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Racing Recaps 2008

2008 Schedule and Results







Thomas Praytor, Snowball Derby Pensacola, FL-12-7-08: The Mobile International Speedway US Army Rookie of the Year rolled into Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway to line up against some of the best late model drivers in the country. Most teams had NASCAR ties with cars piloted by NASCAR developmental drivers or teams backed or owned by big name chassis and motor builders. The competition is so stiff that most of the local drivers that competed in the Lee Fields Memorial race just a month ago at Mobile International Speedway stayed at home, the Moose couldn’t wait to get to 5 Flags. After two days of practice, the odds for the Salvation Army Pontiac to make the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 looked slim. With 130 late models on the speed charts the Moose was no better than 70th after any session. Our Salvation Army team spirits remained high because we knew that our team had limited tires to work off of during practice while other teams were bolting on new tires for almost every practice session. Fresh tires equal fast times and the Moose didn’t have those resources. What he did have was his hard working crew member Kyle McKay-Cox and a couple of Snowball Derby pickups Adam and Rick Crawford. Bolstered by our own NASCAR connection the Moose was up on the wheel for qualifying, turning a 17.58 second qualifying lap. Four tenths of a second better than his fastest practice time and just a tenth of a second out of the show (For the record it was 7 tenths of a second faster than a certain fat guy qualified the same car in 2007). To say the level of competition has stepped up would be an understatement. Last year the Moose’s time would have started him 19th, this year he was 39th and would have to race his way in through the last chance race. The Moose started 5th, in front of Larry Foyt, son of A.J. Foyt, and soon moved up to 4th but instead of looking for 3rd he was busy holding off Foyt. The Moose and Foyt put on a show until there were 4 laps to go and Foyt was able to take the spot and end the Moose’s chances on getting in the race.


Thomas on the 41st Annual Snowball Derby: “I wish we had made the race but it was a great weekend. Kyle, Adam and Mr. Rick worked their butts off to make our car better. Our qualifying laps and the last chance race, I was in the best car I’ve ever been in. What an experience to get track time with some of the best driver’s and teams in short track racing. Then to start in front of a Foyt for the last chance race, who would have ever thought I would meet a Foyt much less race against one. We were racing hard, he could have turned me anytime but didn’t. I went over to his hauler after the race to thank him, what a class act. We learned a lot about our car and we’re looking forward to the 95 KSJ 95 in 2009.”




Thomas Praytor Pensacola 11-22-08: Our Max Force team rolled into Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway with a lot of questions marks from it’s last test session. The last lap of the last test ended with the Moose slamming into the outside retaining wall in turn 3. With everything we’ve had going on over the last 2 weeks our team struggled to piece the G-Force Pontiac back together. A lot of friends pitched in to make it happen; Mike Walker and his guys stopped their regular work to do body work and paint our body parts, Dan Vanderley making a late night trip to the shop on Friday night to replace a high pressure power steering line that would have kept us from going to the track and Kyle McKay-Cox pretty much lived at the race shop. Finally at the track the first order of business to was to get through a pre-derby tech inspection. Ricky Brook’s tech line is one of the toughest in all of racing, last year he threw out Kyle Busch over an 1/8th of an inch. As racers we pushed the envelope on some areas and of course he caught every one of them and we’ll be fixing those before we return for real in 2 weeks. Once through the room of doom it was time to shake down the repairs we made since the last test. On track the Moose put the G-Force Pontiac through its paces. Comfortable we were headed in the right direction, we bolted on a new set of tires and the Moose clipped off a lap within 2 tenths of second of the pole sitter form the last race. A few more changes and a after some long runs the team wound up a 12-hour test day and headed for home.


Thomas: “Really a great day. I can’t thank everyone for helping us enough our race family is incredible. I was nervous coming in to the day I knew we couldn’t afford to put another one in the wall. It took a couple of laps to shake that off and our G-Force Pontiac was really solid. Kyle worked his butt of all day keeping up with the changes; I think we changed gears 3 times. Grant Enfinger was parked next to us with John Wes Townley’s team and he helped me a lot with my line on the racetrack. We’re still a long shot to make this race but I feel really good about our progress.”


Picture: The Moose making one of our many gear changes.





Thomas Praytor Mobile 11-22-08: With heavy hearts our Max Force team made our final trip of the 2008 racing season to Mobile International Speedway for the annual awards banquet. The Moose bolstered by family, team members, sponsors and friends was awarded the US Army Rookie of the Year title for the Fausak Tire Pro-Late Model Division. The Moose completed every point’s race at MIS this season and earned his 3rd Rookie of the Year honors in his 3rd different division in his first 3 years of stock car competition. (MIS Super Stock 2006, Pensacola Super Stock 2007, MIS Pro-Late Model 2008) The countdown to the 41st Annual Snowball Derby Continues this Saturday with an all day test at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway.


Thomas: “It’s been a tough week, losing Mame is hard. When you see the people who came out for her it makes you want to be a better person. In the middle of all that we’ve been keeping busy putting our car back together to test this weekend. Winning the US Army Rookie of the Year is special, it was one of our preseason goals. We learned a lot about late model cars this season and we’re going to need it to get in the Derby. I appreciate everyone who came to the banquet with me Saturday night and everyone who helped us this season.”  



11-14-08: Jamie Praytor lost her battle with cancer earlier today. Jamie is Tommy’s Mom and Thomas’s grandmother, below is the biography that was sent to the Newspaper. Her accomplishments are incredible. We felt like since we are posting this on our web site that we would tell a few racing stories about Mame. Like everyone else in Tommy’s family Jamie didn’t know anything about racing when she made her first trip to Mobile International Speedway. Everything was going fine until I took the track with 20 other guys, she couldn’t watch and ran under the bleachers until it was over. As I made my way to NASCAR Jamie made her first trip to Talladega Super Speedway. The first problem she had was the closed toe shoes and no halter tops in the garage. Once we got her apparel situated she made Talladega her personal playground and everyone was honeyed or darlined into letting her go wherever she wanted to go. The toughest place to get to at a race is the cars as the drivers get in to race. Jamie blew past those guards and proceeded to hug the drivers and wish them luck as she made her way through the starting lineup. The expression on Dale Sr’s face was classic as he got a hug and a good luck from this lady who had no idea who he was. Now it was time for me to run and hide until it was over. As Thomas made his way up through the ranks Mame made more trips to the racetrack, the final one was for the filming of Final Destination 4 at Mobile International Speedway this summer (Picture above). Unlike most race fans, all she wanted was for it to be over, she never really got comfortably watching either one of us racing. While she wasn’t a regular race fan she kept up with Thomas and her buddy Rick Crawford on a regular basis. While she was fighting cancer and as days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months she kept up with what day it was by, practice (Thursday) or race night (Saturday) or when Thomas and I were going to the races with Rick. She always wanted to know how we were doing. She was extra proud of the all-Mobile front row in Texas with Rick and Cale Gale. She loved it when Mobile people did good. To say we are going to miss her would be an understatement. Tommy  FOR COMPLETE BIOGRAPHY CLICK HERE





