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Race Recaps 2013

 

Praytor 3rd Fastest at Daytona Testing

Mobile, Alabama’s Thomas “Moose” Praytor rumbled to the top of the speed charts Sunday afternoon during testing for the ARCA Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAV TV at Daytona International Speedway. Praytor posted a time of 49.206 seconds clocking in at 182.905 miles per hour putting his Hixson/Max Force machine 3rd during Sunday afternoons test session. “Really an incredible afternoon. The 2 Cunningham cars lined up behind me and we we’re flying,” said Praytor. “We’ll be looking for them when they drop the green flag in February.” The trio recorded the top 3 spots for the day while drafting together on Sunday.

77 drivers from across the Unites States, Canada, Sweden, England and Australia took part in the 3 days of testing at the World Center of Speed with Praytor’s fastest lap on Sunday putting him 10th fastest of all drivers during the entire test. “This is really a gratifying weekend for us. We took a car built in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, that we finished in Mobile, Alabama, to racing’s biggest stage and out ran some of the biggest names in all of racing.” While the results were impressive the process was painful.

Chassis #4, nicknamed “Tigger”, as in bouncy, trouncy, had never been to the track before this weekend. In fact, Tigger is the first complete in house Superspeedway car designed and developed by Hixson Motorsports and the gremlins that come with a prototype car were in full force at Daytona. “We thrashed for 2 days before we made our first lap late Saturday afternoon. Every time we found an issue we fixed it and another would crop up. It tested everyone on our race team.” With time ticking away Tigger’s second time on the track was in the draft. Praytor’s speed on Saturday put him right behind 8 time Daytona Champion Bobby Gerhardt and just in front of Hendrick Development driver Chase Elliott.

No rest for the weary. Praytor is in route back to Mobile for a fund raiser for the American Diabetes Association on Monday night. The Moose will be the celebrity bartender at the Fairhope Brewing Company from 6-8 with the proceeds going to the American Diabetes Association.

Picture: Tigger in primer grey making laps at Daytona. Teams typically test a new car in primer so they can make changes to the body before applying the paint and sticker scheme for race day.

 

 

Daytona Testing This Weekend for Praytor

After a big weekend in Indianapolis, Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his Hixson/Max Force Racing Team are headed from the snow of Indiana to a projected high of 80 and testing at the World Center of Speed, Daytona International Speedway. “Just the idea that we were at Indy last week and we’re headed to Daytona is pretty cool,” said Praytor. For the first time in his racing career the Moose will be behind the wheel of a brand new race car, Hixson Chassis #4, nickname “Tigger”. “The group in Soddy Daisy built this car several years ago and it’s an honor for me to be the first person to drive it. We’ve had Tigger in our shop the last few weeks putting in my ButlerBuilt seat and putting some finishing touches on the car. We set a deadline of having it loaded in the trailer of midnight on Wednesday and we closed the door on the trailer at 12:19. You never finish working on a Daytona car. I’m sure we’ll be dealing with some new car issues but we we’re looking forward to a solid test this weekend.”

Praytor is one of three drivers with ties to Mobile International Speedway testing in Daytona this weekend. ARCA Mobile 200 winner Grant Enfinger will be testing with Team BCR and Darin Mathews will be testing with the legendary James Hylton this weekend.

The Daytona test is the final event on the ARCA calendar and will close out what has been an improbable and incredible season for Praytor and his Hixson/Max Force Racing effort.

Picture: Tigger in the Max Force Racing Shop in Mobile before heading to Daytona International Speedway.

 

 

Praytor Named 2013 ARCA Sportsman of the Year

Mobile, Alabama’s Thomas “Moose” Praytor received the 2013 H.G. Adcox Sportsman of the Year Award at the ARCA annual awards banquet in Indianapolis, Indiana. The H.G. Adcox Sportsman of the Year Award is presented every year to honor an individual or group that exhibits the ability to show class in competition and truly defines sportsmanship to fellow competitors, officials, and fans in the ARCA Racing Series.

"A huge surprise, it was really an emotional deal,” said Praytor. “It’s an honor for me and our race team that the ARCA officials think of us this way.”

Driving for Hixson Motorsports and his family’s Max Force Racing, Praytor is coming off his first full season of ARCA competition finishing 9th in the ARCA Championship standings.

“This award normally goes to someone who has been doing this a long time, not a rookie. There are some really big names in racing that have won this award, it’s just incredible that I’m now one of them. "

The awards namesake Grant Adcox drove to success in the ARCA Racing Series winning the Sportsman Award in 1988 before losing his life in a NASCAR accident at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1989.

While winning the ARCA Sportsman Award 25 years apart, Praytor and Adcox share some other racing similarities. Both carry the number 2 in ARCA Series competition and both campaign out of shops within miles of each other in Tennessee. Adcox worked out of his family owned operation in Chattanooga, Tennessee and today just up the road Praytor works out of Hixson Motorsports in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee.

Picture (L-R) ARCA Technical Services Director Bobby Thomsen, Praytor and ARCA President Ron Drager.

 

 

Greer’s Kicks Off Busy December for Praytor

Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his Realtor Ford Fusion were part of the ribbon cutting ceremony at the newest Greer’s in Mobile on Wednesday that signaled the beginning of wild December. (Pictured with the Moose are 4th and 5th generation members of the Greer’s family) With 31 locations in 3 states Greer’s is the Gulf Coast’s locally owned grocery store. “The Greer’s are such a big part of Mobile, we were happy to be a part of celebrating the opening of their new store,” said Praytor. “Greer’s is well known for partnering with our local schools but race fans know they can get their ARCA Mobile 200 tickets at all 31 locations!”

The Moose left Greer’s for the Snowball Derby Green Flag Party and radio at Pensacola’s 5 Flags Speedway before departing for North Carolina on Thursday morning. Once again the demands of testing at Daytona International Speedway taking precedent over being able to compete in the 46th Annual Snowball Derby. “I really wish we could do it all, Derby, Banquet and Daytona but you only want to be at the Derby with your best piece and loaded for bear.”

Praytor will spend Thursday, Friday and Saturday in North Carolina picking up parts and pieces that will be put to use in Daytona and beyond. Then back to the Coast to take in the Derby, “We might not be racing but I’m not going to miss it.” A few short days in Mobile to prep the Daytona car and then back on the road to the ARCA Banquet and trade show in Indianapolis, December 11th-15th. The weekend after the banquet the Moose will be headed for ARCA testing in Daytona from 18th-22nd.

 

 

2013 Sponsor Report: Praytor & Sponsors in Top 10

Scott’s Rookie of the Year Candidate Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his Mobile based Max Force Racing team only expected to run 3 races in 2013, enter Soddy Daisy, Tennessee’s Wayne Hixson and his Hixson Motorsports operation and the combined effort competed in all 21 ARCA events. The Tennessee/Alabama effort with an all volunteer pit crew not only finished 9th in the ARCA Championship standings they became a media and fan favorite. On a shoe string budget the Max Force/Hixson Motorsports team garnered media numbers that not only put them in the top 10 in the standings but in the top 10 for all ARCA regulars for TV time for their primary sponsors! Across every media platform, social, print, digital and broadcast Praytor and his Max Force/Hixson Motorsports effort out performed and over delivered in medium.

 

 

2013 Season Totals

Broadcast Emails

106

Driver/Car Appearances

29

Mobile Press, Huntsville Times, Birmingham News, (al.com) Chattanoogan

81 Stories
739 Column Inches

($79,812 Value)

ARCAracing.com

31 Stories

Local TV Coverage

53 Stories

Radio Coverage

76 Appearances

Internet Coverage Stories/Mentions

31,572

Tweets-Trending

The Moose was trending #2 on al.com while in Daytona.

Facebook

Views on MIS fan page for Praytor story #2 all time

Television Broadcast (14)

Fox Sports 1 (10)

NBC Sports (4)

 

Viewers

4,629,000

Praytor/Sponsor Mentions

193

#Times Sponsors Seen
During Broadcast

867

Exposure Time

70:44

Total Value of TV Time

$414,455

Pictures Top (L-R) Being interviewed by AL.com/Mobile Press Register Mark Inabinett, Fox/Speed broadcast from Daytona, At the podium during press conference.

Bottom (L-R) In the Mobile, Alabama shop with WKRG TV 5 (CBS) Randy Patrick, In Fox 10 Studio with Joe Emer, Fox/Speed Broadcast from Pocono, prerace interview at Talladega Superspeedway.

 

 

Thomas "Moose" Praytor hoping to put hard-won

ARCA knowledge to use in 2014

From al.com

By Mark Inabinett

 

Thomas "Moose" Praytor of Mobile had three ARCA Racing Series events on his driving schedule when the 2013 season started. He ended up racing in 21.

"I had a great time," Praytor said. "It was a lot of fun. We're very fortunate to get to do what we did. We did all the races, and we were only supposed to do three. I can't think everybody enough that helped us out -- Wayne Hixson (of Hixson Motorsports), Howard Bixman with Team BCR and, of course, my family. I couldn't do it without my family.

"It was just a great year for us, and I hope we get to do it again next year."

So after a full season of ARCA racing, how did Praytor spend that first free Saturday night in October?

"The first weekend the season was over, I think I was in the race shop," Praytor said. "It never ends, but for some reason we love it."

Praytor's season on the ARCA circuit was a joint venture between Hixson Motorsports and his family team, Max Force Racing. Praytor had participated in four ARCA races before tackling the full schedule in 2013 - a departure from his initial plans to race at Daytona International Speedway, his hometrack of Mobile International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Praytor doesn't want the knowledge he accumulated on his way to finishing ninth in the season standings to go to waste.

"The hardest thing was getting acclimated to all the different racetracks," Praytor said. "I'd never been to a road course or a dirt track or a mile-and-a-half track. It was a big learning curve for me. I had a lot of help. A lot of people gave me a lot of advice. Some of the veterans of the series helped me out a lot. And from that point it was really just up to me. Our cars were decent. Everything was good. And I learned a whole bunch this year, and I hope to use it again coming up next year. ...

"Pretty much every racetrack we went to, I'd never been to before in my life. During the race, that was my learning experience. Now that I'm past that, I don't have that 'I've never been to a dirt track before' any more. Hopefully, we can take everything we learned and apply it to next year and, hopefully, do a lot better and contend a little bit more. Maybe I won't be so timid with the racecars this time, because I didn't want to tear them up."

One of the most difficult things about his ARCA season - his unfamiliarity with the series' tracks - had its bright side, Praytor said.

"The best thing to me was going around to all the different places - Wisconsin, New Jersey, Kansas - all these places I've never been to before and probably never would go to if we weren't racing here," he said. "Just going to the different racetracks and being able to go out for practice and be like, 'You know what? The Cup Series was just out here, and now you're up next.' It's really cool to be able to do that."

Praytor could pick out several other personal highlights from the season, but the season was a highlight itself.

"I did the whole season. That's what I'm proud about," he said. "We finished ninth in championship points, and we did the whole season. That was a big deal for us - a very, very big deal. I can't thank Wayne Hixson out of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., enough. He really believes in me, and he really believes in our race team. I think we're going to go big places next year, just do a little bit better in the ARCA Series."

At the top of the moments-he'll-never-forget list from the 2013 season, Praytor has his first ARCA top-10 finish in the Akona 250 at Elko Speedway in Elko, Minn., on June 1.

"The first top 10 I had, that was a big moment for me and my dad (Tommy Praytor)," he said. "Getting out of the car, and I was like, 'You know what, Dad? I just finished in the top 10.' That was the coolest thing to me, to be able to look at him eye to eye. We hugged it out and everything on pit road. It was a very cool thing because we go everywhere together, and every top 10 or every time we had a good finish when he wasn't too furious about the race, everything was good. Just to be able to go to the racetrack with my family and have some time with them. My mom came every now and then. My sister came. It was just great to spend the time with them at the racetrack."

While Praytor didn't have much experience on the ARCA tracks, he also didn't have much experience with the travel involved in chasing the racing dream.

"I'd probably never been away from Mobile for more than a week," he said, "and there was a time there that I was gone for two months straight. Not being here, not being able to see my friends, it was tough for a little bit. But I was getting to do the deal. I was getting to do what most guys dream of doing, I've always dreamed of doing since I was a little kid. Once I got past that, everything was great."

 

 

Praytor Cuts Loose With Sheriff & SWAT Team

As part of Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran’s Text Meth and Text Thug initiative, Thomas “Moose” Praytor, his Realtor Ford Fusion and the Text Meth/Text Thug Hauler spent the day at the Mobile Metro Range with members of the Mobile County Sheriff’s SWAT team for a Day at the Range. “The event is designed to inform the community about the Sheriff’s Department modern capabilities and we’re proud to be a part of it,” said Praytor. “We’ve carried the Sheriff’s Text Meth/Text Thug message across the country drawing interest from fans and law enforcement everywhere we go.”

After SWAT team members demonstrated a unique hostage rescue, the Moose got an opportunity to show off his skills with everything from a 9mm pistol to a sub machine gun. “I had a great time, I don’t think I hit anything but I had a great time (see video). Sheriff Cochran and his team are always working to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. Spend a little time with them and you get an idea of how hard their job is.” Always on the cutting edge of protecting and serving the community, Sheriff Cochran’s “Yellow Dot Program” and “Bully Blocker” are two of the Departments latest initiatives.

To get caught up on everything the Mobile County Sheriff’s Department is involved in check out their new web site- www.MobileSO.com

Picture: Praytor with machine gun (click on pic for video). Praytor and Sheriff Sam Cochran with Realtor Ford Fusion.

 

 

ARCA returns to Mobile Int'l Speedway in 2014

The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will return to Mobile Int'l Speedway in Mobile, Alabama on March 22, 2014.

Defending ARCA Mobile 200 champion and Fairhope, Alabama native Grant Enfinger led a star-packed media event Wednesday in Mobile.

"It is my honor as a Mobile International Speedway driver and the defending ARCA Mobile 200 champion to announce that the ARCA Series is coming back to Mobile in 2014," Enfinger said.

