B feature. We took up the tail end of the A Feature and wound up with a 10th place finish. While we are racing good we are still not qualifying very well. We'll keep working to make it better. Hope to have some pictures up soon.