Thomas Praytor 11-9-08: With the 41st Annual Snowball Derby less than a month away, the Moose made his first late model laps at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway. After being roughed up in the Lee Fields Memorial 100 at Mobile International, the team spent the last 3 weeks rebuilding the Golden Flake Pontiac inside and out. Off the trailer it didn’t take long for the Moose to get comfortable in his old Super Stock stomping grounds. The team made big gains on the handling of the Max Force Pontiac as the MIS US Army Rookie of the Year winner made laps at 5 Flags. The Moose’s test session ended early with a cut right rear tire going into turn 3, the car whipped around and smacked the outside retaining wall. The team has already stripped the car, rehung the body and has the body on its way to the paint booth. With the next test scheduled for the 22nd the team will be hustling to be ready to turn the Moose loose!


Thomas “It was fun being back at Pensacola. The Late Model drives completely different than the Super Stock. I kept getting more comfortable with each run we made and then I tried to move the wall in turn 3. I can’t tell for sure if we had a tire go bad or if it just got away from me but when it whipped around it was gone. It felt like it took forever to slide across the track and hit the wall. The right rear was flat when it stopped but that could have happened in the slide. Everyone has worked so hard to get our car back together I felt like crap. The guys started working on it when we unloaded at shop and I know they won’t quit until we’re ready to go again.”        






Thomas Praytor, Mobile, AL 10-11-08: Coming off of a successful test on Thursday night and a new sponsor, Golden Flake, on the hood the Moose had his A game ready for Saturday night’s Lee Fields Memorial 100. Off the trailer the Max Force team struggled to find the handle on the Golden Flake Pontiac. The team threw everything they had at it but the kitchen sink and the hard work paid dividends in qualifying. In his rookie season the Moose’s best qualifying effort was an 18.259 second lap. Saturday night the Moose shaved almost 3 tenths of a second down to 18.002 and a 9th place starting position. .25 seconds is faster than you can blink an eye but in short track racing it was big and the perfect way to start the final race of the 2008 season at Mobile. Before the start of the race the Moose and a contingent of Golden Flake employees handed out hundreds of bags of Golden Flake chips to the crowd. (Rick Griffin and Chris Crosby are pictured preparing for the rush of fans at intermission.)


With the drop of the green flag of the Lee Fields Memorial 100 the Moose was on the move. In the opening laps, the Golden Flake machine had powered from 9th to 7th putting 3 car lengths on the 8th place car. On lap 4 the 2 cars in front of the Moose got together and started spinning, the Moose checked up and looked like he had the wrecked cleared when he was body slammed from behind. The hit shoved the Moose into the 2 wrecking cars and the 4 cars collectively went over the racetrack and off of turn 3. The Moose made his way back on to the track but a shot at a good finish was gone. The nose was crushed and the left rear had taken a significant impact with the nosepiece of the car that had piled into the Moose stuck inside of the Moose’s car. Several quick cautions played into the teams hands as repairs were made to the Golden Flake machine keeping it on the lead lap. Back on track, the car was a mess with tape holding on enough body parts to keep from getting blacked flagged. Under speed the car was worse than it looked, the left rear spring had been shoved into the rear end housing making the car bounce as it when into the turns. To add to the mess the motor was over heating because the air box had been crushed. Another caution with an extended red flag gave the team the time it needed to remove the hood and enough of the air box to allow precious cool air to the motor. Air was critical; overheating would have ended the night. All of this and the 100-lap race had completed less than 20 laps. Fingers crossed the team sent the Moose back on track with very little hope of finishing the Moose’s first Lee Fields Memorial. Back under green the Moose had his hands full. There was no travel in the rear end and the car bunny hopped into every corner, pushed hard in the center of the corner and was snapping loose off the corners. The race took on a green flag look and for the next 60 laps the Moose was working over time with an ill handling racecar. The Golden Flake machine finally got away from the Moose on lap 90 sending him to the top of the track bringing out a caution. In desperate need of a bag of Golden Flake NRG Overload energy chips the Moose only had 10 laps left. With 5 to go a car that was a lap down to the Moose turned him around bringing out the final caution of the night. Somehow the Golden Flake machine survived again and the Moose made the final 5 laps to the finish. All the tape, all the work paid off with the Moose earning an improbable 10th place finish. Next up on the schedule, testing for the 41st Annual Snowball Derby at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway.


Thomas on his night: “First, I need to thank everybody. All the guys worked their butt’s off to give me a great car, it’s the best I’ve ever had. Then everybody pitched in to keep us in the race, I think I even saw Mr. Chris (Crosby from Golden Flake) with some tape in his hand. If you had told me we were going to finish, much less finish 10th, when I was sitting at the bottom of the hill off the racetrack on lap 4, I would have said you were crazy. Ours guys don’t know how to give up. I appreciate Golden Flake being on the car this weekend and at the track with us Saturday night. We had a great time with the NRG Overload chip give away!” 



Thomas Praytor Mobile, AL 10-9-08: The Moose put the finishing touches on his Golden Flake Pontiac Thursday night at Mobile International Speedway. The US Army Rookie of the Year contender in the Fausak tire Pro-Late Model Division has been trying new setups all year and Thursday night’s 4 hour practice session was more of the same. As with most test, some thing worked and some didn’t but overall the Golden Flake machine was crisp if not just down right crunchy. Saturday night is the season finale at MIS with the Lee Fields Memorial 100 taking center stage at the high bank oval. To help celebrate Lee Fields legacy, our sponsor, Golden Flake, will give away over 500 bags of its newenergy chip, NRG Overload, at intermission.