ARCA Week will begin on Saturday, March 15 with an open practice for ARCA teams and culminate with the third running of the ARCA Mobile 200 on Saturday, March 22.

"The combined efforts of everyone associated with the ARCA Mobile 200 have clearly created a winning formula for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards," said ARCA President Ron Drager. "For the third consecutive year, we will bring the series directly from the season opener at Daytona in February to Mobile in March for the second race of the season. The ARCA Mobile 200 is now talked about all season long by the entire ARCA community-race teams, fans, media and officials. We're pleased and proud our series has found a home on the Gulf Coast."

Local Mobile, Alabama driver Thomas "Moose" Praytor, who finished ninth in 2013 ARCA championship standings, said, "Mobile International Speedway has been a launching point for each level of my racing career, my first stock car start, my first ARCA start and this year our effort at Mobile led to 19 more races with Hixson Motorsports in the Realtor car. After all the new tracks this year I'm really happy ARCA is coming back to my home track."

Local Mobile drivers Enfinger and Cale Gale have provided story book endings to the first two ARCA Mobile 200s, winning in front of the home town fans. While the ARCA series has raced at over 200 different tracks since its inception in 1953, the 2014 ARCA Mobile 200 marks only the third appearance at Mobile International Speedway.

"The community has embraced the ARCA Series and the ARCA Mobile 200 has become much more than a race; it's a happening," said ARCA Mobile 200 Promoter, Tommy Praytor. "The Mobile Sports Authority, Mobile Convention & Visitors Bureau and Alabama's Tourism Department all realize the importance of this race to Mobile and it takes everyone to make it happen."

Opened in 1964, Mobile International Speedway is Alabama's fastest half mile and is currently host to the Sunoco Southern Super Series and Miller Lite Super Late Model Series along with a regular schedule of Saturday night racing. Lee and Ida Fields purchased the Speedway in 1972 and for almost 40 years the duo produced "The Fastest Fun Around". The track is currently being managed and promoted by Tim Bryant who is also the owner/promoter of Pensacola's 5 Flags Speedway, the home of the Snowball Derby.

Mobile International Speedway is part of a long tradition of Alabama tracks ARCA has competed on. The ARCA Racing Series history in Alabama reaches back to 1961 when, on November 5, Ernie Derr won a 250-lap race at Birmingham. ARCA race events at the Fairgrounds in Montgomery in 1962, at Huntsville Speedway in 1963 and 1965, followed by a long tenure at Talladega Superspeedway (1969-present), have kept ARCA's presence in Alabama alive over the decades.

The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 26 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.375 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season.

Founded by John and Mildred Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. In its seventh decade of competition having completed hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in three professional touring series and local weekly events.

 

 

Sponsor Report: Berlin/Springfield/Madison
Spotlight Continues to Shine on Praytor & Realtor Car

The month of August had 3 consecutive races broadcast by NBC Sports Network. Thomas “Moose” Praytor and the Realtor car carried in car cameras at Berlin and Springfield. Along with a couple of short tracks Praytor made his first career start on dirt at the Illinois State Fair Grounds. On a shoe string budget and an all volunteer crew the Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing effort continue to put the Realtor brand in the top 10 of all sponsors on the tour.   

 

August 5-August 30, 2013

Berlin/Springfield/Madison

2013 Total After Madison

Broadcast Emails

9

89

Driver/Car Appearances

2

25

Mobile Press, Huntsville Times, Birmingham News, (al.com) Chattanoogan

9 Stories

61 Column Inches

($6,588 Value)

57 Stories
578 Column Inches

($73,224 Value)

ARCAracing.com

1

28 Stories

Local TV Coverage

3

47 Stories

Radio Coverage

3

63 Appearances

Internet Coverage Stories/Mentions

483

30,094

Tweets-Trending

 

The Moose was trending #2 on al.com while in Daytona.

Facebook

5,504

Views on MIS fan page for Praytor story #2 all time

Television Broadcast (11)

SPEED (7) NBC Sports (4)

Berlin/Springfield/

Madison (NBC)

 

Viewers

277,000

3.88 million

Praytor/Sponsor Mentions

29

193

#Times Sponsors Seen
During Broadcast

170

756

Exposure Time

16:01

66:01

Total Value of TV Time

$39,800

$384,370

Pictures Top (L-R) Signing autographs in Berlin, Michigan. Realtor car under the Ferris wheel at the Illinois State Fair Ground, Realtor/G Force machine on track at Berlin.
Bottom (L-R) Realtor car racing with Ross Kenseth at Madison International Speedway, On the dirt at Springfield, Hixson Motorsport/Max Force team making a pit stop in the dirt at the Illinois State Fair Ground.

 

 

Moose to Walk for Diabetes

After spending the year behind the wheel of the Realtor Car, Thomas "Moose" Praytor will be stepping out for Diabetes on Saturday. "My Grandmother taught us all it is important to give back whenever we can. The Diabetes Walk is just a small way for me to help on something that hits real close to home," said Praytor. "My cousin and roommate, Lee Wingard, is a Diabetic and I know what he has to deal with everyday. I would appreciate our fans clicking on the link below and even if its only $5 help us fight this terrible disease."

 

 

Double Duty Saturday for Realtor Team

The 2013 ARCA Season may be in the record books but the Realtor Car team is still working. On Saturday, the joint Hixson Motorsports-Max Force Racing effort was doing double duty on the appearance trail out of their respective shops in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee and Mobile, Alabama. The Soddy Daisy crew had a Realtor show car at Ingles Market in Ringgold, Georgia while the Moose, Thomas Praytor was at Mobile International Speedway for the season finale signing autographs with his hometown fans. “Wayne (Hixson) was at Ingles Market in Georgia. Ingles kept the crew full of fluids all year, our team relies on associate sponsors like Ingles and we appreciate them being part of the team,” said Praytor. With the car in Georgia the Moose was back on familiar turf at Mobile International Speedway. “Really had a lot of fun with the fans in Mobile. It was the last night of racing and the guys put on a great show, I wish we had a few more races.”

Both shops are already tearing down cars and getting them ready to go again. The Mobile crew is cleaning and prepping “Batman” for a special appearance next week.

 

 

Praytor Back at Mobile International Speedway Saturday Night

The “Moose”, Thomas Praytor, will be back at Mobile International Speedway this Saturday night to sign autographs during intermission and take in the last night of racing at his home track. Praytor has just returned from Kansas Speedway where a top 20 solidified his 9th place finish in the ARCA Championship standings. “You would think after the schedule we’ve had, the last place you would see me is the racetrack but I can’t wait to get back to Mobile International Speedway. I’ve really missed my Mobile racing family and there is nothing like a short track Saturday night under the lights,” said Praytor.

During intermission the Moose will be in the grandstands “I’m really looking forward to being back with the fans. They have supported me all year long, no matter how far away I was. They text, facebook message, tweet, call, their support has been incredible.”

Saturday night will be the final night of racing at Mobile International Speedway and after 6 rain outs the forecast is perfect. The Island Motors II Bombers, Bobs Speed Shop Sportsman and Alabama Pipe and Supply Modifieds will all be in action crowning the 2013 Season Champions. As a special bonus to the fans, Saturday night’s grandstand ticket is only $5.00 with the races starting at 7:00.

Picture: Praytor with Soddy-Daisy Hillbilly beard at Kansas Speedway.

 

 

It’s Official, Praytor 9th in Final ARCA Championship Standings

All of the 2013 points have been counted and recounted by ARCA officials with the final bonus points being awarded on Tuesday, after 21 races, 2399 laps, 42,522 travel miles and thousands of hours of work by an all volunteer crew, Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing Team are 9th in the Championship standings.

“It’s just incredible; so many dreams came true for me this year it’s hard to put it all in perspective. We went to Daytona going to run 3 races this season and we ended up running them all and in the top 10 in points, just incredible,” offered Praytor. “There are so many people that made it happen, our sponsors, our all volunteer crew, the Realtor family, other competitors, ARCA officials, there were times it just seemed like everyone was pulling for us to go the distance. I can’t thank everyone enough for making it happen.”

“In order to do this you have to have someone that believes in you, believes that you can compete at this level and believes that you are worth doing it for. In my case this comes down to 2 crazy old men, my Dad and Wayne Hixson. We started this season with 1 racecar and I had never heard of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. As the season comes to a close we had 5 race cars ready for action, our team was running a second car and after a couple of months in Soddy-Daisy I have some new hillbilly dialect and a beard to go with it. As a racecar driver all you can ask for is a chance and Wayne gave me that chance, I can’t thank him enough.”

While the next event on the ARCA calendar is not until the Championship banquet on December 14th the Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing effort is already back at work in both the Mobile and Soddy-Daisy race shops.

Pictures: From top down

(L) Team owner Wayne Hixson and the Moose at Daytona (R) All volunteer crew pitting Realtor Ford at Kentucky.

ARCA Mobile 200/Roush Yates Ford running 3rd at Daytona

(L) Praytor signing autographs with 79 year old James Hylton in his final season (R) Realtor/G Force Chevy on the dirt in Springfield.

(L) Realtor Chevy working through the s turns at New Jersey Motorsports Park (R) Realtor Chevy and the Moose recording first top 10 at Elko Speedway in Minnesota.

(L) Olympic Boxing Hood with Mobile’s Former US Light weight Champion, Jack Tillman (M) AIDB auction with Darrel Waltrip (R) Charity helmet with AJ McCarron.

 

 

Weather Kills Pit Strategy-Praytor 19th in Kansas

Going in to the final race of the 2013 ARCA season each team has an agenda, for some it’s to run up front and win the race at all cost, for others making their first start it’s simply to have a good day preparing for 2014 and there is everything in between. For Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing with their Scott’s Rookie of the Year Candidate Thomas “Moose” Praytor’s goal was simple, do or don‘t do whatever it takes to remain in the top 10 in the Championship standings.

The Kansas Lottery 98.9 presented by the Rock started with a full day of technical inspection at Kansas Speedway. The lengthy tech process caused the team to make an afternoons worth of changes before Praytor headed to Cabela’s for an autograph session. “This was my first trip to Kansas Speedway and the place is like the Taj Mahal of racing, it’s incredible. My Dad was the color commentator for the first TV broadcast and even he was blown away by all the development around the track,” offered Praytor.

The task for the only practice on race day was to put the Realtor Ford Fusion through its paces, keep it in one piece and get ready to race. Racers being racers the team used up every minute of practice with Praytor being one of the final cars on the track improving lap times every time out. “Kansas has to be one of the smoothest tracks I’ve ever been on. It was so smooth the speed our Realtor Fusion carried into the corners was really incredible. We knew what we needed to accomplish and we were probably too conservative on our approach but with just 1 car we couldn’t afford to be out on the ragged edge.”

Qualifying in the ARCA Series is usually an uneventful happening with the only drama being who will set the fast time and take home the Ansell Pole Award. Friday’s qualifying took on a new meaning as 5 of the first 10 out either spun or wrecked during their qualifying effort. A conservative setup just got more conservative as the tire pressures were changed to handle the cooler track with less grip. “After seeing some really great drivers struggle we changed our setup up some and I changed my first lap to make sure our Realtor Fusion had all 4 corners on when we got done. I was glad we did because on cold tires our car was a handful. My 2nd lap was better but still off from practice.” Praytor would roll off 25th.

While the day had been beautiful the weather was changing and anyone with a phone or an Ipad could see the change rolling across the country side. The race strategy became much like the strategy used all season by the underfunded team with shops in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee and Mobile, Alabama, don’t take yourself out early, out point the competition and go the distance.

The team devised a plan that would put the Realtor Fusion on pit road early and often continuing to keep the tank full of Sunoco to gamble on the long green flag run to the end or when the weather hit. With years of watching hurricanes on the coast the team estimated that the race would go the distance or get really close to it, and like a road course the idea was to be the first person to be able to go the distance.

With the drop of the green flag Praytor was able to make up the spots he left on the table during a conservative qualifying effort but the Realtor Ford Fusion was struggling under the lights. “Our Ford got really tail happy when we were around other cars and it made it hard to run in traffic. The cautions were laying out perfectly for us to change it up and we thought our strategy was working in our favor every lap it didn’t rain.”

As the race neared the halfway point the gamblers started making their final bets, to come in or gamble and stay out. The Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing effort had already put its chips on the table. In order for the gamble to payoff the rain had to stay away and the race had to go the distance. Little did they know.

At lap 60 it was announced the race would go 5 more laps and stop due to the weather coming towards the track, not at the track but coming. “Between my Dad and Wayne (Hixson) I think they have more than 50 years of racing experience and they said it was the first time they could ever remember a race being called while it was going on and before it started raining.” The early ending doomed the 2 to a 19th place finish. The rain would come 30 minutes after the drop of the early green flag and when it came it came big.

“While we were big picture racing all day we were still after the best finish we could get and not getting a chance to play that strategy out is really disappointing. Our guys had a good weekend in the pits and I’m proud of what they have been able to accomplish in their first year together. We raced around James Hylton a lot tonight and he can still wheel a racecar. I think I got the better of him on a restart one time and just made him mad. He got his Roush Yates horsepower wound up and just blew by me. What an incredible guy. Congratulations to Frank (Kimmel) on his 10th Championship and his 80th career win, those guys were awesome all year.”

After tabulating all the bonus points and rechecking the numbers ARCA will post it’s final Championship points standings on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Pictures: (Top) Thomas “Moose” Praytor racing with 79 year old James Hylton. Kansas was the final race of a storied career for the 1966 NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year. Hylton’s paint scheme was a throw back scheme to his first Daytona 500 start. Picture courtesy of the Kansas City Star.

Middle: Praytor and the Realtor Ford racing with Josh Williams (02) and now 10 time ARCA Champion Frank Kimmel (44). Courtesy of ARCA Racing.

