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RACING RECAPS 2007
Moose Schedule & Results 2007



FIVE FLAGS BANQUET CLOSES OUT 2007 SEASON

 

Thomas Praytor Pensacola: With a presentation of the Second Place points fund check for the Super Stock Division at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway the Moose closed out the 2007 Racing Season. Rookie of the Year title in Pensacola with runner up finishes in the Championship standings at Mobile and Pensacola, capped off by a 5-A State Football title in his senior year, may make 2007 a hard act to follow. Our Max Force Racing shop has been working hard over the Winter months prepping the Moose’s new G-Force Late Model for the 2008 season and a couple of other projects that we’ll be announcing in the up coming weeks along with the Moose’s 2008 racing schedule.

 

Thomas: “So much happened last year and I don’t think it’s all sunk in yet what we accomplished. So many people helped make it happen it would be impossible to name them all. Special thanks to G-Force Racing Gear and the Museum of Naval Aviation for sponsoring our efforts in Pensacola. The veterans at Five Flags really taught me a lot about racing, on and off the track. I really struggled at Pensacola the first few weeks and those guys helped me find my way. I feel like we have some unfinished business in Pensacola in the Super Stocks and I hope we take care of that on March 14th in the season opener.”

 

Picture: Tim Bryant, from Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway presenting the Moose with some hardware from the 2007 season.

RMH CHECK CLOSES OUT 2007 SEASON

Thomas Praytor Mobile 12-28-07: While the Snowball closed out the 2007 racing season and a football state Championship was the icing on the cake for a phenomenal year, the Moose was not quite done. Our annual fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House set new records for fan participation and money raised for RMH. With a lot of help from our friends this year’s check was $3,364.00. Our RMH Fund Raiser at Mobile International would not be possible without the support of track owner Ida Fields. The Speedway matches what we win on the track; we add what the fans chip in (this years participation was more than ever) and then the folks at AIG American General matches it all. Thanks to everyone for setting a new record. Plans are already in the work for 2008!

Picture L-R In front of Christmas tree at Ronald McDonald House L-R Ida Field (MIS), Al Tenhundfeld (RMH) Thomas, Tommy, Lisa Bond (AIG) and Andrew Bond.   

SAINTS WIN TITLE!

St. Paul Saints win first Alabama Football championship in dramatic fashion. Coming in to the weekend, St. Paul’s trophy cases were lined with over 130 state titles. 130 state titles but none in football. With a dramatic 14-13 win over Briarwood Friday night at Legion Field in Birmingham, the Saints filled the hole in their trophy case that has been empty for 33 seasons. 

The Saints opened a 14-0 half time lead and looked liked they were cruising to the title. Their opponent, Briarwood, didn’t get to the title game and build a 14-0 record by rolling over. Briarwood’s quarterback and Auburn signee, Barrett Trotter opened the 2nd half with a touchdown and served notice they were ready to rumble. After the opening drive, the Saints defense got tough and would not allow another score. With less than 2 minutes to go in the game, the Saints dropped back to punt. The kick was blocked and gave Briarwood the ball deep in Saints territory. Once again the defense would come up big with an interception. The Saints would run the clock down to 16 seconds but would have to punt. Briarwood again blocked the punt and this time ran it in for the score with less than 10 seconds to go and draw within the extra point to tying the game. Once again the Saints defense came to the rescue when Josh Lancaster busted through the line to deflect the kick and preserve the Saints win. 

Thomas: “It really hasn’t sunken in yet. This is big! Big for our team, big for our school. My Dad played on those first St. Paul’s teams and he says back then they weren’t 5-A, that weren’t even good enough to be any A. I’m not sure about that but I do know we have several Dads that played for St Paul’s and this win meant as much to them as it does to us. I can’t thank Coach Bates and my teammates enough for letting me ride with them to the title.”

 Pictures: (LEFT) Saints at Legion Field after winning the Alabama 5A Championship. (RIGHT) Thomas and Saints head coach Mike Bates with the trophy.

SAINTS WIN
MOOSE HEADED TO THE BIG DANCE

St. Pauls avenged the only blemish on their 13-1 season Friday night by beating Williamson 45-21 at Ladd Stadium. The state title will be settled  Friday night in Birmingham as the Saints take on Briarwood for the championship. Thomas, "This is awesome! I didn't do a dang thing the entire game accept cheerlead for our team, just like they've done for me all season. Congratulations to Mr. Chris (Cotto) for winning the Derby, I wish I had a chance to test him one more time this year but I'm glad I was at the ball game." Pic: Thomas and Tommy behind the hedges at Ladd Stadium on Friday night instead of behind the pit wall at Five Flags Speedway.

MOOSE TO MISS SNOWBALL DERBY

Thomas Praytor 11-27-07: After coming up 1 spot short chasing championships at Mobile International Speedway and Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway in 2007 the Moose will miss the 2007 Snowball Derby while chasing another Championship, the Alabama State Football Title. As a senior member of the St. Paul’s Varsity football team, the Moose will be at Ladd Stadium on Friday night as the 4th ranked 12-1 Saints take on the Williamson Lions in the semi final game of the state playoffs. The seniors have been playing together since the 6th grade and had a perfect season winning the region title in the 8th grade.  This year’s team started at the top of the high school rankings and quickly lost the one of the first games of the year to Williamson. Since the first game, the Saints have gone undefeated with one more win sending them to the state Championship game. For the Moose to give up a guaranteed starting spot in the Derby was a big call but an easy one.  Thomas, “When I was trying to win the Championship in Mobile and Pensacola Coach Bates was behind me 100%. I missed a lot of football to race and my teammates and the coaches were more concerned about how I finished then what I missed. Friday night in Pensacola we have an opportunity to win the race but not a Championship. Me not being with my teammates as we go for a Championship after all the support they have given me wouldn’t be right. So, Friday night I’ll be running 72 instead of 28. I appreciate the Bryant family at Pensacola and all our fans and sponsors for supporting me. I look forward to being back in 2008 and hopefully moving up a spot in the points.”

MOOSE COLLECTS SOME HARDWARE

 
Thomas Praytor Mobile, Alabama 11-10-07: Mobile International Speedway wrapped up it’s 2007 season with it’s annual awards banquet on Saturday night. After taking Rookie of the Year honors in the Fausak Tires Super Stock division in 2006 the Moose finished second in the 2007 Championship to multi time champion Howard Langham. The Moose and his G-Force Racing Gear race team put together what would normally have been a championship season with an average finish of 2.6 over the 2007 campaign. While the Moose was putting up Championship caliber numbers, 2007 Champion Howard Langham had an incredible season winning every feature event. Next on tap for the Moose is testing for the 40th Annual Snowball Derby at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway.

Thomas: “Congratulations to Mr. Howard (Langham), we chased him all year but just couldn’t quite catch him. I want to thank all of our sponsors, especially G-Force for coming on board this year as our primary sponsor. I also want to thank Mrs. Ida (Fields owner MIS) for giving us a place to race. All of the guys who helped us with the car I couldn’t race without you, thanks.”

Picture: Thomas receiving second place points fund check and trophy from Christian Fausak of Fausak tires and Service.