Thomas “We had a really good test on Thursday night. We’ve been working hard on getting the timing down on our bump stops and we learned a lot. I’ve been struggling all year with the new class and some of the pieces of the puzzle are coming together for me. I wish we had 2 more months of racing. I appreciate Golden Flake coming on board this weekend and helping us give back to our great fans at Mobile.”


Birmingham based Golden Flake Snack Foods will be the primary sponsor for Thomas “Moose” Praytor during the 2008 Lee Fields Memorial at Mobile International Speedway on October 11th. In addition to carrying the Golden Flake colors for the MIS season finale, the Moose and Golden Flake employees will distribute 500 bags of Golden Flake’s new energy chip NRG Overload during intermission. “To be sponsored by the official chip of Talladega Superspeedway is awesome!” said the Moose. “When you look at the people who are sponsored by Golden Flake; Alabama, Auburn, the SEC and the Sunbelt Conference (Moose is a USA freshman) to be in that group is really special. I’m looking forward to Saturday night.” After a huge weekend at NASCAR’s biggest track, Talladega Superspeedway, Golden Flake heads to the fastest half mile in Alabama, Mobile International Speedway. “Our new energy chip, NRG Overload, is a big hit with the college crowd and the opportunity to team up with the Moose was too good to pass up,” said Chris Crosby, Sales Manager for Golden Flake. “Thomas and his race team exemplify the high standards we expect from the teams we work with. Golden Flake and the Moose, a great pair!”

The Lee Fields Memorial 100 is slated for Saturday night at Mobile International speedway at 8:00 PM. Coming in to the final weekend of racing at MIS the Moose is leading the US Army Rookie of the Year standings and sits 7th in the Fausak Tire Championship points standings just outside of the top 5. A good night could move the Moose into the top 5 in the Championship point’s standings.

Golden Flake Snack Foods is a wholly owned subsidiary of Golden Enterprises, Inc. The Birmingham, Alabama based company was founded in 1923 and is publicly traded on the NASDAQ exchange, symbol GLDC. Golden Flake is a leading snack food supplier in the Southeast and is the official chip of Talladega Superspeedway, Auburn University, University of Alabama, SEC, Sunbelt Conference and the Rick and Bubba Show. For more on Golden Flake



Thomas Praytor, Talladega, AL 10-5-08: With a little over a week until the final race of the 2008 season at Mobile International Speedway, the Moose was tuning up at Talladega. For the first time in 8 years the Moose sat behind the wheel of a dirt cart at the Talladega Short Track. The Moose helped dial in Gator Nations, Gene “Gator” Morris’s cart for the feature. Friday and Saturday the Moose lent a helping hand in the truck garage while taking in a dose of the Talladega infield on Friday night. The Moose missed Sunday’s race to return to the Max Force Racing shop to prepare for the Lee Fields Memorial 100 on Saturday night.

Thomas: “Of course Talladega was great but I would really like another shot at that cart. I appreciate Gator letting me take his baby for a ride. We tested last week and have another one scheduled this week for the Lee Fields Memorial. Everyone tells me we’ve had a good rookie season in the late models but I sure would like to end up in the top 5 in points.” 

Stories coming for 8-30 (Turned) & 9-13 (Tight)


Thomas Praytor 8-29-08: After taking a couple of weeks off while the Miller Lite Super Late Models spent a soggy afternoon at Mobile International Speedway, the US Army Rookie of the Year candidate is ready to get back in action. Along with his duties around the shop the Moose is completing his second week of classes as a University of South Alabama freshman. “We made some more changes to our G-Force Pontiac and tested earlier in the week. The car keeps getting better and I’m ready to race. Actually I’m ready to do anything other than school.” The Moose is currently 6th in the point’s standings, 13 points out of 4th and leads the Rookie of the Year standings in the Fausak Tire Pro-Late Model division. Including Saturday nights Labor Spectacular with fireworks and NASCAR’s Rick Crawford there are just 4 races left on the MIS calendar. 


Thomas Praytor Mobile 8-9-08: After a month of rain Mobile International speedway was back in action for the 2nd night of 4 nights of racing in August. Rain shortened Thursday night testing but the team picked up some valuable information in the few laps it was able to make. Off the trailer the Cooper Tires Pontiac was faster Saturday night than ever before and was within a couple of tenths of last weeks fast qualifier. With the pieces of the puzzle appearing to come together the team bolted on a new set of sticker tires for qualifying. New tire normally pick up your speed by a couple of tenths but this set slowed the Moose down over 4 tenths. The tire book showed the tires were the same size but were set at a different tire pressure. The team bolted on the practice set for the heat race and the Moose finished third. The team adjusted the tire pressures on the qualifying set for the feature and the Cooper Tire machine was better but not as fast as when it unloaded and the Moose settled for 11th in the feature. The team has the next week off whiled the Speedway host the Miller Lite 100 Lap Super Late Model Series.

 Thomas: “I’m really disappointed, we unloaded with the best car we’ve had and the qualifying tires really messed us up. I think we learned something with that set of tires that will make us better in the future. Congratulations to DJ (Vanderley) on taking his first win of the season.”


Thomas Praytor Mobile 8-2-08: After weeks of rain and testing the Moose was ready to get down to business on Saturday night. With a solid Cooper Tires Pontiac off the trailer the US Army Rookie of the year candidate qualified almost 4 tenths of a second faster than his last outing at MIS. The qualifying effort put Thomas 8th and looking forward to racing for the first time in a month. With the drop of the green flag the Moose was on the move and quickly moved up into the top 5 and looking for more. A tight racecar had the Moose chasing the backend of the car off the corners. After moving into 5th the right side tires slipped off the racing surface on the back stretch opening the door for the next 4 cars in line. After the slide off the back the Cooper Tire machine wasn’t the same and the Moose settled for 9th. Another solid performance has the Moose 4th in the Fausak Tire Pro-Late Model Championship standings with only 18 points separating 4th-9th.

Thomas: “We had our best car yet at the track. I got too aggressive on the gas coming off of turn 2 and drove the right side wheels in the grass. I saved the car and I thought I was going to be able to keep everybody behind me but it didn’t work out. It was a nice points night but I left a few on the table. I’m looking forward to racing again this weekend.”