Bottom: Part of the hardest working all volunteer crew in racing (L-R) Keith Showalter, Doug Murphy, Crystal Bates and Adam Lowe. (Team PR)

 

 

Praytor & Realtor Car to ARCA Season Finale in Kansas

Kansas Lottery 98.9 the Rock at KANSAS SPEEDWAY: The end of a long and winding road that has become the 2013 ARCA Season for Thomas “Moose” Praytor is in sight with the season finale at Kansas Speedway on Friday night. “There will be a lot of reminiscing next week about how 3 races turned into 21 and all the people who helped make that happen but right now we are laser focused on closing out the season strong with our Realtor Fusion,” offered Praytor. “We’ve been in the top 10 in the Championship standings most of the year and our number one goal Friday night is to end the season in the top 10. Almost as important is improving our equipment and our driver, me, on these aero sensitive race tracks. We’ve come a long way with our Realtor cars this year but we’ll keep working all the way to the final lap of the season.”

MOOSE SIGHTING-Thomas “Moose” Praytor will make be signing autographs at the Cabela’s next to the Kansas Speedway on Thursday from 5-6PM.

Last Race-Zloop 150, KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY: While Praytor’s return to Kentucky Speedway was spoiled by a cut tire there were a lot of positives for the Scott’s Rookie of the Year Candidate and his Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing team. “We basically took a brand new race car to Kentucky, everything from the seat back had been replaced and we had to put a new motor and transmission in the car the day before the race. We had a lot of unknowns that had to be worked through,” said Praytor. “Thanks to the guys at Roush Yates Performance our drive train was solid and the new tail on the car from VPW produced a lot of down force on our Realtor Fusion. We didn’t get the finish we wanted but with all we overcame it was a solid effort.”

The Kansas Lottery 98.9 the Rock is a 2 day event with a full day of technical inspection on Thursday. Practice, qualifying and the race are all on Friday, October 4th. Practice is from 9:00-11:15 AM, Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is at 5:35 with the green flag at 7:30 PM. Live timing and scoring for practice, qualifying and the race will be on ARCAracing.com with live television coverage from Fox Sports 1.

ARCA CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 8th SCOTTS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CHALLENGE: 4th

PRIMARY SPONSOR: REALTORS, www.realtorcar.com and G-Force Racing Gear

CAR: Roush Fenway Chassis RK275, nickname “Batman”. The Dark Knight has been used at Michigan, Pocono, Chicago and most recently in the Zloop 150 in Kentucky. Batman is the teams preferred Speedway Chassis and recorded a top 10 in Michigan before a crash at Chicago took it out of commission, the last race at Kentucky was Batman’s first race back in action. Batman is a former Sprint Cup winning chassis used by Greg Biffle.

HIXSON MOTORSPORTS/MAX FORCE RACING: Max Force Racing is based out of Mobile, Alabama and is fielding cars in its 16th season of competition. Max Force has teamed with another home grown operation, Hixson Motorsports with 4 decades of experience in the ARCA Series from Soddy Daisy Tennessee for the 2013 season.

THOMAS “MOOSE” PRAYTOR: In 2012, Moose made his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. He also raced in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega with Andy Belmont Racing and rounded out the season with a couple of starts for Venturini Motorsports. Praytor is currently 8th in the ARCA Series Championship point’s standings. Prior to the ARCA series, The Moose started cutting his racing teeth at 8 years old on short tracks across the Southeast, racking up local and state titles along the way. The Moose and his Max Force Racing Team earned the Ironman Status of the Gulf Coast in 2011 for competing in every Late Model (Pro & Super) Race at Mobile International Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finishing in the top 10 in the Championship standings at both tracks. Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. Recently the duo teamed up donating a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wore at Daytona and Talladega to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. For more on the Moose- www.realtorcar.com.

Picture: “Batman” racing with Chase Elliott at Kentucky Speedway during Zloop 150.

 

 

Cut Tire Takes Air Out of Kentucky Debut for Praytor and Realtor Car

The Zloop 150 at Kentucky Speedway was the realization of a 12 year olds racing dream for Thomas “Moose” Praytor. As part of the Outdoor Channel film crew, Kentucky was the site of Praytor’s first ARCA race and the beginning of a dream of competing in the most versatile driving series in the world.

The last of a 10 consecutive race week stretch, the Zloop 150 marked the return of “Batman” the Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing preferred down force chassis that was lost in the first of the 10 race stretch at Chicago.

Performance Vehicle Works in North Carolina spent the last few weeks working overtime to not just repair but replace the Realtor car from the rear of the roof to the back bumper. With such an extensive repair the team did not get the car back until after Salem and the thrashing was on with just 3 days to prepare for Kentucky.

“We knew we were pushing it to get Batman ready for Kentucky but it’s our best Realtor car and with 2 races left in the season we’re doing everything we can to stay in the top 10 in the Championship standings,” said Praytor. “Doug Thompson from our road crew came back to Mobile with us from Salem and we were wide open with our Mobile guys. Late Tuesday night we realized the motor and transmission in the car that we originally thought survived the wreck in Chicago didn’t.”

The Mobile crew spent Wednesday pulling out the motor and transmission while the Soddy Daisy crew prepped the new motor and the backup car, just in case. Late Wednesday early Thursday morning the Mobile crew arrived in Soddy Daisy with Batman.

On Thursday the backup motor that wasn’t 100% complete was finished and installed in the car. The team then went to work on finishing the setup and prepping the car for the Zloop 150. At 11:00 on Thursday night the trailer door was closed in Soddy Daisy and the team arrived in Kentucky at 5:30 AM on Friday morning. A couple of hours of sleep and the garage was open for a busy 1 day show.

“We rolled out of the trailer in Kentucky and had no clue what we had. Our motors usually go to the chassis dyno at Roush-Yates, this one hadn’t and the entire drive train had been replaced. Basically, the car had been taken completely apart and put back together with no laps on it and I had never turned a lap at Kentucky. We had a lot of unknowns.”

The first tentative laps on the Realtor Ford will not go down in racing history as anything other than slow, really slow. “After we shook the car down we just weren’t very good, the car wasn’t working well and I was struggling with the bumpy race track.”

Mobile’s Grant Enfigner was parked one garage over with his Team BCR group fresh off their win from Iowa. Howard Bixman Team BCR owner, or as we call him 1800CREWCHIEF stepped in to help the Scotts Rookie of the Year Candidate.

“Howard put his healing hands on our Realtor Ford and we immediately started to get better, a lot better.” Praytor’s lap times improved 5 seconds during the last half of practice. “I think if we had given Howard another hour he would have had us on the pole.”

Rain washed out qualifying and the race on Friday and the Realtor car would roll of 11th based on 2013 owner’s points on Saturday allowing the team to get some much needed rest.

The start of the Zloop 150 would be a 160 MPH dance with extremely fast cars in the back of the field that didn’t have owner’s points. “The start was interesting at best but it didn’t take long for our Realtor car to find its footing. With each lap I was able to keep pushing harder and we picked up another second over our practice times and we had a competitive racecar.”

The Realtor car dodged some serious bullets with wrecks that happened just in front of or beside Praytor. With 30 laps to go the Realtor Ford got really loose going in to turn 3, the right rear had been punctured by debris. Praytor brought the car to pit road under green and while the tire was replaced the team lost valuable laps and would finish 19th.

“Our race team over came so much this week the flat tire was a heart breaker. I know 19th doesn’t sound like a good finish but with everything that happened this week I’m really proud of our race team and their effort. Our Realtor Ford was solid and we can use what we learned at Kentucky to build for the finale in Kansas. Our goal has been the top 10 and we’re going to do everything we can to stay there.”

Originally scheduled for just 3 races in 2013 the joint effort of Hixson Motorsport and Max Force Racing has spent most of the season in the top 10 in the Championship standings, currently 8th with just 1 race remaining.

Picture: Realtor car racing with Justin Boston in the Zloop Toyota and Will Kimmel.

 

 

First Start But Not First Trip to Kentucky Speedway for Praytor

Zloop 150, KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY: This weekend will be Thomas “Moose” Praytor’s first start at Kentucky Speedway but not his first time to the high banked Speedway in the heart of the blue grass state. At 12 years old Praytor was part of the Outdoor Channels ARCA Racing This Week crew filming at the newly opened facility. “I was in heaven, 12 years old in the garage with a media pass and a video camera. I have no idea what kind of video I captured but it was all bigger than life to me,” said Praytor. “Billy Venturini, Jason Jarrett, Mark Gibson, Dan Pardus, Andy Belmont, Ron Cox and of course Frank Kimmel were all driving then. I’d have to go back and look at the tape but I think Kimmel had a little more hair and it was a different color, of course he was winning back then too. My favorite story from that first race involves Tim Bray (Long time head of Media Relations at Kentucky Speedway). I’m 12 running into the media center grabbing drinks for the camera crew and a security guard grabbed me. If Mr. Tim doesn’t stop him I think I was headed to jail! To have the opportunity to come back and race where your ARCA dreams started is really special to me.”

Last Race-Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic presented by Federated Car Care, SALEM SPEEDWAY: Early mechanical issues were the beginning of a long day at Salem for Praytor and the Realtor car. “We should have just gotten killed in the points standings at Salem but our guys never gave up and we were able to salvage a decent finish for our Realtor Chevy. At least we were able to finish at Salem, I was beginning to think that would never happen. Salem and I are starting to develop a love/hate relationship. I love racing there but I think Salem doesn’t like me a heck of a lot!”

The Zloop 150 is a 1 day event with practice, qualifying and the race all on Friday, September 20th. Practice is from 1:00-3:00 PM, Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 5:15 with the green flag at 8:00 PM. Live timing and scoring for practice, qualifying and the race will be on ARCAracing.com with live television coverage from Fox Sports 1.

ARCA CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 8th SCOTTS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CHALLENGE: 4th

PRIMARY SPONSOR: REALTORS, www.realtorcar.com and G-Force Racing Gear

CAR: Roush Fenway Chassis RK275, nickname “Batman”. The Dark Knight has been used at Michigan, Pocono and Chicago, recording a top 10 in Michigan and has been out of service since being wrecked in Chicago. Batman is a former Sprint Cup winning chassis used by Greg Biffle.

HIXSON MOTORSPORTS/MAX FORCE RACING: Max Force Racing is based out of Mobile, Alabama and is fielding cars in its 16th season of competition. Max Force has teamed with another home grown operation, Hixson Motorsports with 4 decades of experience in the ARCA Series from Soddy Daisy Tennessee for the 2013 season.

THOMAS “MOOSE” PRAYTOR: In 2012, Moose made his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. He also raced in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega with Andy Belmont Racing and rounded out the season with a couple of starts for Venturini Motorsports. Praytor is currently 8th in the ARCA Series Championship point’s standings. Prior to the ARCA series, The Moose started cutting his racing teeth at 8 years old on short tracks across the Southeast, racking up local and state titles along the way. The Moose and his Max Force Racing Team earned the Ironman Status of the Gulf Coast in 2011 for competing in every Late Model (Pro & Super) Race at Mobile International Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finishing in the top 10 in the Championship standings at both tracks. Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. Recently the duo teamed up donating a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wore at Daytona and Talladega to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. For more on the Moose- www.realtorcar.com.

Picture: “Batman” with sponsorship from US Olympic Boxing Championships on track at Michigan International Speedway earlier this year.

 

 

Praytor Soldiers Realtor Car to 17th in Salem

The ARCA Series rolled into Salem Speedway making its 94th stop at the storied half-mile for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealer Fall Classic presented by Federated Car. For Scott’s Rookie of the Year Candidate Thomas “Moose” Praytor making his 3rd start at Salem, would also make Salem his most visited ARCA track.

Off the trailer, the Realtor car was solid, pacing inside the top 20 in the first practice session. A round of changes and another set of tires found the team struggling, “We went from good to just horrible and thought something was wrong with the car. After a couple more rounds of changes we realized we had a bad set of tires, changed them out for another set and “Mickie” came back to life.” The Realtor car would qualify 19th.

Before the start of the Kentuckian Ford Dealers Fall Classic the track held and autograph session for the fans. “Salem is the most challenging track on the tour and the fans are passionate about their racing. As if the track isn’t enough to get you going, the fans at the autograph session before the race really get you jacked up.”

With the drop of the green flag the Realtor car was holding its own amongst a stout field of cars while maintaining a spot in the top 20. With the first caution a good day would start to go bad.

“Our Realtor car brakes had been good under green but when the caution came out the pedal just went to the floor. The guys checked out the normal brake problems under caution but it felt like something broke under the dash.” A post race inspection found the brake bias bar was broken keeping the brakes from getting any real or consistent pressure. Going in to the corner one lap and there would be no brakes, the next time the left front would lock up smoking the tire.” Salem with a good car is a long day, Salem with no brakes is just brutal.

Ranked 8th in the ARCA Championship standings with just 3 races remaining, an early exit on lap 20 could have dropped Praytor out of the top 10. And with the press of a brake pedal the mission changed from racing to surviving.

The toughest part of the balancing act for the ARCA rookie was to race the car hard enough to maintain the minimum speed while not locking up the left front. If Praytor had not been able to keep up the required minimum speed he would be forced to park.

“You feel like an idiot out there riding around getting lapped every 10 laps by the leaders but our team has worked too hard and we’ve come too far to give up.”

After alternating from locking up the left front or no brakes for a 175 laps the left front tire couldn’t stand anymore and it blew out with 3 laps to go. And the Moose brought his ailing Realtor Chevy to pit road one final time.

“A blow out with 3 laps to go on a car that’s 30 laps down would seem like a good time to quit but our guys never missed a beat. They changed the left front and we were back out in time to take the checkered flag. I realize we don’t have the equipment the other big teams have but our all volunteer group has as much heart as anybody in this business.”

Keeping the Realtor car rolling until the end would garner Praytor a 17th place finish instead of 30th earning precious Championship points that not only kept the team in the top 10 but able to hold on to the 8th position.

With just 2 races in the 2013 season the Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing team has a short week prepping for the Zloop 150 at Kentucky Speedway on Friday night under the lights, live on SPEED.