MOOSE SETS NEW FUND RAISING RECORD
FOR AIG AMERICAN GENERAL
RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE NIGHT

Thomas Praytor 10-13-07 Mobile: The G-Force Racing Gear logo’s were replaced this weekend for our annual fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House at Mobile International Speedway. The formula for the fund raiser goes like this, we take what we win on the track, then Ida Fields at the Speedway matches that, then we take donations from fans and then all of that is matched by AIG American General.  The Moose came into the final night of racing at MIS second in the Championship points standings sandwiched between 2 former track champions with little possibility to move up or down. A perfect spot to let it all hang out for RMH. A Thursday test and a couple rounds of practice on Saturday and the Moose was locked and loaded for the feature. The dice roll to set the starting line up would once again be unkind to the Moose and put him starting outside the front row next to the point’s leader Howard Langham.  The problem with starting outside the front row is everyone else gets to get down to the preferred groove while your left hanging like a worm on a hook on the outside. With the drop of the green flag that’s exactly what happened, the Moose fought the outside lane and raced side by side with the inside line as he slowly fell back. The Moose finally horned his way in line in 4th position and started marching back to the front. One by one he picked them off working his way back to 2nd and trying to real in Langham. Langham has had an amazing year going undefeated it the Super Stock division in 2007. The race was slowed several times and the Moose was able to hold onto 2nd until the final restart with 5 to go when Jeremy Dickens got under the Moose and Moose found himself on the outside lane again. The pair raced side by side until the Moose lost the spot and settled in for 3rd. The finish capped a solid year for the 2006 MIS Rookie of the Year with the Moose finishing 2nd or 3rd in every feature race in 2007. A record that would normally be enough to take the title but would put him second in the Championship points standings in 2007. The night was a record setting night for our RMH fundraiser and with money still coming in we know it will get even better. For those who have not had a chance yet we’re still taking donations to keep adding to the pot.

 Thomas on his night: “We had a great car and I really thought we might have a shot at Mr. Howard but we just couldn’t catch him. I’m not real happy about giving up that spot on the last restart but I think my Dad is twice as unhappy as I am. The fans really turned out for our Ronald McDonald House fundraiser. This was my first year to run the paint scheme and it was really cool.  The fans are awesome and I’m pumped up about setting a new record for the money we give to Ronald McDonald House.” More Moose Click Here

MOOSE TAKES 4TH BUT NOT ENOUGH

Thomas Praytor Pensacola 9-29-07: After the carnage of double points night at Five Flags Speedway, the Moose and his G-Force team spent the last 2 weeks putting back together what had been a solid racecar. Five Flags played host to the season Championships races on a rare Saturday night start, opening up Friday night for a much needed practice for the rebuilt racecar. Off the trailer, the G-Force Pontiac was remarkably close to where it had been just 2 weeks before. Some fine tuning on Friday night and a complete check out on Saturday morning and the team was ready to work on a setup for race night. The race plan on Saturday night for the Moose was simple, win. Winning was the only way to have a shot at the title. In baseball terms, Thomas had been the model of consistency hitting singles, doubles and triples all year long but on Saturday night he was racing only 1 other car and he needed a homerun to win the title. In practice on Saturday the team worked on a new shock and air pressure package to give the Moose that little extra to get to victory lane. Practice went as planned until the G-Force Pontiac would not go in gear coming off pit road. The problem would force the team to take the transmission out of the car, repair it and put it back before the race. With the transmission back in and the homerun package under the car the Moose lined up for the extended lap feature in 5th place. In order for the setup package to work, the team needed the race to be made up of shorts green flag runs and with a full field of cars the odds for cautions were good. With the drop of the green flag the Moose was on the loose and within 2 laps was in 2nd looking for the lead. While the Moose was looking for the lead, the point’s leader Chris Cotto was hunting the Moose and the pair were nose to tail. The first part of the race went as the team had planned with multiple cautions and the G-Force Pontiac was hauling the mail. While trying to work around the race leader, the point’s leader, Cotto, got the preferred line on the Moose and took 2nd. The pair then passed the leader and first and second in points were running 1-2 on the racetrack and setting sail on the field. A caution filled first half of the race was just what the doctor ordered for the Moose to stay in Cotto’s tire tracks and in contention for the Championship. But a second place finish would not be enough and the Moose kept his foot in the gas to get back by Cotto. The race took on a green flag look and the Moose was burning up everything he had to stay in contention. By lap 25, the Moose was slipping and sliding off of every turn. Off turn 4, the 3rd place car hit the Moose square in the rear and 2 cars got by and the Moose finished 4th in the race, recording his 13 top 5 finish of the 2007 season. The only time the Moose did not finish in the top 5 at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway in 2007 was opening night and he finished 6th in the opener. With the regular season in the books at Five Flags the Moose takes home the Rookie of the Year honors along with the runner up position in the points standings in his first season at the home of the Snowball Derby. The Moose will be back in action in 2 weeks for the AIG American General Ronald McDonald House night at Mobile International Speedway. The October 13th race at MIS is the final race of the year in Mobile and the Moose enters the race in the 2nd position in the Championship in Mobile.  

Thomas: “Everyone has been congratulating us on a great season in Pensacola but I’m still not really happy with not winning the Championship. May be a few days from now I can look back and appreciate what we accomplished this year. I need to thank everybody again that helped us over the last 2 weeks. For most people the season would have been over but we’ve got an awesome group of people behind us. I’m looking forward to going back to Mobile for Ronald McDonald House night.”

Picture: Moose at stop and go during practice.

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS

 

Thomas Praytor Pensacola Pre Race 9-27-07: After 13 feature races and a double handful of heat races, plus double points night 2 weeks ago, the Championship at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway comes down to just 4 points in the final points race of the 2007 season this Saturday night in Pensacola. The Moose entered the 2007 season, at the home of the Snowball Derby, looking to take home Rookie of the Year honors, a top 5 finish in the final points standings and gain valuable experience for the 40th Annual Snowball Derby, but a funny thing happened on the way to the Derby. By mid May the Moose had the points lead at Five Flags and the 17-year-old rookie went from the hunter to the hunted.  The Moose held the points lead through the Summer until veteran and favorite for this year’s title, Chris Cotto, took it back a month ago. After swapping the lead back and forth 2 weeks ago Cotto resumed the points lead by 4 points heading into the final night of racing in Pensacola. While Cotto has had the faster car, the Moose has been the model of consistency, with 12 top 5s in 13 races and has finished every race. The 4 points represents 2 spots on the racetrack and simply means the Moose will need to finish 2 places ahead of Cotto on Saturday night to win the Championship. A tall order, considering that has happened only 1 other time in the 2007 season. The good news for the Moose is, he and Cotto have walked away from the other competitors in this years title hunt and the worse he can do is finish the year in the 2nd position. For the final race, the tables are turned and the Moose goes from the hunted to the hunter!

 

Thomas: “Everybody has worked really hard to get our car back together after double points night. We spent 7 hours on Mr. Walker’s frame machine just trying to get it back straight. I think everyone that has ever helped me or my Dad in our career has helped us these last 2 weeks and I wouldn’t be able to race without them. We were an underdog coming in to the season and we’re an underdog going into Saturday night. All I can tell you is this, we’re gonna give it all we got.”

 

Picture: Thomas and Pensacola’s Pit road announcer Dave Pavlock.