Picture: Thomas’s sign company sponsored the first annual Bomber Bash on Saturday night. Picture is Thomas and Bomber Bash winner Brandon Tipton in victory lane.



Thomas Praytor Mobile 7-31-08: After weeks of being rained out the Moose and his Max Force Race team have gotten very good at loading and unloading their Cooper Tire Pontiac. Between testing and trips to the track for races that have been rained the team has loaded and unloaded over a dozen times in the last month without turning a competitive lap. While the racing action has been quiet the team has turned hundreds of laps testing. Last night the team loaded the Cooper Tire machine for Thursday night test and tune with rain falling at the shop and the racetrack. It looked like it was going to be another load and unload operation but with an all out effort by the MIS safety crew the track was dried and testing was on. The Moose and his revamped Cooper Tire Pontiac put in another solid test and the team is ready for Saturday night. 


Thomas: “Our car is better than it has ever been. We still have a little ways to go to catch guys like Steven Davis but we’re gaining on it. Speaking of Steven, congratulations to him and Brook on their baby girl Tinsley. I’m really proud of how far we’ve come with our car. I think over the last month we’ve borrowed ideas and gotten help from just about everybody here in Mobile all the way to North Carolina. I can’t thank everybody enough. We’re never going to give up a thing until we get up front.”


Picture: After a solid month of rain the Moose spends more time looking skyward than at the racetrack.


Thomas Praytor Mobile 7-26-08: After another disappointing practice on Thursday night at Mobile International Speedway, the team held a rare Friday test at the Speedway. Testing on Friday before a Saturday race is a huge gamble, any kind of problem and you don’t race on Saturday. A late night at the track on Thursday, pointed the team in the right direction to make the Cooper Tire machine better. It took the team all day to make the changes and hurry back to the track for a test. Off the trailer, the Cooper Tires Pontiac was finally showing signs of life. The Moose felt a pulse for the first time in weeks and hit the gas. After struggling for most of the month of July the Cooper Tire machine was finally faster than when the month started. With an improved car the Moose was ready to race but Mother Nature had other plans, a record 4th rainout in a row. The Speedway has rescheduled for this Saturday night and will now be racing for 4 weeks in August.

 Thomas: “I would like to complain about getting rained out but I’m just happy we’re going in the right direction with the car. The last few weeks have been tough; nothing we’ve done has worked. Some days we’ve even got slower but we’ll never give up a thing.”


Thomas Praytor Mobile Testing: With so many new components on the Cooper Tire Pontiac the team has spent the last few weeks dodging rain showers and testing, testing testing. The latest test was like Halloween except it was more trick than treat. With each test and each lap we have successfully taken a top 10 car and turned into a last place Fausak Tire Pro-Late Model. At this point we might have a decent Super Stock. We do know that what should work doesn’t and so we are going to go with what shouldn’t. At least this way we want feel so bad when it doesn’t, because after all it’s not supposed to. Testing resumes Thursday night.

Thomas: “It’s been pretty frustrating the last couple of weeks. Our expectations were to get better and start sniffing around the top 5 and we aren’t even close. I know it’s not from a lack of effort. Everyone has been working long hours in the shop and the extra testing has everybody about worn out. I don’t know how good we’ll be but I do know we want give up.”



 Thomas Praytor Mobile, AL 7-12-08: After weeks of racing the stop watch, the Moose will have to wait 2 more weeks to line up his Cooper Tires Pontiac against other competitors in the Fausak Tires Pro-Late Model division.  Rain circled the track most of the afternoon allowing a short practice before the bottom fell out ending the evening. Another round of testing is slated before the next scheduled start on July 26th. With an open date the Moose will be headed to Kentucky Speedway for the ARCA/ReMax Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races.


Thomas: “The rain out deal was really bad, I don’t know how good we were but we were ready to race. With a another 2 weeks we won’t be giving up a thing to make our Cooper Tire Pontiac better.”


Picture: Moose wishing for the rain to go away.




Thomas Praytor Mobile, AL 7-11-08: After a month of chop, cut and rebuilding on the Cooper Tires Pontiac the Moose spent the last week testing at Mobile International Speedway. With each test the Cooper Tires machine shows improvement and the hard work during the off weeks is paying dividends. We’ll turn the Moose loose on Saturday night at Mobile International Speedway when the Fausak Tire Pro-Late Models get back in action.


Thomas: “This last week has been like starting all over again. Everybody has been working hard but we still have a long way to go with the car and the driver. Probably, more with the driver than the car, I do know I’m ready to race.” 




 Thomas Praytor 7-5-08 Dyno: With a new drive train and power plant installed the Cooper Tires Pontiac made a trip to Professional Engine’s chassis dyno. A chassis dyno is used to calibrate the horsepower the motor and drive train produce at the rear wheels. The dyno is a great place to check out new parts, which we have plenty of, before going to the racetrack. It’s more commonly used to tweak on the motor and drive train to see which combinations produce the most horsepower. The folks at Professional did a great job with both and the Cooper Tires machine is ready for a day of testing at the track with racing scheduled to resume July 12th.


Thomas on the dyno: “The dyno was really a different deal. It’s like stomping the gas inside a building but you don’t go anywhere. Mr. Pete did a great job helping get used to the dyno. I’m glad the motor check out it let us spend 2 days resetting the front of the car after cutting off the mounts points. Looking forward to going to the track to test it all out.”

Picture: Cooper Tire Pontiac on the Professional Engine
Chassis Dyno at 6,000 RPM simulating a 125 MPH run.




Thomas Praytor Memphis, TN 6-30-08:  With a weekend off on the Gulf Coast, the Moose put in some time as a crew member at the truck race at Memphis Motorsports Park. Lending a helping hand with the trucks was the perfect medicine for a driver with no place to race.  The Cooper Tire Pontiac is ready for its date with the chassis dyno and then will be made ready for testing at Mobile International Speedway over the weekend.


Thomas: “Every time I get an opportunity to hang out with the truck team I learn so much. We work hard with our race team but these guys are working in areas we aren’t even thinking about. I really appreciate them letting me hang out with them this weekend. We’ve got our car ready to go to the chassis dyno. I’ve seen the dyno work after the NASCAR races but this is the first time one of my cars has been on the dyno. Hopefully everything goes good and we can head to the racetrack.”