Picture: Realtor Chevy rim riding during the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Salem Speedway.

 

 

Kentuckiana Fall Classic Up Next for Praytor & Realtor Car

Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic presented by Federated Car Care, SALEM SPEEDWAY: There are few short tracks in the country that take as much skill, determination and just plain craziness as Salem Speedway. For Scotts Rookie of the Year Candidate Thomas “Moose” Praytor this weekend’s Fall Classic will be his third start at Salem, a career high on the ARCA Series Tour. “Salem is just so much fun, I’m not sure I know how to get around there yet but it is an adrenalin junkies playground. You run the middle of turns 1 and 2 then you throw your car across the bump going into turn 3, let it throw you about 4 feet to the right up against the wall and then you mash the gas rim riding to the start finish line,” said Praytor. “The fans in Salem are off the hook. They know their racing and they come out in a big way every time the series goes there.”

Last Race-Prairie Meadows 150, IOWA SPEEDWAY: Loose, loose loose was the best way to describe the last outing for Praytor and the Realtor car at Iowa Speedway. “Iowa was a fun track and we definitely solved the tight issue we’ve been having with our Realtor cars all year,” offered Praytor. Mobile International Speedway was well represented in the Heartland over the weekend with Darin Mathews competing in his second ARCA event and Grant Enfinger won the Prairie Meadows 150 while competing in his 50th ARCA event of his career. “Really happy for Grant and team BCR, they thye worked hard and it shows on the racetrack.”

The Kenutckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic presented by Federated Car Care is a 1 day event with practice, qualifying and the race all on Saturday, September 14th. Practice is from 12:30-1:15 and 1:45-2:30, Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 4:00 with the green flag 7:15 PM. Live timing and scoring along with the race radio broadcast will be on ARCAracing.com.

ARCA CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 8th SCOTTS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CHALLENGE: 4th

PRIMARY SPONSOR: REALTORS, www.realtorcar.com and G-Force Racing Gear

CAR: Hixson Motorsports chassis #3, nickname “Mickie Mouse”. Mickie is the chassis the team utilized for the spring race in Salem, both dirt races-Springfield & DuQuoin, Mobile International Speedway and Berlin Raceway.

HIXSON MOTORSPORTS/MAX FORCE RACING: Max Force Racing is based out of Mobile, Alabama and is fielding cars in its 16th season of competition. Max Force has teamed with another home grown operation, Hixson Motorsports with 4 decades of experience in the ARCA Series from Soddy Daisy Tennessee for the 2013 season.

THOMAS “MOOSE” PRAYTOR: In 2012, Moose made his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. He also raced in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega with Andy Belmont Racing and rounded out the season with a couple of starts for Venturini Motorsports. Praytor is currently 8th in the ARCA Series Championship point’s standings. Prior to the ARCA series, The Moose started cutting his racing teeth at 8 years old on short tracks across the Southeast, racking up local and state titles along the way. The Moose and his Max Force Racing Team earned the Ironman Status of the Gulf Coast in 2011 for competing in every Late Model (Pro & Super) Race at Mobile International Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finishing in the top 10 in the Championship standings at both tracks. Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. Recently the duo teamed up donating a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wore at Daytona and Talladega to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. For more on the Moose- www.realtorcar.com.

Picture: Mickie on track during the Spring race at Salem.

 

 

Loose Pooh Hard to Handle in Iowa Corn Fields

A field as stout as the thousands of acres of corn fields surrounding the Iowa Speedway traveled to America’s Heartland for the Prairie Meadows 150. With more than half the field made up of non ARCA regulars Thomas “Moose” Praytor found himself in the tall cotton.

While there were many agendas amongst the diverse field, for Praytor and the Realtor car, currently in the top 10 in the championships standings, the job at hand was much more defined.

“We’ve worked really hard back in the shop on changing our Realtor cars to get them to turn in the center. For the first time all year we finally “Pooh” turning too much in practice,” said Praytor. “The guys worked their butts off tightening our Chevy back up and we thought we had a decent piece for qualifying.”

The Realtor car picked up over a second in qualifying from it’s final practice time and would roll off 25th. Repairing a broken window net brace after qualifying would send the Realtor machine to the end of the field and would be a preview of the night ahead.

With the drop of the green flag the Moose was on the move and quickly got back the spots lost because of the penalty for the window net repair. While Praytor was picking up spots early under the lights the Realtor car was wicked loose.

“The sun went down and the grip we had gotten back in practice was gone and our Realtor car just wasn’t just free it was wicked loose.” The Prairie Meadows 150 took on a green flag look and there was a long green flag run before Praytor could get back to pit road and the attention of his Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing team. “The guys threw everything at it and we got better but not where we needed to be. We moved up the racetrack and found some grip up there but not enough.” Praytor and the Realtor car would hold on for a 21st place finish.

“Congratulations to Grant Enfinger, Howard Bixman and Team BCR on a big win in Iowa!”

Mobile International Speedway had solid representation on Saturday night in Iowa, with 3 hometown drivers in the field, Enfinger, Praytor and Darren Mathews whose night ended early with a broken oil line.

Next up Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic presented by Federated Car Care at Salem Speedway.

Picture: Realtor car driving off turn 4 at Iowa Speedway.

 

 

Praytor Takes Realtor Road Show to America’s Heartland

Prairie Meadows 150, IOWA SPEEDWAY: After the final dirt race of the 2013 season at DuQuoin, the ARCA Series presented by Menards returns to asphalt and the unique 7/8th mile Iowa Speedway. “Having never been to Iowa we’ve been talking to the veterans who have and it’s part short track and part speedway. How you approach each end of the track is completely different than the other,” offered Thomas “Moose” Praytor. “The ARCA cars always put on a great show at Iowa and I’m looking forward to being behind the wheel of the Realtor car on Saturday.”

Along with Praytor, Mobile’s Grant Enfinger will be making his 50th ARCA start at Iowa on Saturday night. “It’s great to have Grant back in the lineup at Iowa. Grant and I have been working on each others cars for a long time and Team BCR has been a big help to us this season.”

The Prairie Meadows 150 is a 1 day event with practice, qualifying and the race all on Saturday,
September 7th. Practice is from 1:30-3:00, Menards Pole Qualifying at 5:00 with the green flag 8:00 PM. Live timing and scoring on ARCAracing.com. Saturday’s race will be the first on Fox Sports with Fox Sports 2 carrying the live broadcast with replays on Fox Sports 1. Fox Sports 2 can be found on Direct TV at channel 618 and on Dish at channel 398. Fox Sports 1 is on Direct TV channel 219 and Dish channel 150. Check with your local cable provider for channels in your market.

Last Race-Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care, DUQUOIN STATE FAIRGROUNDS: In the second dirt outing of the year, Scotts Rookie of the Year contender Thomas “Moose” Praytor faired a little better than in his first.”I still have a long way to go on driving a dirt racecar but I actually felt like I had some driver input into our Realtor car at DuQuoin,” said Praytor. “Mr. Wayne (Hixson) got really aggressive coaching me around the dirt and it paid off. I’d like to have another shot at the dirt but it will have to wait.”

ARCA CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 8th SCOTTS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CHALLENGE: 4th

PRIMARY SPONSOR: REALTORS, www.realtorcar.com and G-Force Racing Gear

CAR: Hixson Motorsports chassis #5, nickname “Pooh” as in “Winnie the Pooh”. “Pooh” is the team’s preferred short track car but has become the team’s workhouse this season filling in for the team’s speedway car “Batman” lost in Chicago and has doubled as a road course car. Two of the team’s top 10s this season have come with “Pooh” at Elko and Winchester.

HIXSON MOTORSPORTS/MAX FORCE RACING: Max Force Racing is based out of Mobile, Alabama and is fielding cars in its 16th season of competition. Max Force has teamed with another home grown operation, Hixson Motorsports with 4 decades of experience in the ARCA Series from Soddy Daisy Tennessee for the 2013 season.

THOMAS “MOOSE” PRAYTOR: In 2012, Moose made his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. He also raced in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega with Andy Belmont Racing and rounded out the season with a couple of starts for Venturini Motorsports. Praytor is currently 8th in the ARCA Series Championship point’s standings. Prior to the ARCA series, The Moose started cutting his racing teeth at 8 years old on short tracks across the Southeast, racking up local and state titles along the way. The Moose and his Max Force Racing Team earned the Ironman Status of the Gulf Coast in 2011 for competing in every Late Model (Pro & Super) Race at Mobile International Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finishing in the top 10 in the Championship standings at both tracks. Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. Recently the duo teamed up donating a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wore at Daytona and Talladega to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. For more on the Moose- www.realtorcar.com.

Picture: New Realtor “Moose” hero card complete with the story of how the Moose got his nickname on the back. Pictures, layout and graphics by Ashley Rowe the Official Photographer of the ARCA Mobile 200.

 

 

Sponsor Report: Winchester/Pocono
Realtor Car Continues to Produce Solid Numbers

NBC Sports Network aired the first of 4 ARCA Series presented by Menards broadcast with the Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 from Winchester Speedway and the Realtor car was part of the historic broadcast with an in car camera while Thomas “Moose” Praytor etched an ARCA best finish of 9th. SPEED followed with their coverage of the ModSpace 125 of ARCA’s second visit to Pocono in 2013. The Hixson Motrosports/Max Force Racing Realtor entry continues to produce solid numbers in Praytor’s Rookie season.

July 22-August 5, 2013

Winchester/Pocono
Realtor Car

2013 Total After Pocono

Broadcast Emails

6

80

Driver/Car Appearances

1

23

Mobile Press, Huntsville Times, Birmingham News, (al.com) Chattanoogan

7 Stories

56 Column Inches

($6,048 Value)

48 Stories
517 Column Inches

($66,636 Value)

ARCAracing.com

1

27 Stories

Local TV Coverage

2

44 Stories

Radio Coverage

4

60 Appearances

Internet Coverage Stories/Mentions

862

29,611

Tweets-Trending

 

The Moose was trending #2 on al.com while in Daytona.

Facebook

5,504

Views on MIS fan page for Praytor story #2 all time

Television Broadcasts (8)

SPEED (7) NBC Sports (1)

Winchester (NBC)

Pocono (SPEED)

 

Viewers

325,000

3.6 million

Praytor/Sponsor Mentions

17

164

#Times Sponsors Seen
During Broadcast

91

586

Exposure Time

7:61

50:01

Total Value of TV Time

$50,185

$344,570

Pictures Top (L-R) Realtor car on track at Pocono. Splash and go during all green flag lap ModSpace 125. Realtor car on track at Wiinchester.
Bottom (L-R) In car shot from NBC Sports Network in car camera. Moose installing a little hardware to Realtor car compliments of Venturini Motorsports, Moose on 3 wide charge at Pocono.

 

 

 

Praytor Slides Realtor Car to Top 20 in DuQuoin

After a crash course on dirt racing in Springfield a couple of weeks ago Thomas “Moose” Praytor was looking forward to the return to dirt racing this weekend at the Illinois in the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care at the DuQuoin State Fare.

After a few get to know you laps at the Magic Mile the ARCA Scotts Rookie of the Year Candidate was showing some dirt skills that put Praytor inside the top 20 on the speed chart during the one and only practice session of the day.

“Mr. Wayne (Hixson) put the whip to me on the radio today and his coaching really paid off as our Realtor Chevy got faster after every run. The ever changing track conditions of the dirt was tough for me to keep up with. We’d get the car where I liked it and 10 minutes later the track would dry out some and I never got in a position where I was comfortable,” offered Praytor.

Qualifying did not go as planned for the Realtor car as the track turned to the tight (car will not turn) side and the Moose had a lot of ARCA cars in front of him. With such poor track position the team utilized the parade laps to adjust and change a tire on the Realtor machine before the drop of the green flag to help free (make the car turn better) the car up.

The strategy paid off for the Hixson/Max Force effort as the moose quickly rumbled from the tail end of the field of the 30 plus car field in to the top 20. “Our Realtor Chevy was really fun to drive on short runs we were able to make up some ground and pass a lot of cars. The deeper we went in to the run the tight would come back and eventually I’d burn the right rear off trying to make it turn. The guys did a great job on pit road keeping right rears on our Realtor machine but we just missed the balance some and my lack of experience on dirt didn’t help us. We had a solid points day but I can’t help to feel like we had a better car than what we showed today.”

No rest in the shop this week as the team has a short week before heading to Iowa for the Prairie Meadows 150 at Iowa Speedway on Saturday September 7th with live coverage from Fox Sports.

Picture top: Realtor Car kicked sideway in turn 4 at DuQuoin State Fairground.

Picture bottom: Praytor sporting Alabama Crimson tide visor supporting old teammate AJ McCarron during autograph session in DuQuoin. Note: Having spent the last couple of weeks in Soddy-Daisy Tennessee the Moose has embraced his inner Hillbilly with a fresh growth on his face. Could this be the beginning of a new Moose Dynasty?

 

 

Praytor Getting Dirty on Labor Day in Illinois

Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care, DUQUOIN STATE FAIRGROUNDS: After making his first dirt start in 14 years 2 weeks ago, grizzled dirt veteran (1 race) Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his Realtor team are ready for ARCA’s return to dirt this weekend. “I really had no idea what was going to happen with our Realtor car on the dirt in Springfield. Mr. Wayne’s (Hixson, car owner) experience on the dirt really made my learning curve easier. I definitely have a better idea of what to expect this weekend and feel good about us having a good day,” offered Praytor “It’s opening weekend of college football and I want to wish AJ McCarron and the Tide good luck this weekend in Atlanta. We already have a “4 In A Row” tag from Alabama Tourism on our car, we’d like to make that a “5 In A Row” tag next year. ROLL TIDE!” (Praytor and McCarron won a Football State Championship as teammates in High School)

The Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds is a 1 day event with practice, qualifying and the race all on Labor Day, Monday, September 2nd. The green flag flies at 1:30 pm with live radio broadcast, timing and scoring on ARCAracing.com.