 

WILD DOUBLE POINTS NIGHT AT 5 FLAGS

Thomas Praytor Pensacola 9-14-07: With the 2007 season winding down, Pensacola’s Five Flags speedway hosted a night of double points night racing. At the start of the 2007 season the Pensacola Rookie was an improbable contender for the season title against the veterans of 5 Flags Speedway but as the season progressed he took the points lead when the favorite for the Championship, Chris Cotto had an off night and held it until 2 weeks ago.  The Moose entered the double points showdown 6 points behind Cotto and was looking to regain the top spot.  On Friday night both the heat race and the feature were double points and everyone in the field was looking to improve their positions in the Championship standings. With the drop of the green flag in the heat race the Moose and Cotto were on the move from the back (For the heat race the field is inverted by points with the highest in the points to the back). The pair was passing cars as fast as they could get to them. Two laps in, Cotto would find trouble and destroy his racecar.  The Moose missed the wreck and kept passing cars to retake the point’s lead after the heat race. Cotto would not be able to use his car for the feature and borrowed a car, keeping him in the title hunt. With a solid finish in the heat race, the Moose would start on the outside pole for the feature. The Moose worked the outside groove for a couple of laps before falling in line in the 3rd position. Going into turn 3 the Moose got tapped from behind, pushing him into the car in front of him and sending the 3 cars into a sideways slide. All 3 kept from spinning and the race stayed green.  The Moose lost a few spots but the contact cut the right rear tire and the Moose had to pit under green. The stop would cost Thomas 4 laps and what looked like a shot at the Championship. Back on track the Moose was making laps when give and take went out the window on double points night for those cars on the lead lap. The destruction that ensued was incredible with cars dropping like flies as the laps progressed. The Moose was at the tail end of the field with 10 to go when a car blew a motor in the middle of the pack. 4 cars would slam the outside wall including the Moose. The G-Force Pontiac hit left rear first then whipped around and hit the left front. The rear end was moved forward 8 inches, the left front was shoved 5 inches in and the back end of the car was up to the rear window. Basically the car was destroyed and it appeared so was the Moose’s title hopes. The wrecker pushed the Moose backed to the pit area and the team went to work, new tires, tearing away the sheet metal that was going to fall off and trying to get the G-Force Pontiac back on track. In addition to the front of the car going one way and the back going another, the transmission was stuck in 4th gear because the drive shaft had been rammed in to it about 3 inches further than what it should have been.  The Moose limped back out onto the racetrack to try and finish the race. The carnage that was the super stock race had taken its toll on the field and now there were only 2 cars on the lead lap and if the Moose could limp home, he could pick up 6 spots and finish an improbable 4th. The first lap back on the track the left rear brake rotor shattered and sent the brake caliper flying over the wall into the pit area causing another lap of caution and an inspection of the G-Force machine by race officials to make sure nothing else was going to fall off. Fortunately the track sent the inspector that uses a Seeing Eye dog and a red tip cane to inspect the Moose’s and car and he went back on the track. Everyone held their breath as the Moose limped around the track. With the checkered flag in the air the Moose limped home and passed all the cars that were involved in the blown motor wreck and the rest of the destruction to finish 4th. The finish would actually allow the Moose to close in on the point’s leader and now trail by only 4 points heading to the season Championship in 2 weeks.

 

Thomas on his night: “Really the whole night was just a blur. Everything was happening so fast, one minute we were up and the next it looked like we were down for the count. Fixing the cut tire cost us 4 laps and I thought it was over. Then I got in the oil from the blown motor and hit the wall a ton. I’ve never been in car that was that screwed up and still tried to drive it. The guys worked hard to get us back out but it wasn’t pretty. I didn’t realize how bad it was until after the race. It’s pretty messed up we’ve got a lot of work to do to get ready for the season Championship race in 2 weeks.”

 

Picture attached: G-Force Pontiac Post race

 

 

ALL WE HAD TO DO WAS START THE RACE

 

Thomas Praytor-Pensacola 9-8-07: After 2 consecutive rainouts, the Moose was looking for some track time in his G-Force Pontiac. With a new set of heads put on 2 weeks ago, Friday night’s practice at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway was the first real test of the new power plant. With more horses under the hood the team made a gear change for Five Flags to keep the RPMs in the power band that works best for the Moose. Off the trailer, the G-Force machine was solid and it looked everything was in place for another good night of racing. During the closing laps of practice, Chris Cotto (2nd in the points standings by 6 points) broke a steering box off of turn 4, hit the wall with his right front and whipped around and hit the right rear on the inside retaining wall. With Cotto needing a wrecker to get back to the pit area it appeared Thomas had a lock on the Championship.  All we had to do was start the race. While Cotto was being towed back to the pits, the team decided to help get him back on the track. The sentiment from the Max Force team was to win the Championship on the track, head to head. Back in the garage the Max Force team helped Cotto survey the damage and what it would take to repair it. With a dozen or so trips to the Max Force hauler for parts and tools the Max Force team along with other teams worked with Cotto’s to get his car fixed and ready to race. A couple of hours later and what seemed like a hundred pop rivets, the Max Force team returned to their hauler to prepare for the feature race finale.

 

The Moose and Cotto would start side by side, at the rear of the field by virtue of their 1-2 finish at the last race. With the green flag in the air both hit the gas with Cotto quickly moving to the front while the Moose looked like he was moving in slow motion. With fresh rubber the new gear bogged the G-Force Pontiac down and wasn’t moving to the front like normal. The Moose fought hard but 5th was the best the team could muster. Cotto and his freshly repaired car finished 1st. The nights racing action would swap the pair in the standings, the Moose went from 6 points up to 6 points back with 2 races left. Next up, double points night at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway on Friday night.

 

Thomas on his night: “We tried something different with the gear and it really didn’t work well for us. We’ll go back to what we had and with the new power we should be back on our game. People were making a big deal out of us helping Mr. Chris (Cotto). It really wasn’t that big of a deal he needed help and we helped him out. We want to win the Championship but we want to win it on the track.”

 

Picture attached: Max Force team making repairs to Chris Cotto’s car.

 

MOOSE TAKES 2ND IN PENSACOLA


Pensacola Five Flags Speedway 8-17-07: The only thing hotter than the August sun at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway on Friday was the Moose. Thomas Praytor rolled into Pensacola fighting the flu and 103 degree temperature. But when your 17 and leading the points in your rookie season, at the home of the Snowball Derby the only place to get better is the seat of your racecar.  While the Moose fought the flu, the team fought an ill handling racecar. Two rounds of practice had the team still looking for the right handle on the G-Force machine. As the points leader the Moose took up the tail end of the heat race. On the start of the race, the car in front of the Moose had problems and didn’t go. The contact crushed the nose on the G-Force Pontiac but more importantly the rest of the field got a straightaway head start. With an 8-lap race Thomas was able to get to the bumper of the next car in line but no further.  The 8-lap heat race gave the team valuable information to improve the car for the feature.  With the invert and lane swapping and a line up that only someone from the White House could understand, the Moose would start in front of the second place points contender Chris Cotto in the outside lane.  Under green, the Moose would fight the outside line for a lap or two until falling in line in the preferred groove in 3rd place. A few laps later the Moose would work his way around for second while the leader, Chris Cotto, was long gone. The race would stay green and a hot Moose would take home second. The points race has turned into a 2 man show with the Moose clinging to a 6 point lead with 3 races and a double points night left in the 2007 season.

Thomas on his night; “I’m glad we finished 2nd but we weren’t as good as we were 2 weeks ago.  Two weeks ago I felt like we had closed the gap on Mr. Chris (Cotto) some but we didn’t show it this week. I appreciate Mr. Kerry (Stofel from Action Motorsports Authentics) coming to watch me race, I wish we had put on a better show for him. Two weeks is a double-header weekend and our last race at Mobile for the year. We’ve got a new set of heads we’re putting in for the stretch run and the Snowball Derby. So I’m looking forward to getting back to the track.”