Thomas Praytor 6-26-08: The Fausak Tire Pro-Late Model Division is at the mid season break, while the Miller Lite Super Late Models take the Speedway this weekend. The Moose is currently leading the US Army Rookie of the Year Candidate, 6th in the Championship point’s standings and has not finished outside the top 10 during the 2008 points season. A solid start to the season would have most teams enjoying the time off but the Max Force team has been hard at work. Front to back the Cooper Tire machine is undergoing a complete makeover.  The motor has just returned to the shop having been updated and freshened by Professional Engine and Machine. Along with a motor upgrade the team is upgrading the complete drive train, clutch, bell housing, starter, Jerico transmission and new rear end. While the motor has been out of the car the front end control mounts have been cut off with new style mounts installed and new control arms. The car may be better or worse but it won’t be the same. A trip to the chassis dyno and on track testing are next on the calendar.





Thomas Praytor Mobile, AL 6-14-08: The action on the track was heating up for the last week of Mobile International Speedways Summer Sizzle.  With rain in the forecast and rain all around the Speedway on Saturday night it looked like the cars would never make it out of the trailer.  The rain did hold off long enough for the Moose to practice his Cooper Tires Pontiac but not long enough to qualify. The rains hit in the middle of Thomas’s qualifying effort and the Cooper Tire machine nearly took the hospital hop off of turn 2 but the Moose was able to keep it underneath him. Several efforts were made to dry the track with each drying attempt met by a fresh batch of rain. The Speedway is closed this week for repairs from the filming of Final Destination 4 and will be back in action on June 28th with the Super Late Models and the Fausak Tire Pro-Late Models returning to action on July 12th.


Thomas: “That’s the first time I’ve tried driving in the rain and I don’t want to try that again any time soon. I needed some Cooper Tires to get some traction in the rain. We have a few weeks off and we are going back to work on our car. We’re 6th in points with a bunch of top 10s and I guess as a rookie we should be happy with that but we’re not, so we’ll keep working.”


Thomas Praytor Mobile, AL 6-7-08: After dodging bullets in his 3rd late model start the Moose was looking for a faster Cooper Tires Pontiac and cleaner air, on Saturday night he got both. A week’s worth of work in the shop and a solid test on Thursday night raised the expectation levels for the US Army Rookie of the Year candidate and his Max Force Race team. Mobile International Speedway was hot, greasy and slow for the 2 practice sessions allotted for the Fausak Tire Pro-Late Model Division. The track was hot but cooler than the daytime start for the filming of Final Destination 4 a week ago. The common theme for almost everyone was tight, tight, tight. The team was taking baby steps and not getting any results. For qualifying the team took out the big stick and took a big swing. The gamble paid dividends and the Moose qualified 2 tenths of a second faster and 2 spots better than last week. Another set of changes for the heat race and the Moose put his Cooper Tire machine in the top 5.  The team put more of a good thing to the car and the Moose turned in his best performance of the 2008 season. The feature race had an early caution, then went green the rest of the way. The Moose moved up from 11th to 8th and spent the last 15 laps on the bumper of Elliott Massey from Mississippi and came home 8th. The top 10 finish puts the Moose in 6th place in the Championship point’s standings.

Thomas: “I think I learned more Saturday night than any other time I’ve been in the late model. The crew didn’t give up a thing all night and we kept getting better. The long green flag run let me try a lot of different driving styles to make our car work better. This is the last week of the Summer Sizzle and we want to put everything we’ve learned together and get closer to the top 5.”

Picture: Thomas climbing in to his Cooper Tires Pontiac at Mobile International Speedway.



Thomas Praytor Mobile, AL 6-6-08: After spending the week cutting the grass inside his Cooper Tires Pontiac, the Moose put his car through it’s paces last night at an open test at Mobile International Speedway. Testing has always paid dividends for the Moose and as a Rookie in the Fausak Tire Pro-Late Model division it pays off big. Last night the Moose and his team tried multiple setup combinations looking for more speed in their Cooper Tire machine. As with most test, some produced results and some didn’t. All valuable laps in helping the US Army Rookie of the year candidate prep for his 4th late model start. Saturday night is the meat of the Summer Sizzle sandwich for the Pro-Late Models at MIS, with the final race scheduled for next weekend. After being roughed up in round 1 of the Sizzle, the Moose is looking for a little pay back this weekend. Hang on, the Moose is loose!


Picture: Thomas and Bobby Wickham of Cooper Tires with the Cooper Tires Pontiac on the set of Final Destination 4.





Thomas Praytor Mobile, AL 5-31-08: Max Force Racing held its Annual Ronald McDonald House Fundraiser at Mobile International Speedway this past weekend. The event has become a fan favorite and with help from Mobile International Speedway and AIG American General the checks keep getting bigger. At intermission the Moose and his Cooper Tires team made their way into the grand stands to toss out Thomas McMoose t-shirts and sign autographs to help promote fan giving to RMH. We hope this year’s check will but our total contribution to Ronald McDonald House over $10,000.


After spending a couple of week as a stunt driver for the filming of Final Destination 4 at Mobile International Speedway the Moose was ready to get back to some real racing in the Fausak Tire Pro-Late Model division. An over aggressive setup for qualifying relegated the Moose to starting closer to the back of the field than the front in his 3rd Late Model start. With the drop of the green flag the Moose used the stuntman skills learned over the last 2 weeks dodging wrecks and being wrecked. Before the day was over the Cooper Tires Pontiac was knocked out of the racetrack 4 times. Each time the Moose battled back on the track. Perseverance paid off and a bruised and battered the Moose’s Cooper Tires machine limped home 10th.

Thomas on his day: “The fans were incredible. I think the guys filming the movie had them extra pumped up. I can’t thank Mrs. Ida and AIG enough for helping us raise money for Ronald McDonald House. I wish we had a better showing on the racetrack. I felt like a real rookie out there, I either hit or got hit by just about everybody out there today. My Dad told me I got knocked off the track 4 times, it felt like 40. We’ll be picking grass out of the car all week. My guys never give up a thing and we kept digging and we ended up with a top 10.”