LAST RACE-Herr’s Live Life With Flavor 200 MADISON INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: High hopes were dashed early with a motor issue at Madison. “We’ve been working really hard on our Realtor cars at the shop, making big structural changes to our cars. Madison gave us a look into what we’ve been able to accomplish and we’re looking forward to taking the reworked cars to the final asphalt tracks on the schedule. This sport is always changing and evolving, competing at this level you never stop working. Our guys have done a tremendous job.”

MADISON, HERR’S LIVE LIFE WITH FLAVOR 200 BROADCAST TONIGHT ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK AT 11:00 PM CST

ARCA CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 8th SCOTTS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CHALLENGE: 4th

PRIMARY SPONSOR: REALTORS, www.realtorcar.com and G-Force Racing Gear

CAR: Hixson Motorsports chassis #3, nickname “Mickie Mouse”. Mickie is the chassis the team utilized at the first dirt race in Springfield. Mickie was also used at Mobile International Speedway, Berlin Raceway and Salem Speedway.

HIXSON MOTORSPORTS/MAX FORCE RACING: Max Force Racing is based out of Mobile, Alabama and is fielding cars in its 16th season of competition. Max Force has teamed with another home grown operation, Hixson Motorsports with 4 decades of experience in the ARCA Series from Soddy Daisy Tennessee for the 2013 season.

THOMAS “MOOSE” PRAYTOR: In 2012, Moose made his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. He also raced in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega with Andy Belmont Racing and rounded out the season with a couple of starts for Venturini Motorsports. Praytor is currently 8th in the ARCA Series Championship point’s standings. Prior to the ARCA series, The Moose started cutting his racing teeth at 8 years old on short tracks across the Southeast, racking up local and state titles along the way. The Moose and his Max Force Racing Team earned the Ironman Status of the Gulf Coast in 2011 for competing in every Late Model (Pro & Super) Race at Mobile International Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finishing in the top 10 in the Championship standings at both tracks. Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. Recently the duo teamed up donating a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wore at Daytona and Talladega to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. For more on the Moose- www.realtorcar.com.

Pictures compliments of Ashley Rowe, Official Photographer of the ARCA-Mobile 200.

Top Picture: Realtor car on the dirt at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. Notice the extra screen guard on the front of the car, it keeps dirt out of the radiator and helps the car stay cool for 100 laps.

Bottom Picture: A really cool shot of the ageless veteran James Hylton and Thomas “Moose” Praytor working the crowd before the last dirt race at Springfield. The 79 year old Hylton is in his final season of competition and Praytor in his first full season. Hylton was the 1966 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year and was the Sprint Cup Championship Runner Up to David Pearson (1966) and twice to the King, Richard Petty (1967 & 1971).

 

 

 

Praytor Soldiers Realtor Car to 14th With Sour Motor

Sundays running of the Herr’s Live Life With Flavor 200 has been circled on the Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing calendar since the beginning of the ARCA Series presented by Menards season. Scotts Rookie of the contender Thomas “Moose” Praytor had actually turned laps at the track before and the layout is similar to Mobile International Speedway, Praytor’s home track.

The weekend started with an appearance at race central in Madison, Wisconsin-Club LaMark. “To say Wisconsin has some avid race fans would be an understatement,” offered Praytor. “Everyone at Club Lamark has a racing story and not just a regular story but one that involves greats like Matt Kenseth, Dick Trickle and there were a few about Mobile’s Rick Carwford. It was my second time to be asked to the prerace festivities and hope they invite me back every time I get a chance to race in Madison.”

While Club Lamark started the race weekend the team had been preparing for weeks in the shop even saving their favorite work horse chassis “Pooh” for Madison. “We spent a lot of time on Pooh really updating and preparing for this weekend. Off the trailer the changes were drastic and “Pooh” was really good.”

At the end of the first practice “Pooh” developed a transmission leak that would cost the team the second practice repairing. “We got lucky on the transmission in practice but it cost us the fine tuning we needed in the second practice for qualifying.” Praytor would time in 17th just one spot off last year’s qualifying effort with Venturini Motorsport.

“Missing that last practice cost us in qualifying but we knew we had a good Realtor car.”

With the drop of the green flag the Moose was on the charge but it didn’t take long and the Realtor Chevy started to fall back. “My heart just sunk our motor was going south and it was really early in the race. Not only were we on 7 cylinders we had 170 laps to go and the water temperature was climbing with every lap. We caught a couple of early cautions and we were able to get our Realtor machine on the cool down unit but we were still on 7 cylinders.”

While the Hixson Motorsports/Max Force team was fighting an ill motor Venturini Motorsport’s Kyle Benjamin was setting a torrid pace and the race went 130 green flag laps to the end. Praytor and the Realtor car would settle for a 14th place finish.

“Our guys worked hard all weekend and it tells you how far this team has come that a 14th place finish leaves a bad taste on our mouth. Congratulations to Kyle Benjamin, he won his first late Model race in Mobile. Our Realtor Chevy really responded to the changes we made in the shop and we’re pumped up about Salem in a couple of weeks. Next week we go back to the dirt and after the great car we had in Springfield we’re looking forward to DuQuoin!”

Next up the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds on Monday, Labor Day September 2nd.

Picture: Realtor car working on getting by Venturini’s Milka Duno and Eddie Sharp Racings William Gallaher.

 

 

Moose to Wisconsin for Herr’s Live With Flavor 200

Herr’s Live Life With Flavor 200 MADISON INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: The 16th race of the 2013 season puts Thomas “Moose” Praytor on familiar territory for only the 4th time in 2013 (Mobile, Talladega & Salem). The Scott’s Rookie of the Year Candidate drove for Venturini Motorsports at Madison in 2012. Praytor qualified 16th and a transmission problem ended his day early. “I really had a good time at Madison last year, we turned a lot of laps in practice and with Mr. Bill’s (Venturini) help I got a really good feel for the racetrack,” said Praytor. “We’ve got our favorite “Realtor” short track car Pooh this weekend and we hope it will get us back into the top 10.”

The Herr’s Live Life With Flavor 200 at Madison International Speedway is a 2 day event with practice and qualifying on Saturday followed by the green flag on Sunday, August 25th at 2:00PM. ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring of all on-track activity as well as live flag-to-flag audio coverage of the race. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the race on a tape delay on Thursday August 29th at 10:00PM CST.

Last Race-Allen Crowe Memorial 100 ILLINOIS STATE FAIRGROUND: Praytor made his first start on dirt in 14 years collecting 4 pounds of dirt in his driving suit and a lot of experience. “I was really worried about the dirt going in but Mr. Wayne’s (Hixson) years of experience and a solid car really made the transition easier than I thought. We had some bad luck with a cut tire and that kept getting worse really making us uncompetitve. We were able to nurse it home but I’m really looking forward to the next dirt race at DuQuoin.”

SPRINGFIELD BROADCAST ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK FRIDAY NIGHT AT 10:00 PM CST-See the finish that everyone is taking about!

ARCA CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 8th SCOTTS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CHALLENGE: 3rd

PRIMARY SPONSOR: REALTORS, www.realtorcar.com and G-Force Racing Gear

CAR: Hixson Motorsports chassis #5, nickname “Pooh”. “Pooh” is the team’s preferred short track car but has become the team’s workhouse this season filling in for the team’s speedway car “Batman” lost in Chicago and doubling as a road course car. Two of the team’s top 10s this season have come with “Pooh” at Elko and Winchester.

HIXSON MOTORSPORTS/MAX FORCE RACING: Max Force Racing is based out of Mobile, Alabama and is fielding cars in its 16th season of competition. Max Force has teamed with another home grown operation, Hixson Motorsports with 4 decades of experience in the ARCA Series from Soddy Daisy Tennessee for the 2013 season.

THOMAS “MOOSE” PRAYTOR: In 2012, Moose made his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. He also raced in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega with Andy Belmont Racing and rounded out the season with a couple of starts for Venturini Motorsports. Praytor is currently 8th in the ARCA Series Championship point’s standings. Prior to the ARCA series, The Moose started cutting his racing teeth at 8 years old on short tracks across the Southeast, racking up local and state titles along the way. The Moose and his Max Force Racing Team earned the Ironman Status of the Gulf Coast in 2011 for competing in every Late Model (Pro & Super) Race at Mobile International Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finishing in the top 10 in the Championship standings at both tracks. Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. Recently the duo teamed up donating a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wore at Daytona and Talladega to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. For more on the Moose- www.realtorcar.com.

Picture: Last week’s winner, Brennan “Bull” Poole racing with Thomas “Moose” Praytor at Winchester Speedway.

 

 

 

Flat Tire-Broken Sway Bar Costly for Praytor & Realtor Car

The carnival atmosphere surrounding the Illinois State Fair was the perfect backdrop for Thomas “Moose” Praytor to make his first dirt start in almost 14 years. By returning to the 1 mile dirt oval for the 51st Allen Crowe Memorial 100 the ARCA Series presented by Menards continues to prove itself as the most versatile driving series in the world with its first of 2 races on dirt, that follow road courses, superspeedways, Speedways and a healthy dose of short tracks.

A one hour practice session in the morning was all Praytor and the Hixson/Max Force Team had to dial in the Realtor Chevy before Menards Pole Qualifying and racing in the afternoon. “My first few laps were interesting but that’s where Mr. Wayne’s (Hixson) 30 plus years of dirt track experience really paid off after we made a few laps,” said Praytor. “Our Realtor Chevy was really close off the trailer which helped me tremendously. By the time practice was over I felt like we were even closer with the driver still needing some more time.”

Qualifying 23rd out of the 37 cars at Illinois was a solid start to a first time dirt effort and with the drop of the green flag Praytor was on his way up through a crowded field. “I’m used to traffic but the dirt and not being able to see was new. I slowed down one time because I couldn’t see and gave up some spots. My spotter (Dad) asked what was wrong and I said I couldn’t see and my Dad in his usual voice-“Well @%$ %$#@$ they can’t see either you got to go!” For the rest of the race I just counted in my head the time past the start finish line about where I thought I was to let off the gas and then mashed the gas when I got to the middle of the guard rail. We didn’t hit anything so it was pretty good day from that perspective.”

After a move towards the front the Realtor Chevy started to lose ground to the leaders then started giving back positions to the cars it had just passed. “I could feel the right front go away a little on each corner until it just wouldn’t turn anymore. We were able to stay out long enough to catch a caution and the guys changed the right side tires on our Realtor car and we were back on the move.”

Even with the flat it looked the Realtor car was headed to a solid finish until Praytor started reporting the right front was going flat again. “Our Realtor car just wouldn’t turn anymore again and I thought we had another flat.” Under the next caution Praytor brought the Realtor Chevy back to the attention of his Hixson/Max Force team and 2 more tires.

Back under green tires didn’t help and the Realtor car had to come to pit road under green flag conditions. “We hated coming in under green but we were in trouble.” This stop the team got under the hood and quickly found out the issue was the heim joint that holds the sway bar on had been ground down with first flat and was now completely broken. “We went from having a good day to just hanging on and finished the last third of the race without any sway bar. Our Realtor Chevy was so good we were still passing cars even without the bar. We’ll get another shot at the dirt in DuQuoin in a couple of weeks.” Praytor and the Realtor car finished 22nd.

“It’s been an emotional couple of days for our Realtor family in Alabama with the loss of Mr. Philip (Lasater Executive Officer of the Alabama Real Estate Commission). Once we said we were running the PL stickers on the Realtor car this weekend, emails, facebook and texts messages have been coming in from all over the state. It’s been an honor for me to part of the special tribute.”

“Our last few finishes have not been as good as we thought they should have been but we have been able to maintain our position in the Championship standings. Tonight the Illinois State Fair is having the group Journey on the stage at the track. As we were loading the hauler they were warming up with Don’t Stop Believing, that’s all I can say about our race team.”

Pictures Courtesy of Ashley Rowe, Official Photographer of the ARCA Mobile 200.

Top: The Moose racing with Milka Duno in to turn 1 at the Illinois State Fair Ground

Middle: Realtor car racing with Josh Williams down the front straight.

Bottom: Special “PL” sticker for Alabama Real Estate Commission Executive Officer Philip Lasater.

 

 

Realtor Car to Pay Tribute to Lasater

The Alabama Realtor family enters the weekend with a heavy heart after the unexpected passing of Philip Lasater, Executive Director of the Alabama Real Estate Commission on Thursday. To honor Lasater’s more that 25 years of service to the Real Estate community, the Realtor car piloted by 3rd generation Realtor, Thomas “Moose” Praytor will run a special “PL” sticker for Lasater during the Allen Crowe Memorial 100 at the Illinois State Fairground.

Before joining the Real Estate Commission Lasater spent 2 years at the Alabama Association of Realtors. “Back in the mid 80’s there was a talented group of young guys working at the Association that all went on to significant accomplishments. Philip was one of those rising stars and after leaving AAR spent the last 24 years at the Commission,” offered Tommy Praytor. “We were all in our twenties and probably spent way too much time together after hours but man did we have a good time. Philip always had the sweetest demeanor and was one of the guys everyone wanted to hang out with. At the Commission he was responsible for keeping all 21,000 of us real estate agents in line without ever losing that sweet demeanor. Really going to miss Philip.”

Accolades for Lasater have been pouring in from across the State and the Nation, “Philip was a true gentleman. We worked hand in hand with Philip and the Commission on real estate issues. His ability to work with people and get to the heart of the matter is going to be missed. Philip will be credited with bringing the Commission into the modern age,” said Robert Scott, 2012 President Alabama Association of Realtors. “Personally, Philip was a great guy and always a pleasure to be around. His leadership at the Commission will be greatly missed.”

“Philip’s door was always open. He was a professional that worked tirelessly for the Real Estate community,” added Martha Taylor, Executive Officer of the Baldwin County Association of Realtors. “He was a personal friend for 30 years and we will greatly miss his spirit.”