Picture: Thomas post race on the front stretch with Kerry Stofel from Action Motor Sports Authentics.


MOOSE HITS FOR THE CYCLE

(1ST, 2ND 3RD, 4TH) IN DOUBLE HEADER WEEKEND

 

 Thomas Praytor, better known as the Moose, started another double-header weekend of racing on the Gulf Coast with a stop at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway. The Moose entered the weekend as the Championship point’s leader in Pensacola trying to fend off veteran Chris Cotto, track champion and Snowball Derby winner for the title. Off the trailer the Moose was quick and looking for a good night. Being the point’s leader the Moose started at the tail end of the heat race. With the drop of the green flag, the Moose was on the hunt and by the 2nd lap had the lead and went on to win by 10 car lengths. The win would be the first leg in hitting the cycle for the weekend. In the feature the Moose would again take up the tail end, because of his finishing position in the last race. With the drop of the green flag the Moose was on the move quickly picking off competitors. By the time the Moose cleared the field, the leader, Cotto, had opened up a 10 car length lead. With clean air the Moose was on the hunt again. Lap by lap the Moose closed on the leader, picking up a car length every lap, by lap 20 the Moose was on the leader. Just as the Moose was ready to start working for the lead a caution flag would fly. The race would restart with 5 to go, the Moose’s car was not as good on the short run and 5 laps was not enough to mount a challenge again for the lead.

 With a solid start to the weekend in the books, the G-Force team spent a long day in the shop to prepare for Saturday night at Mobile International Speedway. The two tracks have become completely different and it takes 4-5 hours to change the car from the Pensacola setup to the Mobile setup. Currently 2nd in the championship points standings at Mobile International Speedway the Moose is chasing another veteran for the title. Off the trailer the G-Force Pontiac was struggling. The team kept making changes throughout both practice sessions all the way up to qualifying. The Moose posted a 4th place qualifying effort but the car was not up to the team’s expectations. Another round of changes and the Moose lined up for the heat race. Heat racing at MIS may be the most exciting 6 laps in Motorsports, with the fast cars in the back and only 6 laps to get to the front. With the drop of the green flag the Moose committed to the outside lane, not a place for the feint of heart. The inside line was bottled up and the Moose was making headway on the outside. With 3 to go he was 5th, 2 to go he was 3rd looking for 2nd. With the Moose moving up on the outside line, the inside line decided it was time to go and they moved the leader up out of the groove and in the path of the Moose. The outside lane was done and the Moose had to settle for 4th. For the 20 lap feature the Moose would start 4th and by lap 3 the top 3 settled into the positions they would finish and the Moose would finish 3rd. The 3rd place finish in Mobile would complete the cycle for the weekend, 1st and 2nd in Pensacola, 3rd and 4th in Mobile.          

Thomas on his weekend: “We’ve been chasing a win at Pensacola and I’m pumped up to finally get one. We’re in a battle with Mr. Chris (Cotto) for the championship and I don’t think many people are giving us a shot at winning it but we are not going to quit until the final lap in September. We struggled in Mobile on Saturday night but everyone just kept working and we had a much better car in the feature. Mobile is a 3-way race for the championship and we’re sandwiched between 2 track champions. Mr. Howard (Langham) and Mr. Shannon (Jackson) have been fun to race with all year. They had us covered Saturday night but we’ll try and catch them next time.”

Picture Attached: The Moose in Pensacola’s Victory Lane with engine builder Mike Woodsen, Dalphne Patrick and Blake Wingard

MOOSE RUMBLES BACK TO 3RD

 
After being rained out the previous week in Mobile, the Moose and his G-Force Racing Gear race team had an extra week to prepare for Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway. This past weekend Five Flags would play host to the 3rd Super Late Model Blizzard Series and hold an open practice on Thursday. The team took advantage of the test session and spent a valuable 4 hours at the track trying new setups on the G-Force Pontiac. After testing on Thursday night the team stayed in Pensacola to visit the National Museum of Naval Aviation on Friday morning before the track opened. Racing at Five Flags on Friday night would be the second fastest event in Pensacola this weekend with the Blue Angels returning home for their annual air show on Pensacola Beach. A morning at the Museum had the Moose pumped up for the night’s action at Five Flags.

 The Blizzard Series is a big stage for the Super Late Models and a limelight that all the competitors enjoy being a part of. Friday night would be no exception, with almost 40 super late models in the pit and big turn out of Super Stocks for a regular Friday night show. As the point’s leader, the Moose has compiled an impressive list of top 3 finishes in the 2007 season. In Pensacola there is a price for finishing in the top 3, the next race the top 3 from the previous week start 10, 11 & 12.  With a second place finish in his last outing the Moose would start 11th while his closest competitor for the title would start 3rd. With the drop of the green flag the Moose was on the loose and by the 7th lap the Moose made an outside move and was in 2nd place. Just after he completed the pass the caution flag flew and the Moose would have to give back the 2nd spot to veteran Steve Campbell and restart 3rd. The Moose had pulled one over on Campbell the first time by with a slick outside move while Campbell was tied up in the low lane but it would be harder the second time. Back under green the Moose searched high and low for away around Campbell for the next 13 laps. A caution with 5 to go would give the Moose another shot at Campbell and 2 laps into the green flag run the Moose made an outside fake and dove low under Campbell coming off turn 4. Almost clear of Campbell the Moose’s car lost grip and he was now headed for the inside wall. By the end of the straightaway the Moose had a handle on his car but he had gone from the hunter to the hunted. Campbell had gotten back by him and South Alabama Speedway track champion Jody Henderson was on his bumper.  The Moose would fend off the challenge from Henderson and draw back up on Campbell’s bumper on the final lap of the race but not have enough to get the spot back. The third place finish would be the Moose’s 4th podium finish in a row at Five Flags Speedway and enough to retain the points lead.  

Thomas on his night: “The Naval Museum was an awesome place and it really made me realize how big of an honor it is to run their car. If you think about all the great people who flew those planes and what they went through I’m proud to represent them. Plus, it was Blue Angel weekend and those guys are unbelievable. We worked hard on our car on Thursday and it paid off. I feel like we’ve improved 100% this year and we’re still chasing Mr. Chris (Cotto). We’ll keep working on getting better.”

Picture Attached: The Moose picking up some hardware on the front stretch.

MOOSE FLYS NAVY TO 2ND

While racing on the Gulf Coast took a weekend off between races, the Moose was at the racetrack. During the off weekend the Moose was in Memphis with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, returning just in time to join Grant Enfinger and his Beasley Allen late model team for a 2 day show at Peach State Speedway in Georgia.  Back in town for a day’s worth of sleep on July 4th, it was back to work in the Max Force Race shop in Mobile to prepare for Military Appreciation night at Five Flags Speedway. The Speedway’s Military Appreciation night inspired the team to change the hood from their primary sponsor, G-Force Racing Gear, to the National Museum of Naval Aviation. The Museum is the most visited museum in the state of Florida and the perfect vehicle for the Max Force team to show it’s appreciation to our men and women in the Military.