Picture: Thomas signing autographs in the grandstands for Ronald McDonald House night.





Thomas Praytor, Mobile, AL 5-22-08: Findley, Ohio based Cooper Tire & Rubber Company announced today that it will become the primary sponsor for the Moose during filming of Final Destination 4 and Mobile International Speedway’s Summer Sizzle. Since 1926 Cooper Tires vision has been, One Company…one team…one goal, that vision is mirrored at Max Force Racing. Final Destination started filming this week at Mobile International Speedway and will continue until Ronald McDonald House Night (Day) on May 31st.  The Moose will be making tracks in his Cooper Tire Pontiac for the movie and the Speedway’s Summer Sizzle that starts this week and runs for 4 straight weeks of racing. Currently 5th in the Championship standings at MIS the Moose will only be making his 3rd start in the Fausak Tire Pro Late Model division when the green flag drops on our annual Ronald McDonald House fundraiser.


Thomas: “I’ve been really lucky to have some great sponsors in my young racing career and adding Cooper Tires to our team is big. The list of racers Cooper Tires has sponsored is like a who’s who of open wheel racing, Juan Pablo Montoya and Mika Hakkinen are bad to the bone. I’m honored to be part of their stock car program. Cooper Tires is an American success story and I hope we can add to it.”






Thomas Praytor, Mobile, AL 5-20-08: Filming for Final Destination 4 is slated to start tomorrow at Mobile International Speedway and will wrap during our annual Ronald McDonald House Fundraiser on May 31st. Over the last few months our Max Force Race Team has been preparing cars for the movie, some will come back and some will not. You might recognize this car as the Moose’s runner up car from Mobile and Pensacola in 2007. The car received a new body and a new wrap job for the movie and will be driven by a stuntman for the movie.  This car will come back but the car we showed you last week will not. Remember the Ronald McDonald House race will start early, 3:00 PM, to accommodate the filming of crowd sequences for the movie.



Thomas Praytor 5-13-08 Mobile, AL: The Moose will be one of the drivers for the racing sequences of Final Destination 4. The 4th installment of the Final Destination franchise will be filming at Mobile International Speedway starting on May 21st. The Speedway was chosen by New Line Cinema for the opening sequence of the 4th chapter of the popular Final Destination movies. With over 300 million in box office receipts, the Final Destination trilogy has been a hit with the under 30 crowd since it’s first premonition. For those not familiar with the movies, each movie starts with a premonition of a disaster and people being saved by the premonition. But you can’t cheat death and death spends the rest of the movie tracking down those who were saved or thought they were. In Final Destination 4 the premonition starts the movie at a racetrack. An open casting call for extras is being held at the Civic Center this Saturday from 11-2.

Filming will culminate on May 31st during our annual Ronald McDonald House Fund Raiser. The race time has been moved from 8:00 PM to 3:00 PM to accommodate the film crew. The Speedway has created a special limited edition ticket for the 31st and they are on pre-sale now at McConnell Automotive, Fausak Tires, Bob’s Speed Shop and Praytor’s Collectibles. In addition to the Moose driving in the movie Max Force Racing has been preparing cars for the movie. A car owned jointly with Rick Crawford was delivered a few weeks ago and the car pictured above will be picked up this week. We will deliver another car next week. 

Thomas: “This is a really cool deal. I met one of the directors and the stunt coordinator a couple of weeks ago.  Mr. Jeff (Danshaw, stunt coordinator) was really nice, he was Steven Segal’s stunt double in Under Siege. I tried to tell him the stunts he wants to do I’ve done without really trying. It’s going to be an awesome way to start the Summer.”



 Thomas Praytor Mobile 4-19-08: For his first regular season start the Moose carried a special SPS 5A State Champion hood signed by his teammates. While the team had won the title with a big Senior class, the Moose was looking to make his first regular season start as a Late Model Freshman. Rain the night before had the Moose looking for the handle on his G-Force Pontiac. The Moose struggled with the green racetrack but never got a handle on the Speedway. By playing dodge ball and missing the wrecks the Moose was able to salvage a top 10 finish coming home 9th. Saturday night’s finish couple with his top 10 in the 95 KSJ 95 puts the Moose 5th in the Championship points standings.      

Thomas: “It was cool having my teammates at the track with me Saturday night. The hood they all signed is already headed for the wall in the shop. I had a bad night. I said it was my worst night in a racecar and my Dad corrected me that my first night in the Super Stock was my worst night and this would be second. I got better in the Super Stock and I know I’ll get better in the late model but Saturday night was painful.”






Thomas Praytor Mobile 4-14-08: The Miller Lite Super Late Model Series was in action this past weekend giving the Fausak Tire Pro-Late Models the weekend off. The Moose used the down time to test, work on his G-Force Pontiac, test, work on his G-Force Pontiac and test, then work on his G-Force Pontiac some more. The early exit from the ASA Bayou Classic forced a complete rebuild of the front end of 10-K.  The Moose’s first post wreck test was not good, the second a little better and finally after Sunday’s test it appears we may be ready to turn the Moose Loose on Saturday night. If the first 2 late model starts weren’t big enough, the 95 KSJ 95 and the ASA Bayou Classic, Mobile International Speedway is hosting St Paul’s Football 5-A State Championship night on Saturday night. The St. Paul’s football team, along with the Moose will be recognized at half time. So, for his third career late model start and first regular season start, the Moose will run a special SPS hood signed by his teammates. No pressure.


Thomas: “The guys have been working really hard on getting 10-K back together. The ASA wreck was worse than it looked. We’ve spent more time with tape measures under the car than we have standing up. The hard work has paid off, we’re getting better every time we go to the track. I still have a long way to go to catch up with Hal Martin and some of those guys but we’re getting there.” 



 Thomas Praytor Mobile4-18-08: The Moose completed testing last night for the Saint Paul’s 5-A State Championship night at Mobile International Speedway on Saturday night. The Moose will run a special SPS 5-A State Champions Hood that has been signed by his teammates. The team will be recognized at intermission by the Speedway and Coach Smith will drop the green flag on the Pro-Late Model Race. Pictured above is St Paul’s Head Football Coach Mike Bates with the Moose.