The Allen Crowe Memorial 100 at the Illinois State Fairground is a one day event on Sunday, August 18th, with practice from 9:00-10:00 AM, Menards Pole Qualifying at 11:15 with the green flag at 1:30 PM EST. ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring of all on-track activity as well as live flag-to-flag audio coverage of the race. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the race on a tape delay on Friday August 23rd at 10:00PM CST.

 

 

Praytor Back to Dirt-Berlin on NBC Sports Tonight

Allen Crowe Memorial 100 ILLINOIS STATE FAIRGROUND: ARCA returns to its racing roots this weekend as the series will compete on the 1 mile dirt oval at the Illinois State Fairground on Sunday. To say that Thomas “Moose’ Praytor had never competed on dirt would not exactly be true. It’s been over 13 years but Praytor cut his racing teeth in Karts on the old dirt J & J Speedway in Grand Bay, Alabama. “I’ve tried to prepare for this weekend but I truly have no idea how our Realtor Chevy is going to do this weekend. The best thing we have going for us is Hixson’s 30 plus years of dirt experience but it’s been so long since I was on dirt you might as well say I’ve never been,” offered Praytor. “All that having been said I’m looking forward to the challenge of slinging a 3400 pound stock car around a mile dirt track.”

The Allen Crowe Memorial 100 at the Illinois State Fairground is a one day event on Sunday, August 18th, with practice from 9:00-10:00 AM, Menards Pole Qualifying at 11:15 with the green flag at 1:30 PM EST. ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring of all on-track activity as well as live flag-to-flag audio coverage of the race. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the race on a tape delay on Friday August 23rd at 10:00PM CST.

Last Race-Primera Plastics 200 BERLIN RACEWAY: Praytor and Realtor car bring home disappointing 18th place finish. “We were really looking forward to a solid effort at Berlin and we just fought a really tight Realtor Chevy all night long. We did learn a lot about “Mickie” and another 30 minutes of practice could have made a real difference. Our team had a solid race in the pits and we have some great notes if we get a chance to go back.”

BERLIN BROADCAST ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK TONIGHT AT 10:00 PM CST-Praytor part of in car coverage.

ARCA CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 8th SCOTTS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CHALLENGE: 3rd

PRIMARY SPONSOR: REALTORS, www.realtorcar.com and G-Force Racing Gear

CAR: Hixson Motorsports chassis #3, nickname “Mickie Mouse”. Mickie is the chassis the team utilized last week at Berlin Raceway to an 18th place finish. Mickie was also used at Mobile International Speedway and Salem Speedway earlier this year.

HIXSON MOTORSPORTS/MAX FORCE RACING: Max Force Racing is based out of Mobile, Alabama and is fielding cars in its 16th season of competition. Max Force has teamed with another home grown operation, Hixson Motorsports with 4 decades of experience in the ARCA Series from Soddy Daisy Tennessee for the 2013 season.

THOMAS “MOOSE” PRAYTOR: In 2012, Moose made his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. He also raced in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega with Andy Belmont Racing and rounded out the season with a couple of starts for Venturini Motorsports. Praytor is currently 8th in the ARCA Series Championship point’s standings. Prior to the ARCA series, The Moose started cutting his racing teeth at 8 years old on short tracks across the Southeast, racking up local and state titles along the way. The Moose and his Max Force Racing Team earned the Ironman Status of the Gulf Coast in 2011 for competing in every Late Model (Pro & Super) Race at Mobile International Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finishing in the top 10 in the Championship standings at both tracks. Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. Recently the duo teamed up donating a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wore at Daytona and Talladega to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. For more on the Moose- www.realtorcar.com.

Picture: Thomas “Moose” Praytor with his last dirt ride. In car view from inside Realtor Chevy.

 

 

Disappointing 18th for Praytor & Realtor Car at Berlin

After road courses, speedways and the Tricky Triangle in Pocono Thomas “Moose” Praytor was looking forward to having his Realtor Chevy back on a short track like Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan. The last 2 short track outings for the SCOTTS Rookie of the Year candidate had produced 2 top 10s and a career best 9th at Winchester Speedway in Indiana. While the Primera Plastics 200 was expected to produce the same type of results it just didn’t go the team’s way this weekend and the Realtor Chevy finished 18th.

Berlin is known for not having any traction in the race track and ARCA teams spend a great deal of time creating grip with their setups to handle the slick old racing surface. In the case of the Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing effort this weekend the team went too far with its set up and created a Realtor Chevy that just wouldn’t turn in the corners. “We weren’t just tight, we were really tight, tight going in, tight in the middle and tight off.” Our guys threw the kitchen sink at “Mickey” and kept working all race long on helping make our Realtor Chevy turn,” offered Praytor. “We knew were not going to have the type night we were looking for after qualifying but our entire team kept digging every lap every, pit stop. We learned a lot Saturday night and the crew did a great job making stops in let’s just say a unique setting. We’ve run further back this season than 18th but this one is going to smart for a little while, we were expecting more.”

The team won’t have long to lick its wounds with the Allen Crowe Memorial 100 ahead this weekend at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Indiana. Praytor will return to dirt racing for the first time since he was 10 years old. “It’s been so long since I raced on dirt you might as well say I’ve never been on dirt. The best thing we have going for us is Mr. Wayne’s (Hixson) 40 years of dirt experience.”

Picture: Thomas “Moose Praytor and Realtor car on the front stretch at Berlin Raceway during the Primera Plastics 200.

 

 

 

Realtor Car and Praytor to Michigan’s Berlin Raceway

Primera Plastics 200 BERLIN RACEWAY: After two Speedways and a road course, the ARCA Series presented by Menards returns to the short tracks with the smallest track on the tour, 3/8th mile Berlin Speedway in Marne, Michigan. “Berlin doesn’t have a wall on the back stretch and nothing says home like no walls (Mobile International Speedway has no walls). Add to it the track is tight, slippery and hard to get a grip on and it’s like my home away from home, Pensacola’s 5 Flags Speedway,” said Praytor. “After the last three races we’re looking forward to having our Realtor car back on a short track.”

The Primera Plastics 200 at Berlin Raceway is a one day event on Saturday, August 10th, with practice from 2:00-2:45 and 3:15-3:45, Menards Pole Qualifying at 5:00 with the green flag at 8:30 PM EST. ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring of all on-track activity as well as live flag-to-flag audio coverage of the race. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the race on a tape delay on Thursday August 15th at 10:00PM CST.

LAST RACE-ModSpace 125 POCONO SPEEDWAY: While Pocono Raceway was a return trip, the Tricky Triangle had a surprise for all the ARCA competitors including SCOTTS Rookie of the Year Candidate, Thomas “Moose” Praytor by going flag to flag without a caution. “We had a solid Realtor car in Pocono but we needed a few cautions to help get it completely dialed in. We made all 125 miles and had a solid point’s day with our short track car but we sure missed Batman (Teams Speedway Chassis).”

ARCA CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 8th SCOTTS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CHALLENGE: 3rd

PRIMARY SPONSOR: REALTORS, www.realtorcar.com and G-Force Racing Gear

CAR: Hixson Motorsports chassis #3, nickname “Mickie Mouse”. Mickie Mouse is the chassis the team utilized at Mobile International Speedway and Salem Speedway earlier this year. This will be the first race for Mickie since the front end was wrecked at the Kenutckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by Crosley Radio at Salem.

HIXSON MOTORSPORTS/MAX FORCE RACING: Max Force Racing is based out of Mobile, Alabama and is fielding cars in its 16th season of competition. Max Force has teamed with another home grown operation, Hixson Motorsports with 4 decades of experience in the ARCA Series from Soddy Daisy Tennessee for the 2013 season.

THOMAS “MOOSE” PRAYTOR: In 2012, Moose made his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. He also raced in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega with Andy Belmont Racing and rounded out the season with a couple of starts for Venturini Motorsports. Praytor is currently 8th in the ARCA Series Championship point’s standings. Prior to the ARCA series, The Moose started cutting his racing teeth at 8 years old on short tracks across the Southeast, racking up local and state titles along the way. The Moose and his Max Force Racing Team earned the Ironman Status of the Gulf Coast in 2011 for competing in every Late Model (Pro & Super) Race at Mobile International Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finishing in the top 10 in the Championship standings at both tracks. Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. Recently the duo teamed up donating a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wore at Daytona and Talladega to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. For more on the Moose- www.realtorcar.com.

Picture: Chassis #3 Mickey Mouse at the ARCA Mobile 200 in March.

 

 

 

GREEN! GREEN! GREEN! Praytor Realtor Car Go the Distance at Pocono


GREEN! GREEN! GREEN! Is normally heard several times during an ARCA series race to signal the field to start racing or to go back racing after a caution. During Fridays ModSpace 125 it was heard only once as the huge field of ARCA cars took the green flag to start the race and then made the 125 miles around the Tricky Triangle without a caution. For Thomas "Moose" Praytor and his Realtor car team a 24th place finish in an all green flag race was a fitting ending to a long racing trip begun a week before at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Mobile, Alabama and Soddy Daisy,Tennessee are not known as the center of the racing world and when 10 straight weeks line up on the schedule with 2 back to back races about as far away from the Heart of Dixie you can get in New Jersey and Pennsylvania it requires some creativity on how to make that work. For the combined Hixson Motorsports/ Max Force racing effort, staying in New Jersey workings on cars made the most of the time between races and with a helping hand from fellow competitor and Cherry Hill, New Jersey native Tom Hessert a place to make it happen.


The Hesserts loaned the team some space in one of their old car dealerships and the days in between the Barbera Autoland 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park and the ModSpace 125 at Pocono Speedway were spent preparing the road course car, "Pooh" for Pocono and chassis #3 "Mickey Mouse" for Berlin. For a small team like the combined effort of Hixson Motorsports and Max Force Racing having 2 Realtor cars completely ready for action is a luxury normally only available to the larger teams.

As usual at Pocono weather became part of the story with rain washing out practice and qualifying on Thursday. An early practice was planned for Friday morning that was fogged out causing qualifying to be cancelled and a short practice session took its place. With the loss of the teams Speedway chassis, "Batman" in Chicago the team went to it's short track work horse, "Pooh" for the final Superspeedway race of the season. "We had Batman flying in Chicago and we were really looking forward to taking it back to Pocono, one of the few places I've been to before, but the guys couldn't get it ready to go again in time. Taking a short track car to a Superspeedway race is like taking a knife to a gun fight but we still learned some valuable lessons that will help when Batman comes back on line,” offered Praytor. Practice speeds put Praytor and the Realtor car 23rd out of the 37 cars at the Speedway.

Starting 11th from the Hixson’s owners point position the field took the GREEN! GREEN! GREEN! and the Realtor car held it’s own amongst the ARCA regulars. It wasn’t long before the high dollar one off teams that had to start in the rear because they didn’t have owner points started slicing their way to the front. Once the field settled down the Scotts Rookie of the Year Candidate would move between 20th and 27th position coming home with a 24th place finish. “A completely different race than we had in the Spring. Ours guys overcame a lot of obstacles over the weekend including having one of our Realtor cars torn up in the trailer when a strap broke. You don’t think things can get any stranger during this season and it does. Our guys worked hard all weekend and while 24th doesn’t sound too exciting it was a solid effort when compared to the guys we race with every week for the Championship. Off to Berlin, a good old fashioned short track next week.”

Picture:

Top-Start of ModSpace 125, courtesy of Joseph Dorshimer

Middle Top-Pair of Realtor cars in one of the Hesserts old car dealership in New Jersey.

Middle Bottom-A view from the ARCA pace car going over the tunnel turn on Thursday.

Bottom-At at a track about as far away as you can get from Mobile, Alabama we enjoyed having some family and friends. Left-Thomas’s cousin Lily Seestedt took a turn behind the wheel of the Realtor Chevy after the ModSpace 125. Right-longtime engine builder and the dean of Motorsports Broadcasting on the Gulf Coast, Tom Claxton spent the week with the team in Philadelphia and Pocono.


 

 

 

 

Praytor Realtor In Car Part of NBC Broadcast Tonight

The launch of NBC ARCA racing coverage starts tonight at 10:00 PM CST on the NBC sports Network with the Herr Chase the Taste 200 from Winchester Speedway in Indiana. Tonight marks the first of 4 ARCA broadcast in 2013 and a huge investment in stock car racing with NBC signing on for the second half of the NASCAR season beginning in 2014. Viewers will get a front row seat from multiple in car cameras including Thomas “Moose” Praytor’s Realtor Chevy. “Looking forward to tonight’s broadcast. It’s an honor to be a part of the start of NBCs relationship with ARCA,” said Praytor. Praytor and his Hixson Motorsports/Max Force team recorded his career best finish of 9th in Winchester scoring his third top 10 of the 2013 season. “There was a lot of close racing in Winchester and I know we had some close calls with our Realtor Chevy, our in car should be fun to watch.” NBC Sports Network can be seen in Mobile on Comcast 53 and ATT Uverse 640.

While the Winchester broadcast is tonight the ModSpace 125 from Pocono is happening now. What was slated as a practice day was washed out with a modified schedule for tomorrow, practice at 7:00 AM CST, qualifying 12:15 CST and the ModSpace 125 live on Speed at 4:15 CST.

Picture: Realtor in car shot from Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 at Winchester.

 

 

 

Praytor Realtor Car Making Return to Pocono

ModSpace 125, POCONO SPEEDWAY: In a year of first for Scotts Rookie of the Year contender Thomas “Moose” Praytor, Friday’s ModSpace 125 will be a rare return trip to a track he has raced on before. The Moose turned in a 16th place finish in the Spring Pocono event, taking his first laps on the Tricky Triangle with the drop of the green flag. “I learned a lot here in the spring with our favorite speedway car “Batman”. We lost it in Chicago and the guys are working back at the shop to get a new tail put on it. They say Pocono is part road course so we’re going with our road course chassis and best short track car. “Pooh” for our Realtor car this weekend,” offered Praytor. “Instead of going home we’ve spent the week in Philadelphia at one of the Hessert’s car dealerships working on converting Pooh for Pocono and getting our Berlin car ready. It’s been a really productive 3 days, we loaded both cars ready to go in to the trailer and made the short trip up to Pocono on Wednesday.”