Off the trailer, the normal reliable Pontiac the team is used to at Pensacola’s Five Flag Speedway was just junk. The team worked hard in both practice session to make the car better but nothing seemed to help. Another round of changes and the Moose lined up at the tail end of the heat race. Thomas made his way to 4th but the car was not much better. The crew went back to work, even taking the car back through the technical inspection line to find what might be amiss. All the measuring points were in line but the car would not sit properly on the scales. The weld that held the rear end in place had broken on the left side and the rear end was moved forward an inch. With the left side forward it basically had the rear of the car steering to the right even when you want to go straight. If you wanted to turn a little it was turning a lot. The team quickly re-squared the rear end tightening the 4 bolts that clamp it in place as best they could but they would not have the benefit of a weld to hold it in place.  Fingers crossed they loaded the Moose into the Naval Museum Pontiac for the feature.

A Navy color guard and a group from NAS Pensacola to sing the National Anthem seemed to set the set stage for a special night with the Nation Museum of Naval Aviation on the hood. Having finished in the top 3 at the last race at Pensacola, the Moose was relegated to starting at the back of the field. With the drop of the green flag the Moose was on the march and by lap 8 he was up to 4th.  Coming off of 4 the car he had just passed lifted the back end of the Naval Museum Pontiac off the ground and sent the Moose into the spin cycle down the front straightaway. The spin started off of turn 4 and the Moose was working over time inside the car, a 360 then a 180 followed by another 180 and the Naval Museum Pontiac came to a rest all the way down in the entrance of turn 1 with the nose of the car resting against the inside retaining wall. Somehow the Moose had been able to keep it off the wall and was able to continue. The car was not hurt but the tires were now flat spotted in 2 places and at a track that depends on tires the Moose was now at a real disadvantage.  The Moose may have been at a disadvantage on paper but when you have a mad Moose things are going to happen. Back under green the Moose now had to work his way back the front, within a few laps he was back up to 4th but the leaders had set sail on the field and catching them was impossible. Impossible unless you have a caution and a caution is what the Moose got with 5 to go.  By the time the caution flag flew the Moose was a little cooler but with the field bunched back up he could see the car that put him in the spin cycle, a little extra incentive to get to the front. The Moose got a bad jump on the restart but by the time the field made a circuit the Moose had a full head of steam. He soon caught the 3rd place car and was looking for a spot to pass. Second and third were bunched up and with 3 to go the Moose took to the outside. The outside at Pensacola is tricky with fresh rubber and passing slow cars, with tires that have 22 laps and have been flat spotted, trying to pass for 3rd and 2nd is down right crazy. By the time the field took the white flag the Moose had cleared both 3rd and 2nd and was looking at the back end of the leader, the leader was the car that had put the Moose in to the spin earlier in the race. Racing 3rd and 2nd side by side had given the leader enough room to hold off the Moose for a lap and the Moose would take 2nd in a remarkable recovery.

Thomas on his night: “What a night. We were just horrible in practice and the guys just kept working and finally figured it out in time for the feature. I want to thank Grant (Enfinger) for helping us out tonight. We had a much better car in the feature and we were able to move forward pretty quick. I don’t know what the 44 (race winner) was thinking, I had just passed him and he nearly cost us a racecar on the front stretch.  We were able to get back to 2nd but you know we passed the winner (44) in the first 5 laps of the race. I’m still pretty hot about it. It was a great night for our team, we had the Naval Museum on the hood and we added to our points lead. We had a lot of people at the track with us tonight including one of our tire sponsors, S & S Cox Electric. I can’t thank them and all our sponsors enough for what they do for us.”

Picture Attached: The Moose on the front stretch after post race interviews with the Cox family

DOUBLE POINTS NIGHT AT MOBILE
NETS 2ND FOR MOOSE 

After taking a podium finish at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway in the GSA Finance Super Stock spectacular, the Moose loaded up his G-Force Pontiac and headed for double points night at Mobile International Speedway. Racing on back to back nights requires a lot of work to be performed in a short period of time, add the pressure of 2 big races back to back and the G-Force team was working over time. A normal change over takes approximately 4-5 hours; add to the mix what was broken on Friday night at the team was pushing to make it to Mobile International Speedway in time to qualify. With a lot of help the team rolled into Mobile International Speedway in time for practice. Off the trailer the G-Force machine was having some of the same problems it had in Pensacola, the team quickly made the repairs and the Moose was able to get in 1 good practice before qualifying. With limited practice the Moose had a solid racecar and was able to qualify 4th. Saturday’s race night was regular show with a heat race and a feature with the feature scoring double points. The Moose started the heat race in 4th and quickly was up to the back bumper of the leader and looking for the lead. Off of turn 2 the Moose got a little anxious and tried to press a hole that wasn’t there, sending the leader into the spin cycle. The move would send Thomas to the tail end of the line and ending his shot at a good finish in the heat race. Looking to for a better finish in the feature the Moose quickly moved to second with the drop of the green flag and by lap 3 had the lead. While the Moose stretched out his lead on 2nd current points leader and former track champion Howard Langham was still working traffic. Langham soon made the pass for 2nd and set his sights on the Moose and within a couple of laps they were racing side by side for the lead. Langham eventually took the lead and he and Thomas began to separate themselves fro the field. By the drop of the checkered flag they had put 15 car lengths between themselves and the next competitor.

Thomas on his night: “I made a mistake in the heat race with Mr. Shannon (Jackson). I was in too much of a hurry and should have taken my time. I went down and talked it out with him and his car owner and I think everything is good. Luckily I didn’t tear their car up. We had a good car tonight, we need to keep working on getting our car better to catch Mr. Howard Langham.” 

Picture: The Moose with engine builder Mike Woodsen at Mobile International Speedway. For More Moose Click Here

GSA FINANCE SUPER STOCK
 
SPECTACULAR NETS MOOSE THIRD

The competition on a regular Friday night at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway is pretty stiff, jack up the purse, add some laps and your going to draw a crowd. Friday night’s GSA Finance Super Stock Spectacular did just that. The field took on a Snowball Derby look as drivers converged on 5 Flags Speedway from, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. Heat races normally set the starting lineup at Pensacola but for the GSA Super Stock Spectacular the field was set by 2 laps of qualifying. Halfway through his rookie season at 5 Flags the Moose has lots of laps but had only qualified 1 other time. With a fresh set of Hoosier tires the Moose turned in a 7th place qualifying effort and he would start behind a pair of track champions.

 With the drop of the green flag the Moose was on the move, tucked in behind 3-time track champion and Snowball Derby winner, Donnie Hamrac, the pair were working their way to the front. The first few laps were filled with cautions as the field sorted out. By lap 5 the Moose was up to 5th and by lap 10 he was 3rd and the top 3 were putting some distance on the rest of the field. Hamrac had a comfortable lead with Chris Cotto and the Moose in tow. At the halfway point the Moose had a shot at Cotto but couldn’t make the pass. As the race wore on the Moose was falling back from the front pair and into the clutches of 4th place, Mike Moore. Moore tried to pass on the inside got loose and sent he and the Moose into a sideways slide off of turn 2. Somehow, both drivers regained control of their cars and kept going without a caution. The incident bunched the field back up and in the closing laps the Moose was able to hold everyone off for 3rd. In post race inspection, the team found the culprits for the Moose slowing down in the closing laps. The rear end gear was burnt up and well on its way to seizing up, another lap or 2 would have done it in. The other culprit, 2 sparkplug wires were lying against the header pipes and had burned through. Lady luck shined again on the Moose allowing him to retain the point’s lead in Pensacola.