 Thomas: “Having Mrs. Ida recognize my team at the Speedway is pretty special. My teammates supported me while I was trying to win Championships and all the guys signed my hood for Saturday night. There are some pretty big names on my hood but I don’t think any bigger than my coaches. Coach Bates and all my coaches made it possible for me to race and play football at the same time. I missed a lot of practices because I was racing and not a lot of coaches would have put up with that.”

 “We had a good test Thursday night but I still have a long way to go to run with the hot dogs. I had a chance to run with Bubba Gale. I think he has 13 track championships and his son is in the Nationwide series now. That old man was fast. It was all I could due to keep him in sight and I think he was just cruising. Maybe if I get close enough to him Saturday night I can tie a rope on to him and he’ll drag me behind him.”


Thomas Praytor Mobile 3-22-08: After making his first late model start in the 95 KSJ 95 at Mobile International Speedway the Moose filed an entry for the inaugural ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour Bayou Classic 100. Pulling into the speedway for practice on Friday the Moose realized the price of this poker tournament was a lot higher. Thirty-four cars were in town for practice on Friday night and the series added another half dozen on Saturday. The Moose in his second career late model start was up against some of the best names in short track racing in the country. For the Moose, learning from the best was big. How good was the field? In the 95 KSJ 95 the Moose qualified with a 18.35 second lap and he started 18th. This week the Moose improved his G-Force Pontiac by 4 tenths of a second (that’s a lot in short track terms) with a 17.98 second lap. In the 95 KSJ 95 he would have started 6th in the ASA Bayou Classic he started 31st.  Happy to be in the field the Moose was looking to log 100 laps and gain valuable track time for the upcoming 2008 MIS regular season. From the drop of the green flag the Bayou Classic turned to Bayou brawl. The Moose dodged 3 of the first 4 cautions and that was by lap 5. Another car bounced off the Moose for caution 4 at lap 7. Coming to the green on lap 7, Kyle Fowler jumped to the outside trying to gain positions before the start finish line. Fowler made up several spots until he ran out of real estate coming off turn 4. Instead of spinning out Fowler hit the gas cutting across the hood of the Moose sideways, ripping apart the left front, then hit the car inside of Thomas ending his day and the Moose’s. We would normally give Fowler the idiot of the race award but unfortunately he was not the only one to have a brain embolism on Saturday night. By lap 25 what had been a full field of 36 cars was down to less than 20. The team is already hard at work getting the G-Force Pontiac ready for the MIS Season opener on April 5th.

 Thomas: “The race was a big let down to a great weekend. We really got a lot better over the 2 days we were there and when you get to race with that caliber of race teams it makes you better. DJ Vanderley was a big help for us on Saturday. I know it had to be hard for him to be at the track without his car (DJ wrecked hard in the 95KSJ 95) but he really helped me and my Dad.”

Picture: The ASA Series brings it’s own set of sponsors to the track. In order to be in line with the contingency sponsors that help put on the show the Moose’s G-Force Pontiac had a new batch of stickers added for the Bayou Classic. For More Moose



Thomas Praytor Mobile 3-20-08: A top 10 finish in last weekends 95 KSJ 95 set the table for the Moose to file an entry for this weekends inaugural ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour, Bayou Classic 100 at Mobile International Speedway. Over the years the ASA Series has produced some of the biggest names in racing. Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Reed Sorenson all made their way to NASCAR through the ASA Series.  This weekend, the Moose will attempt to qualify his G-Force Pontiac in the Bayou Classic 100 in only his second Late Model start. For the first time at Mobile International Speedway the new ASA Southeast Tour will combine Super Late Models and Pro-Late Models. The Super Late Models are being detuned with smaller carburetors to try and put them on an equal playing field with the Pro-Late Models. Equal or not the merging of the 2 talents pools of drivers should make for a great race.


Thomas: “This is a pretty big step for my second start but the opportunity to race with guys from around the country on my home track was just too good to pass up. You look at the guys who have raced in the ASA Series and it’s pretty impressive. Just making the field will be an accomplishment.



Thomas Praytor Mobile 3-15-08: The Moose opened a new chapter in his racing book with his first Late Model start in the 95 KSJ 95 at Mobile International Speedway. Normally, your first race in a new class is a 25-lapper or a heat race of 6 laps to kind of get your feet wet. Not the Moose, he jumped in to the biggest Pro-Late Model race in MIS history. The Moose qualified 17th and would have a long way to go to see the leaders. Flagman Eddie May dropped the green flag on 95 laps of green flag action and 95 laps of fireworks followed. The Moose raced hard and missed some big wrecks, including a dodge that sent 10K to the grass on the backstretch.  Lap after lap the Moose’s G-Force Pontiac kept getting better. The team made adjustments to his car and by the halfway point the Moose was picking up places. The 95 KSJ 95 became a 2-hour marathon with the Moose working his way up to 9th


Thomas on his first Late Model start: “I’m not going to lie by the time we got through I was worn out. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot, I really have a lot to learn. Everybody worked hard all day and 10K kept getting better. I’m looking forward to the regular season.”


Picture: The Moose making a pass during the 95 KSJ 95. 



As the 2008 racing season is set to get underway our Max Force Racing team will run special stickers in memory of Charles “Little Man” Bazzel. Little Man was one of Mobile International Speedway most popular drivers and was killed earlier this year in a truck accident. Both Tommy and Thomas have raced against Little Man and our G-Force Pontiacs will carry a 26 sticker in his memory.


Story from Little Man Big Heart -- Feb 13 2008


Earlier this week, Mobile International Speedway unexpectedly lost one of it’s own, "Little Man" Bazzel. Over the last decade Little Man raced his way into our hearts and became an MIS favorite in the pits and the grand stands. Little Man was known for a warm generous heart that he would truly give you the shirt off his back or the car off his trailer if you needed it.


The Moose starts the 2008 season this weekend with a double-header. Tonight in Pensacola with the G-Force Racing Super Stock and Saturday night the Moose will make his first Late Model start in his G-Force Pontiac in the 95 KSJ 95 at Mobile International Speedway.