LAST RACE-BARBERA AUTOLAND 150, NEW JERSEY MOTORSPORTSPARK: With the final road course of the 2013 season in the rear view mirror and a 17th place finish Praytor looks back on the rights and left of road course racing. “I had a really good time with our Realtor car at both road courses I’m just not very good at road course racing, yet. We improved our equipment tremendously and I did learn a lot at Road America that paid off in New Jersey. We still have a ways to go in catching the guys up front but we survived both and picked up points last weekend. Plus everyone is talking about “Double Time”, Wayne Hixson. 68 years old he gassed the car set the cans down and then changed the rear tires, all in one stop!”

ARCA CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 8th SCOTTS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CHALLENGE: 3rd

PRIMARY SPONSOR: REALTORS, www.realtorcar.com

CAR: Hixson Motorsports chassis #5, nickname “Pooh” as in Winnie the Pooh. Pooh is the team’s short track work horse with a 10th place finish at Elko and Praytor’s career best finish of 9th at Winchester Speedway. The Moose drove Pooh at the road courses to a 16th place finish at Road America & 17th at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Practice for the ModSpace 125 is Thursday, August 1st from 2-4 PM CST. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is Friday with the green flag for the ModSpace 125 set for 4:15 with live coverage from SPEED. ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring of all on-track activity as well as live flag-to-flag audio coverage of the race. The ARCA Series is part of a triple header weekend at Pocono with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

HIXSON MOTORSPORTS/MAX FORCE RACING: Max Force Racing is based out of Mobile, Alabama and is fielding cars in its 16th season of competition. Max Force has teamed with another home grown operation, Hixson Motorsports with 4 decades of experience in the ARCA Series from Soddy Daisy Tennessee for the 2013 season.

THOMAS “MOOSE” PRAYTOR: In 2012, Moose made his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. He also raced in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega with Andy Belmont Racing and rounded out the season with a couple of starts for Venturini Motorsports. Praytor is currently 8th in the ARCA Series Championship point’s standings. Prior to the ARCA series, The Moose started cutting his racing teeth at 8 years old on short tracks across the Southeast, racking up local and state titles along the way. The Moose and his Max Force Racing Team earned the Ironman Status of the Gulf Coast in 2011 for competing in every Late Model (Pro & Super) Race at Mobile International Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finishing in the top 10 in the Championship standings at both tracks. Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. Recently the duo teamed up donating a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wore at Daytona and Talladega to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. For more on the Moose- www.realtorcar.com.

Picture: Realtor car negotiating the S turns at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

 

 

 

Praytor and Realtor Car Survive New Jersey Devil-Close in on 7th

To say the road courses on the ARCA series schedule are a new experience for Scott Rookie of the Year Candidate Thomas "Moose" Praytor would be an understatement. Praytor and his Realtor car came into the Barbera Autoland 150 8th in points, 120 points out of 7th, looking to hold serve on the other title contenders. The Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Race team not only held serve but closed in on 6th and 7th and notched a top 20 finish.

"We knew going in we had a long weekend ahead of us but our Realtor team was determined to improve our road course program. The road course put a lot of pressure on our converted short track Realtor car and our guys worked hard on keeping Pooh going,” offered Praytor.

A faulty brake piston in the left front was caught after qualifying and the team thrashed on rebuilding the caliber on Sunday morning before the race. Under green the Realtor Chevy kept up but was no match for the top 10. 25 laps in Praytor lost 2nd gear, which is critical at New Jersey and was forced to nurse the Realtor car through the final half of the Barbera Autoland 150 to a 17th place finish.

“We probably had a little better Realtor car than what we showed but we accomplished our mission for this weekend, survive. We were short over the wall crew and we had a deal with Will Kimmel’s crew to use both teams during stops. The way the cautions fell that didn’t work out so we had 4 guys pitting the car instead of 7. Mr. Wayne (Hixson) at 68 gassed the car put the empty can back over the wall then changed the rear tires and I’m not sure but I think he beat the guys on the front. Looking forward to Pocono this week one of the few places I’ve actually been to before.”

The 120 point deficit to 7th has been reduced to 50 and Praytor closed 25 points on 6th. The team is staying in Philadelphia this week converting back the road course car for action this weekend at Pocono and preparing the Berlin car. Next up is the ModSpace 125 at Pocono Raceway on Friday afternoon at 4:15 CST with live coverage on SPEED. Live timing and scoring will be available Thursday and Friday on arcaracing.com.

Picture: Praytor and the Realtor car making their way through the Ss to the front stretch at New Jersey Motorsports Park during the Barbera Autoland 150.

 

 

 

Lefts and Rights Awaiting Realtor Car and Praytor in New Jersey

BARBERA’S AUTOLAND 150 NEW JERSEY MOTORSPORTS PARK: The second and final road course event of the 2013 season is slated for this Sunday. “Now that I’m a road course veteran with my one start at Road America I’m looking forward to New Jersey this weekend. We’ve worked really hard on improving our road course effort (see picture above) but I’ve got a long way to go behind the wheel before I can say our Realtor car is going to be a contender,” offered Praytor. “Now I see Nelson Canache, who’s won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, is on the entry list. We both raced for Venturini last year and maybe I can get a few pointers from him, of course I don’t think I’ve understood anything he’s said yet.” (Canache is from Caracas, Venezuela)

LAST RACE-ANSELL ACTIVARMR 150, CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY: Praytor and the Realtor car are coming off their worst finish of the 2013 season, 23rd at Chicagoland Speedway. “We sure hated to lose “Batman” in Chicago but our Realtor car was fast and is a testament to our race team continuing to grow together as the season goes forward,” said Praytor. “We still have a lot to learn on the Speedways and our effort at Chicagoland shows we are making gains.”

ARCA CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 8th SCOTTS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CHALLENGE: 3rd

PRIMARY SPONSOR: REALTORS, www.realtorcar.com

CAR: Hixson Motorsports chassis #5, nickname “Pooh” as in Winnie the Pooh. Pooh is the team’s short track work horse with a 10th place finish at Elko and Praytor’s career best finish of 9th at Winchester Speedway. The Moose drove Pooh to a 16th place finish at Road America in his only other road course outing.

Practice for the Barbera’s Autoland 150 presented by Driven Racing Oil is Saturday, July 27 from 11:20 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. with final practice afterwards from 1:40-2:40. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell follows final practice at 4:30. Sunday’s race is scheduled to roll off at 1. (All times EST) ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring of all on-track activity as well as live flag-to-flag audio coverage of the race. The ARCA race is just part of a jam-packed weekend of racing to include Porsche Club of America, U.S. Drift, and the SCCA’s Fidelity Power Systems Pro IT.

HIXSON MOTORSPORTS/MAX FORCE RACING: Max Force Racing is based out of Mobile, Alabama and is fielding cars in its 16th season of competition. Max Force has teamed with another home grown operation, Hixson Motorsports with 4 decades of experience in the ARCA Series from Soddy Daisy Tennessee for the 2013 season.

THOMAS “MOOSE” PRAYTOR: In 2012, Moose made his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. He also raced in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega with Andy Belmont Racing and rounded out the season with a couple of starts for Venturini Motorsports. Praytor is currently 8th in the ARCA Series Championship point’s standings. Prior to the ARCA series, The Moose started cutting his racing teeth at 8 years old on short tracks across the Southeast, racking up local and state titles along the way. The Moose and his Max Force Racing Team earned the Ironman Status of the Gulf Coast in 2011 for competing in every Late Model (Pro & Super) Race at Mobile International Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finishing in the top 10 in the Championship standings at both tracks. Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. Recently the duo teamed up donating a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wore at Daytona and Talladega to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. For more on the Moose- www.realtorcar.com.

Picture: Special clear lexan spoiler for the road course Realtor car.

 

 

 

Soddy Daisy & Mobile Shops Wide Open for Second Half

The Ansell ActiveArmr 150 at Chicago was the opening round of the second half of the 2013 ARCA season and while the loss of “Batman” during the race is a tough pill to swallow, Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Race team have a lot more bullets. “We have 4 cars that are in different stages of readiness to use over the next several weeks. Starting this weekend we’ll be taking 2 cars to the track in case we have any problems,” offered Praytor. “Mr. Hixson has a tremendous amount of inventory in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee and along with our race team in Mobile, Alabama both shops are cranking out Realtor cars for the second half of the season.”

Chassis #3, “Mickey Mouse”, (left) is in the paint booth and will be the backup car for New Jersey and the primary car for Berlin and the dirt tracks, Duquoin and Springfield. Chassis #7 “Scooby Doo” (center) is out of the Soddy Daisy paint booth and is in Mobile for final prep before being ready to go to the track. Chassis #5 “Pooh” the team’s short track work horse, had a new motor installed in the Soddy Daisy shop and the setup has been changed over to a road course setup with a special road course transmission for the road course in New Jersey this weekend.

“This 10 week stretch will be critical in deciding who is in the Championship hunt at the end of the year. We feel like we have a real shot at being in the top 10 and maybe even improving a spot or two from where we are now.”

Next up for the Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing team is the Barbera’s Autoland 150 presented by Driven Racing Oil on the road course at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Sunday July 28th.

 

 

Short Day for Praytor & Realtor Car at Chicago

Weeks of fine tuning and primping the Realtor Ford Fusion paid dividends from the first lap of practice for the Ansell ActiveArmr 150 Chicagoland Speedway. But for the first time since Talladega Thomas “Moose” Praytor would not see the checkered flag recording a 23rd palce finish.

“Our Realtor Ford was quick off the trailer and kept getting quicker as I learned how to get around my first mile and half speedway,” said Praytor. “Chicago has some big bumps that really toss the car around and it took a little while to get used to that at 180 miles per hour.”

As the weekend progressed Praytor’s qualifying time would be over a second faster than his best practice time putting him in the 14th position, then things started to go bad.

“In qualifying we had a bad tire rub on the right front and we had to devise a plan to get that fixed before the green flag. We had staged our pit equipment behind pit road while the Nationwide Series was racing and while we were planning our stop security caught some guys stealing tools out of our toolbox. When we got back over to the pit box they had one in custody and they were chasing the other one through the infield.”

After the command to start engines instead of taking the parade laps Praytor drove his Realtor Ford directly to the pit box and the team raised the front of the car to ensure the right front didn’t rub then swapped the right side tires putting the tire that had rubbed to the rear of the car.

The penalty for making the changes before the start of the race would put the team at the tail end of the field for the start. With the drop of the green flag the Moose hooked up with Richard Petty’s, David Levine, who also had to take up the tail and the duo started slicing their way through the field. Back inside the top 20 Levine made the pass on the 40 of Dominick Casola. Praytor followed behind Levine but Casola slammed the door hard off of turn 2. “I had just 2 options wreck the 40 or try to turn down and miss him. I tried turning down but it was just too much and the back end came around.”

A long sideways spin down the back stretch killed all 4 tires and Praytor was back on pit road for some fresh rubber. Back under green the Moose was rumbling again and it didn’t take long before he worked his way back up to the 40 of Casola.

“After my first experience with the 40 I thought I would try him on the high side. He ran me up to the wall twice and on the third try I set him up with high side move and when he went up to put me in the wall I just drove underneath him coming off turn 4. I thought I was done with the 40 but then he dived bombed me on the outside going into turn 1 taking the air off the spoiler and I went spinning into the outside wall.”

The damage from the spin was too much for the team to fix and what should have been a good day was over early.

“We always try to race other people like they race us. I have a lot of respect for Roger Carter (the owner of the 40 car) and the guys that work on that race team but I really have a bad taste in my mouth with their driver.”

Fortunately the early exit did not cost Praytor a position in the Championship standings and he leaves Chicagoland in the 8th position.

“We didn’t get the results we were looking but there were a lot of positives out of Chicago. It was our 3rd race with “Batman” and all the hard work from our guys and the guys and Roush Yates Performance really paid off. Losing our primary car for Pocono means we’ll have a busy week in the shop getting ready for New Jersey this week and getting the back up ready for Pocono.”

Next up for the Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing team is the Barbera’s Autoland 150 presented by Driven Racing Oil on the road course at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Sunday July 28th.

Picture: Owner Wayne Hixson surveys the damage on the Realtor Ford Fusion at Chicagoland Speedway.

 

 

Race Week for Praytor & Realtor Car Starts at Roush Yates


As a 3rd generation Realtor driving the Realtor car at the home of the National Association of Realtors in Chicago, Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his Hixson Motorsports/Max Force team have been working overtime to take their best piece to the Ansell ActiveArmr 150 at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend.

If you’re driving a Ford, the Ford horses live at Roush Yates Performance in Mooresville, North Carolina where Praytor has been entrenched in the engine shop since Sunday.

After installing a fresh Roush Yates power plant, “Batman” (Nickname for chassis) took a test flight on the Chassis Dyno and the motor team has declared the Cape Crusader ready for action.

“The guys at Roush Yates always make great horsepower,” offered Praytor. “We’ve been rubbing on the Realtor car back in our shop in Mobile for the last 2 weeks. We’ve been working on a lot of detail items that we hope will pay off in Chicago.”

Praytor will pilot Ford Chassis RK 275 nicknamed “Batman” this weekend. Batman has become the team’s workhorse Speedway chassis and is coming off a 10th place finish in it’s last outing at Michigan International Speedway.

Practice for the Ansel ActiveArmr at Chicagoland Speedway is slated for Saturday, July 20th with live timing and scoring coverage on arcaracing.com. The race is part of a double header Sunday with the NASCAR Nationwide Series and will broadcast live on Speed at 5:00 PM CST.

Picture: Thomas “Moose” Praytor and Evan Cupples of Roush Yates Performance making adjustments to the Realtor Ford Fusion for the Ansell ActivArmr 150 at Chicagoland Speedway.