Thomas on his night: “It was pretty wild out there tonight, I think I bounced off just about every car but the pace car. I thought we might have something for Mr. Chris (Cotto) but our car just started bogging down and it just wouldn’t go. We found the problem after the race and we got lucky again.” 

Picture: The Moose sharing a laugh with track announcer Dave Pavlock during post race interview following the GSA super Stock Spectacular. For More Moose Click Here

 

MOOSE TURNS IN BEST
PERFORMANCE OF SEASON

6-8-07 The Moose rolled into Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway as the Championship points leader and having a stellar rookie season at the home of the Snowball Derby. With such a solid start to the 2007 season you would think the G-Force team would get complacent with the setup on their Pontiac and run what they had been running all year. Instead the team installed a new setup up with a different gear, spring and shock combination. Off the trailer the Moose had a slow car and the team went to work. The team made a round of changes for the heat race but the G-Force Pontiac was still sluggish. The team made more changes for the feature and turned the Moose loose. 

With the drop of the green flag Thomas had the wick turned up and was headed to the front. Starting 8th the Moose rumbled up to 2nd by the time the first caution flag flew on lap 7.  Back under green the Moose set up the leader on the backstretch and made the move for the lead. By the flag stand the Moose was looking at the clean air of the leader and quickly started putting some distance on the field. The Moose would put 6 car lengths on second when the caution flag would group the field back together.  With a clean restart Thomas put some distance on second while Chris Cotto with Jody Henderson (track champion from South Alabama Speedway) in tow, made their way up through the field. Having a pair of track champions on your tail is a tough way to pick up your first feature win at Five Flags Speedway. With 6 to go, the pair were up to the rear bumper of the Moose. The trio made several laps nose to tail when Cotto made a move low underneath the Moose off of turn 4. The Moose threw the block, with tire smoke flying the Moose was sideways. The pair backed off enough to keep from wrecking but Cotto now had the preferred line. Side by side for the lead with 3 to go and the Moose was hung out. With Henderson tight on Cotto’s bumper, the Moose would find room behind Henderson to fall in line to finish third. Even though it was not the best finishing position of the year it was by far the best performance for the Moose in 2007. 

Thomas on his night; “I wish I could have held on for a few more laps but it just wasn’t in the cards tonight. I put the block on Mr. Chris (Cotto) pretty hard and we could have had a big mess but he turned me loose. Every week we keep getting better and when you race with the caliber of guys I get to race with every week it just makes you that much better.”

MOOSE PILOTS NAVY TO 4TH
ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

The Moose rolled into Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway for the Memorial Day weekend sporting a special National Museum of Naval Aviation paint scheme and as the championship point’s leader.  A second place finish in his last outing at the home of the Snowball Derby put the Moose at the tail end of the super stock field for Friday nights 25- lap shootout. (At Pensacola, the top 3 from the previous race are put to the tail end of the field at the next race.) With the Moose in the rear the 2nd, 3rd and 5th in the championship standings would line up 1-2-3. To keep the points lead the Moose would have to get to the front and get there fast. Starting in the last row on the outside didn’t give the Moose many options and with the drop of the green flag the Moose was hung out in the outside lane. On the backstretch the Moose was able to get down to the preferred line and start picking off cars. While the Moose was working traffic, the leaders where checking out. Up to 8th the 7th and 6th place cars tangled right in front of him, Thomas dove to the apron and missed the pair of spinners and moved up to 6th.  The caution evaporated the lead of the front pair and now the Moose could see the leaders again.  With the green flag in the air the Moose was rumbling to the front. The 5th spot fell quickly and the Moose was up to the bumper of Mike Moore, 2nd place in the championship points standings running 4th.  With 7 to go, the Moose made a bold move at the end of the backstretch using the flat surface of turn 3 to get under and by Moore for the 4th spot. With 5 to go the Moose was on the back bumper of the 2005 Champion, James Alonzo. The Moose tried the low side and drew side by side twice but not enough to clear the former track champion. The Moose took to the high side and drew side by side again but was unable to complete the pass. While he raced for 3rd the Moore closed back to the bumper of the Moose and the Moose went from the hunter to the hunted. With the laps winding down the Moose was able to hold off a late race charge from Moore taking 4th.

 Thomas on his night: “I’ve been lucky and have had some great sponsors but the Naval Museum was my first special paint scheme and it was really cool. The Navy is such a big part of Pensacola and to have them on the hood Memorial Day weekend was pretty special.  I really wanted 3rd and I thought I had it a couple of times. Alonzo is tough to get by with new tires and by the time I got to him I had pretty much used up everything we had working up to him. He’s raced us clean all year long and I raced him with the same respect he’s shown me.”

The Navy Drafts the Moose for Memorial Day Weekend

 For Immediate Release: To honor our veteran’s on Memorial Day weekend, Thomas Praytor, better known to racing fans as the Moose, will run a special hood featuring the National Museum of Naval Aviation at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway this Friday. 

The Museum, located on Pensacola Naval Air Station, offers hands-on naval aviation history with over 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Aviation.

The Moose’s primary sponsor, G-Force Racing Gear, has agreed to take a back seat to the Museum for the weekend and has supplied the Pensacola Championship point’s leader with a special fire suit for the race. The Moose will run the scheme Friday night at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway.

“The Museum is an awesome place and running their logo on Memorial Day weekend is a privilege. We’re having a good year at Five Flags and I hope we can have another good finish for the Museum this weekend,” said the Moose when asked about why this race is so important.  

While the Moose provides the on-track thrills, the thrill of flight can be experienced everyday with nearly 300,000 square feet of excitement at the National Museum of Naval Aviation. With multiple Flight Simulators, the drama and power of IMAX films, the authentic Cubi Bar Café and the memories available to take home from the Flight Deck store, there is more to experience at the museum than one day allows.

For more on the Museum go to: www.navalaviationmuseum.org

IT’S OFFICIAL
MOOSE NEW POINTS LEADER AT PENSACOLA

 

 

With the 2007 Racing Season a little over a third of the way through, Mobile and Pensacola have updated their points standings. The Moose and his G-Force Team have taken the points lead at Pensacola Five Flags Speedway. A second place run last Friday night in Pensacola put the Moose in position to take the points leads when the points leader had problems in the feature. Only 34 points currently separate the top 4 in the point’s standings at Five Flags. After leading the early portion of the feature at Mobile International Speedway on Saturday night, the Moose’s 3rd place finish, behind 2 track champions, kept him solidly in the second spot at MIS.  Both tracks are closed this weekend prepping for a big Memorial Day weekend of racing. We will have an announcement at the beginning of the week about a special Memorial Day paint Scheme.

 

Thomas on his season: “It’s been a great year and a lot of fun. It’s cool to talk about the points lead at Pensacola but I’m still a rookie over there. Our goal at the beginning of the year was to be in the top 5 and win the Rookie of the Year, that’s still our goal. The guys we’re racing against at both tracks have a lot of experience and we’re just going to keep working on getting better and winning some races.”