 Thomas Praytor Pensacola 3-15-08: The Moose rolled into 5 Flags Speedway for the season opener looking to give the Pensacola fans something to talk about. With the Moose playing in the football State Championship last season, the G-Force Pontiac has been on jack stands in the Max Force shop waiting on last years Snowball Derby. The rust hadn’t just formed on the car, the Moose had a little rust to knock off also after having spent the winter testing the new late model for tonight’s 95 KSJ 95 in Mobile. The crew chief freed the G-Force Pontiac up just a little too much for qualifying and the Moose would roll off 11th in a big opening night field of Super Stocks at 5 Flags. By the halfway point in the 25-lap feature the Moose had moved up from 11th to 4th but had paid a heavy price. Tires and brakes are critical at Pensacola and the Moose had abused both going to the front. After going forward the first half of the race the Moose spent the second half of the race hanging on and settling for 7th.


Thomas on his night: “I’m really disappointed. I forgot most of what I learned last year that made us good at the end when everybody else starts to struggle. I guess Pensacola isn’t the best place for the “Mad Moose” but I was determined to get up front. Pensacola is like quick sand, the harder you struggle the deeper it gets. I got pretty deep.”


The Moose continues round 2 of the doubleheader opening weekend as he makes his first late model start in the 95 KSJ 95 at Mobile International Speedway.




Thomas Praytor Pensacola 3-13-08: At 17 the Moose spent the majority of the 2007 season as the points leader at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway and ended up just 13 points away from a title in his first season at Pensacola. The story line all year at 5 Flags was the Moose’s title run in his Rookie season. At least you would think it was. The following is 5 Flags pre-race story for this weekends Super Stock season opener.


“In the Super Stock Division, Milton's Chris Cotto has raised the bar for all comers with his dominant win streak in 2007, including the Snowball Derby. However, there are a host of drivers planning to dethrone Cotto in 2008, including former Champions Shannon Jackson and Greg Young, plus upstarts Brandon Harris and James Kimbrough, and don't forget the dynamic duo of Mike Moore and Earl Polk. There is also a contingent of out of towners heading into opening night, including Opp, Alabama drivers Scotty Anderson and Jody Henderson, plus Crestview's John Schuffler.”


No mention of the Moose? We looked high, we looked low, we even looked in the woods off of turn 3 but no Moose at 5 Flags. Turning the Moose Loose is always entertaining. Turning a MAD Moose Loose, that’s scarier than the Tower of Terror at Disney World.


Thomas on 5 Flags story: “Not printable”


The Moose starts the 2008 season this weekend with a double-header. Friday night in Pensacola with the G-Force Racing Super Stock and Saturday night the Moose will make his first Late Model start in his G-Force Pontiac in the 95 KSJ 95 at Mobile International Speedway.




Thomas Praytor Mobile 3-4-08: The Moose put his G-Force Pontiac through it’s final preseason paces this weekend at Mobile International Speedway. After 2 years in the Super Stock division at MIS the Moose is prepping for the 95 KSJ 95 Pro-Late Model race on March 15th. The 95 KSJ 95 will kick off the most ambitious race schedule for Max Force Racing in its history and will have the Moose doing double duty at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway and Mobile International Speedway.


Thomas: “The late model is totally different than my Super Stock. I’d like to have a few more practice sessions to get faster but I’m also ready to race. We’re going to open with the Super Stock in Pensacola and roll out the Late Model in Mobile for the 95 KSJ 95. I can’t wait.”



Thomas Praytor 1-13-08- Last week, Mobile International Speedway announced it will start its 2008 season with the 95 KSJ 95 lap Pro Late Model race on March 15th. The Moose was one of the first drivers to confirm an entry for the first ever 95 KSJ 95. Not only will it be the first 95 KSJ 95 it will be the first career late model start for the Moose. 95 laps is more than double the length of a normal Saturday night race and could be an intimidating start for the late model rookie. “I’ve got a lot to learn with my new car but I like running the longer races. Starting with a race sponsored by KSJ is really cool and I’m looking forward to making all 95 laps in my G- Force Pontiac.” Said the Moose.

 With the 2007 racing season fading in the rear view mirror, our Max Force Racing team has been busy in the shop preparing for the 2008 season. Since the Derby 2 cars have been prepped and moved out of the shop and we are half way through a 3rd with the Pensacola car ready to race and the Mobile car taking shape working to a test date in late January early February. Stay tuned for a complete Moose schedule for 2008.

 MIS new web site,, 95 KSJ-


Thomas Praytor 2-25-08: The Moose started the 2008-racing season with a couple of weekends of racing in Daytona Beach. From the short track at New Smyrna, to the dirt track at Volusia, to the high banks of Daytona International Speedway the Moose loaded up with a heavy dose of RPMs. With Daytona in the rear view mirror the Moose filed an entry for the 95 KSJ 95 on March the 15th at Mobile International Speedway. After back-to-back Rookie of the Year titles in Mobile and Pensacola in the Super Stock division, the Moose will make the move to the Pro-Late Model class at MIS in 2008. This past weekend the Moose turned over 100 laps in testing prepping for his first Late Model start in the 95 KSJ 95 on March the 15th.

 Thomas: “This is the 4th style car I’ve driven and each one has had a completely different feel to it. Our new G-Force Pro-Late Model is a lot of fun to drive. We’re not as fast as we would like to be but this is a brand new deal for us. We’ve worked really hard making this car better every time we go out and we’re faster than where we started but we have a ways to go to catch the guys up front.


Thomas Praytor 1-13-08- Last week, Mobile International Speedway announced it will start its 2008 season with the 95 KSJ 95 lap Pro Late Model race on March 15th. The Moose was one of the first drivers to confirm an entry for the first ever 95 KSJ 95. Not only will it be the first 95 KSJ 95 it will be the first career late model start for the Moose. 95 laps is more than double the length of a normal Saturday night race and could be an intimidating start for the late model rookie. “I’ve got a lot to learn with my new car but I like running the longer races. Starting with a race sponsored by KSJ is really cool and I’m looking forward to making all 95 laps in my G- Force Pontiac.” Said the Moose.

 With the 2007 racing season fading in the rear view mirror, our Max Force Racing team has been busy in the shop preparing for the 2008 season. Since the Derby 2 cars have been prepped and moved out of the shop and we are half way through a 3rd with the Pensacola car ready to race and the Mobile car taking shape working to a test date in late January early February. Stay tuned for a complete Moose schedule for 2008.

 MIS new web site,, 95 KSJ-