MOOSE TAKES SECOND AT PENSACOLA


The Moose rolled into Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway 2nd in the Championship points standings and looking to keep improving in his first season of competition at the home of the Snowball Derby. Before the racing action started, the Speedway held its annual meet the driver night. The Moose met fans and signed autographs on the front stretch before climbing into his G-Force Pontiac to start the nights racing action. The big field of Super Stocks were cut in half and because of Thomas’s standings in the points (the higher up you are the further back you start) he would start the heat race 8th. With the drop of the green flag the Moose was loose and by the time the field made it to turn 3 he was 3rd. He would give back a spot later in the race to finish 4th which would put him starting 7th in the feature. After starting fast the last 2 races at Pensacola and giving up spots later in the race, the Moose realized a full charge from the start might not be the best approach at the abrasive old racetrack. From the start of the race the Moose looked more like a surgeon than a wild Moose. 1 by 1 the Moose picked off competitors as he marched to the front. With a few early cautions the race took on a green flag look and the last 20 laps were run under green. As the checkered flag flew 5 car lengths separated the leaders with the next closest competitor to the Moose being over a straightaway behind.  When the points standings are released later in the week, the second place finish could put the Moose in position to take over the points lead at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway.

 Thomas on his night: “I’ve been having a tough time getting a good feel for the track. My Dad, Mr. Rick (Crawford) and pretty much everyone I talk to about the track keep telling me I needed to slow down to go fast.  That’s been a difficult thing for me to do but I got beat again in the heat race by racing too hard early and I think it finally sunk in. We had an awesome night, it was my best finish at 5 Flags and I’m looking forward to going back. We have a really cool paint scheme and sponsor for Memorial Day weekend we are going to announce next week and I hope we have as good a run with them

MOOSE 2ND IN POINTS AT BOTH
PENSACOLA & MOBILE AT TALLADEGA BREAK

After opening the season with 6 races in 5 weeks both Pensacola and Mobile are off this week for the Talladega break. Before they left for the high banks of NASCAR’s most competitive track, Five Flags and MIS released their point’s standings for the 2007 season. With all the points tallied the Moose is currently 2nd in the championships standings at both tracks. Thomas; “It’s a pretty cool deal to be this high in the points at both racetracks. The guys that are first, Mr. Chris (Cotto) and Mr. Howard (Langham) are both champions and Snowball Derby winners. I’ve got a long way to go to catch them. Not to mention there are several track champions we’re ahead of that will be gunning for us after Talladega. I’m not as concerned about the points as continuing to keep getting better every week.”

MOOSE TAKES 3RD IN MOBILE

4-21-07 With the first night of the doubleheader weekend under his belt, the Moose and his G-Force race team moved back across the bay to Mobile International Speedway. As the under card to the 100 lap Super Late Model race the field was lined up by a points and then inverted by a dice roll, putting the Moose third. With the drop of the green flag the Moose took off with the pole sitter, hanging out 2nd and 4th in the upper groove.  The points leader and former track champion, Howard Langham, slipped by the Moose on lap 3. The Moose then spent the next 15 laps battling another track champion, Jimbo Devitt. Lap after lap the pair duked it out until Devitt was finally able to root the Moose up for 2nd. Nose to tail the pair tried to reel in the leader but there were not enough laps and the Moose took home another podium finish.

Thomas on his night; “Mr. Jimbo (Devitt) and I had a heck of a race going on for 2nd.  We rubbed on each other a little but he raced me really clean. I learn a lot racing with guys that have that much experience.”

Picture: Crewmember, Ben Lee, helping Thomas through the post race inspection process at Mobile International Speedway.

 

MOOSE SETTLES FOR 6TH IN PENSACOLA

After scoring his first podium finish in only his 4th start at Pensacola Five Flags Speedway, the Moose was looking to improve at the rugged old racetrack. Finishing in the top 3 the previous week meant the Moose and his G-Force machine would start near the rear with the previous weeks top 3 finishers. Last weeks top 3 would start in the middle of Friday night’s field with the Moose starting outside of the 4th row in the 8th position. Earlier in the day the Moose had a solid practice session and after last weeks finish entered the feature with an extra dose of confidence. From the drop of the green flag the Moose WAS LOOSE at Pensacola. In the first 3 laps the Moose went from 8th to 3rd and was looking for more when the caution flag flew.  Three laps into a 25-lap feature the Moose had moved up 5 spots and the 2 cars in front of him he had battled past the previous week. By the time the green flew again the Moose was in a full charge towards the front. Unfortunately, Pensacola is a place for finesse and not charging, the Moose was about to learn another lesson from the home of the Snowball Derby. With each circuit around the famed half mile the Moose would drive harder and harder, losing ground with each lap. Over the next 22 laps the Moose would give up the 3 spots and settle for 6th.

Thomas on his night: “This may be one of the most frustrating races I’ve ever been in. The harder I pushed the further back I got. I learned a big lesson about getting around Pensacola and I’m looking forward to getting back here in a couple of weeks.”

 Picture is of Thomas and Pensacola Track Champion and Snowball Derby Winner Chris Cotto on the front stretch at Pensacola Five Flags Speedway.

 

MOOSE SCORES PODIUM FINISH IN PENSACOLA

4-13-07 The G-Force Race Team returned to Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway for round 3 of the 2007 Super Stock Season. With the Moose on Spring Break, the team spent Thursday testing at the home of the Snowball Derby in anticipation of racing on Friday night. With each start at 5 Flags the Moose has improved but was still struggling to find his groove on the abrasive racing surface. During practice the Moose got a few pointers from Rick Crawford and his times dropped drastically. The Super Stock division was the opening race for the first Blizzard Series at 5 Flags on Friday night and the race would line up by points, putting the Moose in 5th position. With the drop of the green flag the outside line took off leaving the G-Force Pontiac stuck in the slower low lane. Five laps into the 25 lap feature the front of the field finally sorted out and the Moose went to work. With former track champion James Alonzo on his bumper the Moose started working on moving up while keeping Alonzo behind him. The Moose soon cleared 4th and went to work on third. With 10 to go the G-Force machine made the pass for 3rd. While the Moose was rooting traffic, 1st and 2nd had checked out. With only 10 laps left the Moose had to make up 10 car lengths. With each lap the Moose knocked off a car length, with the white flag in the air the Moose was on his bumper. As they crossed the stripe they were side by side with the Moose coming up half a car length short settling for third. The third place finish moved the Moose into 3rd in the Championship point’s standings in Pensacola. Racing was rained out Saturday night at Mobile International Speedway setting up another double-header this weekend. After the first month of racing the Moose is 2nd in the Championship standings at Mobile International Speedway and 3rd at Pensacola Five Flags Speedway.

Thomas on his night “I was really struggling on Thursday in practice and Mr. Rick (Crawford) really helped me out. Alonzo pushed me hard from the start but he raced me really clean and I learned a lot. I thought we could pick up one more spot on the last lap and I came up just a little short.”

Picture is of Thomas being interviewed by track pit road announcer Dave Pavlock.

MOOSE RUMBLES TO 2ND IN MOBILE

With spring Break underway, the Moose had a big contingent of spring breakers kicking off the weeklong recess at Mobile International Speedway on Saturday night. The 2006 season ended with the Moose 4th in points and taking home the Rookie of the Year honors at the high-banked speedway. The 2007 season opened with the Moose looking for more than points, he was looking for a spot in the O’Reilly Victory lane. The G-Force Pontiac was solid off the trailer and the Moose qualified 4th, behind 3 former track champions. The MIS season opened with a 6-lap heat race with Thomas starting in the 3rd position. With a slick move off of turn 2 on the first lap the Moose passed first and second for the lead. The G-Force machine held the lead for a couple of laps until Jimbo Devitt reeled him, the pair battled side by side with the Moose on the outside until Devitt finally took the lead with a lap to go, relegating Thomas to a 2nd place finish. In the feature the Moose would start fourth and would make his way to 3rd on the second lap with the top 4 running nose to tail for the remaining 18 laps. The second place finisher was disqualified in post race inspection and the Moose inherited the runner up spot.

The team is already at work preparing the G-Force Pontiac for next weekend’s double-header, Friday at Pensacola and Saturday at Mobile. With Saturday nights finishes in Mobile, the Moose is currently in the top 5 in Championship points in both Mobile and Pensacola.

Thomas on his night: “It was fun to be back at Mobile. After sliding around at Pensacola, Mobile’s newer surface felt like glue. Mr. Howard (Langham) was really fast tonight; the harder I tried to catch him the further I got behind. It was cool having all my friends at the track.  It’s the first time most of them have seen me race. They are all playing sports too, so it’s unusual for them to have the time to come.”

 Pictured above: Part of the gang that started Spring Break at MIS with the Moose.

 

MOOSE FORCES TOP 5 IN PENSACOLA

 With a top 10 on opening night at Five Flags Speedway in the books, the Moose and his G-Force team returned to the famed oval for round 2 of the 2007 season. While opening night netted a top 10 finish the car was not quite as good as they were looking for. With an off week between races the team completely changed the setup on the G-Force Pontiac looking for more speed.  Off the trailer the new setup was loose on corner entry in the first practice.  With the turn of the brake bias bar the team fixed the loose in and was now working on the center off the corner off. The G-Force machine was quicker in the second practice and the team kept going in that direction for the heat race. During the regular season Pensacola does not qualify for the starting lineup, they hold qualifying races and your finish in the heat race determines your starting spot in the feature. With the luck of the draw, the Moose would start on the pole for the heat race next to 2-time Snowball Derby Champ, Mark Davis.  Davis was making a rare start in the super stocks division and with the drop of the green flag, he took the young Moose to school on how to get around Five Flags Speedway. A rough start relegated Thomas to a 4th place finish and would line him up 7th for the feature.

 During the break the team made more changes to the G-Force Pontiac and rolled the Moose to the starting grid. From the drop of the green flag the Moose was on the march to the front. The car was finally working like it should and the Moose was picking up spots. On lap 5 the Moose passed last years Snowball Derby Champ Chris Cotto and off of turn 4 another car was sideways in the front stretch. The Moose went high to miss him at about the same time he went straight up the racetrack. The Moose was now up on 2 wheels on the front stretch with the entire left front gone from his car.  The G-Force Pontiac was battered but not beaten as it made its way down pit road. As luck would have it Donnie Hamrac and the crew of the Rotor Rooter Monte Carlo were taking the night off and were at the track helping crew the G-Force ride. With the left front of the car gone everyone was put to work bandaging the wounded machine. During the ensuing caution period a new tire was put on the left front and the body parts that were still left were tie strapped to the frame to hold it together for the last 20 laps.

Back under green, the Moose was now an unhappy Moose and an unhappy Moose is tough to handle. From the tail end of the field the Moose started his charge back to the front. Spot by spot, he picked off each competitor working his way up to 4th before he ran out of laps. With the come back performance of the race the Moose moved up to 4th in the Championship standings. The team is scheduled to test at Mobile International Speedway on Thursday in preparation for the season opener on April the 7th.

 Thomas on his night; “We really had a much better race car tonight, I just wish we had an opportunity to show what we had. I really want to thank Donnie (Hamrac), Mr. Wade (Glasscock) and Mr. Mike (Walker) for helping us out. Without their help it would have been a long night.”

PRESEASON ACTION NETS MOOSE 6TH

With the regular season opener at Mobile International Speedway a month away the Moose took his newly designed G-Force Pontiac to Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway for some preseason warm ups. What was to have been a light work out for the G-Force team turned into a full fledged heavy weight title fight.

 On Friday the Moose put his G-Force machine through its paces in an all day test. Working off the base from the Snowball Derby in December the team thought they would return with a solid set up. After a day of testing and changes, they were decent but not up to par. More practice on Saturday made the car better but the team still was off from their expectations. While the team struggled to get back on track the other Superstock teams made their way into the racetrack.  As each hauler parked it became obvious that the Moose wasn’t the only driver looking to knock off the winter rust in Pensacola. By the time qualifying took place the Superstock field had become a who’s who of Gulf Coast racers representing 7 Track Championships and 6 Snowball Derby winners. With the average age of his fellow competitors more than twice his age and thousands of laps around the famed half-mile oval the Moose was now in the deep end of the pool in his only second start at Five Flags Speedway.

A fresh set of Hoosiers for qualifying put the Moose solidly in the field in the 9th position but still not at the speed the team was looking for. More changes to the chassis and it was time to turn the Moose loose. Starts with that many veterans can be treacherous for a 17 year old but it can also become a time of opportunity for those too young to know better. With the drop of the green flag the Moose was charging to the front, with a slick move off turn 2 he moved from 9th to 5th by the time the field made it back to turn 3. A caution on the first lap would send the field back to a double file restart and the veterans would not be fooled again. Back under green, the Moose was having to slug it out car by car and the pickings would not come easy. On top of racing against some of the best in the business, the G-Force machine was now extremely loose making passing underneath impossible, which left only the high side for the Moose. The high side on short tracks is difficult, at Pensacola its down right impossible. After an early caution the race stayed green for the remainder of the 25 laps which made it even more difficult to pick up spots. As the checkered flag flew the Moose had worked his way up to 6th.

Thomas on his night: “It was really cool, I was racing against guys I had grown up watching race. Guys I had seen my Dad race against for years I was getting to race with. I learned a lot Saturday night and I hope I earned a little of their respect. We had a solid night but I was hoping for a better finish for our new sponsor G-Force.”

 We’ll turn the Moose loose again in Pensacola on Friday March 23rd at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway.

G-FORCE PRIMARY SPONSOR FOR THE MOOSE

 
Alpharetta, Georgia based G-Force Racing Gear announced primary sponsorship of the Moose for the first part of the 2007-racing season. G-Force Racing Gear is well known throughout the racing world as a quality supplier of racing gear from the local short tracks to Talladega Superspeedway. “Quality, Innovation, Value” have been the focus of G-Force Racing Gear’s growth and success. A long time associate sponsor for Max Force Racing, G-Force moved to a primary role for the start of the 2007 season. Thomas Praytor better known as the Moose will kick off the 2007 season with the season opener at Pensacola’s Five flags Speedway this weekend. For more information on G-Force Racing Gear, go to
www.gforce.com or visit one of their 100 plus dealers located throughout the United States.    

 

MOOSE STARTS 2006 RACING SEASON IN CALIFORNIA

With a week off for the Mardi Gras break, the Moose headed West for the NASCAR races at California Speedway. Thomas joined the WNSP Broadcast team earlier this year with his now semi-famous “Moose Call” on Fausak Tires Inside Alabama Racing. A trip to the Cup, Busch and Truck garages was a perfect way for the Moose to get the behind the scenes story to add to his weekly broadcast. A steady dose of RPMs at the 2-mile speedway has the Moose primed for the season opener at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway next weekend. The team will test on Friday with racing slated for Saturday night.

Team Scores Big At HIBT
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Tommy & Thomas were part of the Outdoor Channel's Buzzard Angling Team for the 46th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament in Kona Hawaii. Click here for the full week's story. The 1 hour special will air in October only on the Outdoor Channel.