 

 

NBC Sports to Air Four ARCA Races
Praytor Part of First Broadcast

NBC Sports Network will air four ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races in the second half of the 2013 Season. The addition of NBC Sports broadcast to SPEED’s remaining 5 broadcast puts 9 of the final 12 races of the season on national television.

NBC Sports will broadcast some classic short tracks, Winchester, Berlin and Madison along with the 1 mile dirt oval at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

"We look forward to presenting the excitement of the ARCA Racing Series to motorsports fans on NBC Sports Network for the first time," said Mike Perman, Vice President, Programming, NBC Sports Group.

Mobile’s Thomas “Moose” Praytor was chosen to carry one of the in car cameras during the Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 at Winchester this past weekend. “It was an honor to be a part of NBC Sports first ARCA broadcast. The racing was wild and our Realtor Chevy was involved in a lot of close calls that should make for some great TV,” offered Praytor. “Adding NBC Sports to the great coverage from SPEED is a perfect combination for us to showcase our talent and our sponsors on national TV.”

Veteran ARCA commentators Rick Allen and Jim Tretow have been tapped by NBC Sports to anchor the broadcast.

NBC Sports Network is part of the NBC Sports Group. Now in more than 80 million homes, the Emmy-award winning network is the cable television home of the Summer and Winter Olympics, National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), IZOD IndyCar Series, Tour de France, the 34th America's Cup, Premier League and Formula One. In addition, NBC Sports Network features college football, college basketball, college hockey, cycling, outdoor programming, horse racing surrounding the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup, Fight Night boxing, Ironman, the Dew Action Sports Tour and USA Sevens Rugby. The network is also home to original programs such as Costas Tonight, The Crossover, NFL Turning Point, Pro Football Talk and The Dan Patrick Show. NBC Sports Network is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.


Picture: View from inside the Realtor Chevy at Winchester Speedway for the Herr’s Chase the Taste 200

Remaining ARCA Schedule with Broadcast Information

June, 30

Herr’s Chase the Taste 200

Winchester Speedway

NBC Sports Network 8-1 10PM CST

July, 21

Ansell ActivArmr 150

Chicagoland Speedway

SPEED Live

July, 28

Barbera's Autoland 150 presented by Driven Racing Oil

New Jersey Motorsports Park

 

August, 2

Mod Space 125

Pocono Speedway

SPEED Live

August, 10

Berlin ARCA 200

Berlin Raceway

NBC Sports Network 8-15 10PM CST

August, 18

Allen Crowe 100

Illinois State Fairgrounds

NBC Sports Network 8-23 10PM CST

August, 25

Herr’s Live Life with Flavor 200

Madison Int’l Speedway

NBC Sports Network 8-29 10PM CST

September, 2

Southern Illinois 100

DuQuoin State Fairgorunds

 

September, 7

Prairie Meadows ARCA 150

Iowa Speedway

SPEED Live

September, 14

Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic presented by Federated Car Care

Salem Speedway

 

September, 20

ZLOOP 150

Kentucky Speedway

SPEED Live

October, 4

Kansas ARCA 150

Kansas Speedway

SPEED Live

 

Praytor-Realtor Car Survive for 9th at Winchester

The Herr’s Chase for the Taste 200 at Winchester Speedway was billed as an old fashioned short track throw down that turned into a no holds barred donnybrook!

For Scott’s Rookie of the Year candidate Thomas “Moose” Praytor Winchester would be another learning experience that would end with a career best finish of 9th on one of the toughest short tracks in the country.

“Challenging is the best word I have. Our team busted their butts all weekend making changes to our Realtor Chevy and we got consistently better,” offered Praytor. “The racing was crazy, up against the wall bouncing off of each other. During the race we lost an ignition box and that cost us until we could get that debugged and back going. Dodged a massive pile up in turn 2 that took out the pack of cars we were racing with including the leader. It was wild-it was a blast!”

While the Moose and his Realtor team were finding their way around the venerable old short track, ARCA’s most celebrated veteran and 9 time Champion Frank Kimmel was busy taking home his 79th ARCA Series win, tying the all-time win mark set by Iggy Katona. “Congratulations to Mr. Frank on another big win. He’s been a big help to me at each one of these new tracks we go to in helping me get around. Those guys have it going on.”

Better is a term being used a lot in the ARCA garage when it comes to the Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing Realtor Team. For the 4th consecutive week Praytor was faster in the race than he was in practice and qualifying. The team has recorded its 3rd top 10 in the last 5 races and has moved up to the 8th position in the ARCA Series presented by Menards Championship standings and has closed the gap on 7th and 6th.

After 7 straight weeks of racing the Praytor and his team get a valuable couple of weeks off to prepare for the second half of the 2013 season.

Next up for the ARCA Series presented by Menards, the Ansell ActivArmr 150 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 21st.

Picture: The Bull (Brennan Poole) and the Moose (Thomas Praytor) battling for position during the Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 at Winchester Speedway. Photo compliments of ARCA Racing.

 

Olympic Boxing Starts Winchester Donnybrook for Praytor

Coming off the pounding lefts and rights of Road America, ARCA driver Thomas “Moose” Praytor took in the first day of action of the USA Boxing Junior Olympic Championship at Mobile’s Arthur Outlaw Convention Center before heading to the high banks of Winchester Speedway in Indiana. “It’s incredible to watch these young guys go at it working their way to the top. They beat on each other for 3 rounds and then high 5 each other when they get done, the sportsmanship is incredible,” offered Praytor. “All of these guys are chasing a dream and you never know, we could be looking at a future gold medalists or the next champion of the world.” The Junior Olympic Boxing Championship continues through Saturday and tickets are available at the Convention Center.

While the gloves will be on in Mobile this weekend, the gloves will be off for the Moose and his Realtor Chevy in an old fashion short track throw down in the Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 at Winchester Speedway. Practice and qualifying are scheduled for Saturday June 29th with the Herrs Chase the Taste 200 rolling off Sunday June 30th at 2:00 EST. The Herrs Chase the Taste 200 is the main event of a triple header weekend at Winchester Speedway with the ARCA Trucks and the ARCA CRA Series racing on Saturday. The Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 will be broadcast live on www.arcaracing.com radio with live timing and scoring all weekend on www.arcaracing.com. NBC will broadcast the race tape delayed on NBC Sports Network.

Picture: USA Boxing Junior National Championships, Mobile, Alabama (l-r) Kashir Muhammad-Brown (Washington DC), Praytor, KeeShawn Williams (Washington DC), Shakur Stevenson (Newark, NJ) and Tyreek Williams (front)

 

Praytor Soldiers Realtor Car to 16th Up to 8th in Championship

The 4 mile Road America road course in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin is considered a road racers paradise but for a Rookie driver that has never seen a road course in a field filled with NASCAR road race aces Dante’s Inferno would be a better description with the 14 turns replacing the 9 circles.

Scotts Rookie of the Year candidate Thomas “Moose” Praytor made his first road course laps this weekend in the SCOTT 160 turning the most practice laps of all drivers with only one off road excursion. “Everything about the road course is so completely different. I heard Max Pappis say it was like having a football player play in a NFL game on Sunday and the next week have him play in a MLB game and that’s the way I felt. Last week we were going 200 MPH, not using any brakes and making a slight left hand turn and this week I was braking turning right and left then shifting and doing it all over again, 560 times!” said Praytor. “We knew this week was not going to be a spectacular week but we had to have a solid effort to keep up in the points battle and our Realtor team accomplished what we needed and even moved up a spot.” Praytor qualified 18th finished 16th and moved up to 8th in the ARCA Series Championship standings. After taking out the half dozen NASCAR Nationwide and road race aces in for the weekend Praytor finished a respectable 10th among ARCA Series regulars.

Next up-back to the short tracks for the Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 at the half mile high banked Winchester Speedway in Indiana.

 

Praytor Wrangles Realtor Car Around Road America

Having never turned a road course lap Thomas "Moose" Praytor knew he would have to put his Realtor machine through its paces in practice at Road America for Saturdays SCOTT 160 and the 3rd generation Realtor led all competitors in laps made during practice at Elkhart Lake. "Really learned a lot today. Kept our Realtor Chevy on track most of the day except for a little mishap in turn 14 that landed me in the kitty litter", offered Praytor. ARCA veteran, Mark Gibson, with over 250 starts, came by and reminded the Scotts Rookie of the Year candidate he wasn't at Gulf Shores and to stay off the beach! "The road course is completely different than anything else I've done, we ran 20 laps today and I was drained physically and mentally. Can't wait for tomorrow's Scott 160."

Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is scheduled for 9:05 a.m. Saturday. While qualifying is typically done with one car on the track at a time, qualifying on a road course is different. Cars will be split into groups based on practice speeds, then will go out onto the track in those groups for 10 minute sessions. Qualifying will then be based on fastest lap times during those 10 minute sessions.

The SCOTT 160 is scheduled to start around 12:45 p.m. Saturday, Central Time. For live timing and scoring as well as streaming audio for the ninth race of the 2013 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season, log on to http://www.arcaracing.com/.

 

Road America Next for Praytor and Realtor Car

SCOTT 160 ROAD AMERICA: As if the string of new tracks wasn’t enough for the Scott Rookie of the Year Candidate, this week the ARCA Series presented by Menards mixes in some right turns with the lefts over 4 miles of road course in the Scott 160 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. “Each week is a new challenge and its part of what has made this season so special. I haven’t been on a road course since the Outdoor Channel Bandolero at Atlanta Motor Speedway 10 years ago. This weekend is going to be interesting,” offered Thomas “Moose” Praytor. Praytor carries big momentum into the Scott 160 having finished in the top 10 2 out ofn the last 3 races.

LAST RACE-PATRIOT PUMPS 200: The USA Boxing Junior Olympics Championship crew got a work out last week in Michigan with the team using almost every opportunity to take 4 tires and still managing a top 10. “A solid effort by everyone last week, qualified 16th and raced our way into the top 10. The crew did an awesome job of keeping us competitive. We took a very conservative approach to tires and it cost us a spot or 2 but I think saved our USA Boxing Fusion to fight another day. We are really growing as a unit and we keep putting together solid finishes.”

ARCA CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 9th SCOTTS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CHALLENGE: 3rd

PRIMARY SPONSOR: REALTORS, www.realtorcar.com

CAR: Hixson Motorsports chassis #5, nickname “Pooh” as in Winnie the Pooh. The team has converted this short track chassis for road course use this weekend at Road America. The last outing for this chassis was the Akona 250 in Elko Minnesota where Praytor recorded his first ARCA top 10 finish.

Practice is scheduled for Friday June 21st with qualifying and the Scott 160 scheduled for Saturday June 22nd at 12:45 PM CST. The Scott 160 is part of a double header slate of racing with the NASCAR Nationwide Series racing after the ARCA race. The Scott 160 will be broadcast live on www.arcaracing.com radio with live timing and scoring all weekend on www.arcaracing.com.

HIXSON MOTORSPORTS/MAX FORCE RACING: Max Force Racing is based out of Mobile, Alabama and is fielding cars in its 16th season of competition. Max Force has teamed with another home grown operation, Hixson Motorsports with 3 decades of experience in the ARCA Series from Soddy Daisy Tennessee for the 2013 season.

THOMAS “MOOSE” PRAYTOR: In 2012, Moose made his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. He also raced in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega with Andy Belmont Racing and rounded out the season with a couple of starts for Venturini Motorsports. Praytor is currently 9th in the ARCA Series Championship point’s standings. Prior to the ARCA series, The Moose started cutting his racing teeth at 8 years old on short tracks across the Southeast, racking up local and state titles along the way. The Moose and his Max Force Racing Team earned the Ironman Status of the Gulf Coast in 2011 for competing in every Late Model (Pro & Super) Race at Mobile International Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finishing in the top 10 in the Championship standings at both tracks. Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. Recently the duo teamed up donating a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wore at Daytona and Talladega to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. For more on the Moose- www.realtorcar.com.

 

Praytor Counter Punches to Top 10 at Michigan

Praytor racing for the 10th spot with Venturini Motorsports Milks Duno.


Overcoming tire issues Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his USA Boxing Junior Olympic Championship Ford counter punched up to a 10th place finish in the Patriot Pumps ARCA 200 at Michigan International Speedway. Praytor matched his career best ARCA finish of 10th for his second top 10 of the season maintaining the 9th position in the ARCA Championship points standings closing to within 25 points of 8th place.

After tackling the “Tricky Triangle” in Pocono with no practice, Praytor was happy for a clear forecast and a 2 and a half hour practice session at the blazing fast Michigan International Speedway for the Patriot Pumps ARCA 200. “We had a really solid USA Boxing Junior Olympic Championship Fusion off the hauler and worked on several different set up ideas on Thursday. It took a little while to get used to the speed you carry off into the corner and finding the right place to let off and get back on the gas. The ARCA veterans were really a big help on getting around,” said Praytor.

After practicing as high as 14th , Praytor timed in the USA Boxing Junior Olympics Championship Ford in the 16th position. With the drop of the green flag the Moose was rumbling picking up spots on the racetrack.

A caution at lap 26 brought the USA Boxing Junior Olympics Championship machine to pit road for fuel and a precautionary 4 tires, the 4 tire stop would be the move of the race. “On the first stop we found out the right front was showing the cords on the inside edge of the tire giving us a warning that there could be a problem with the right front on long runs.” 4 tires and a broken pit gun during the stop made for an extended stay on pit road putting Praytor at the end of the lead lap cars.

Back under green the Moose was picking up spots in traffic while the leaders were setting a torrid pace up front in clean air. Praytor had worked his way up to the next in line for the free pass and the caution flew before he could complete the pass for the position. As the race played out the caution would trap Praytor off the lead lap but still racing with a big group of cars.

With the early tire issue on the right front, the decision was made for Praytor to come to pit road at every opportunity to change 4 tires. “We worked the pit crew over today, the boss called for 4 tires and fuel on almost every caution, the guys did a great job and kept us in contention.” Taking 4 tires and fuel compared to other strategies almost always had Praytor off pit road last giving the Scott’s Rookie candidate lots of experience on passing cars at the 2 mile oval.

In a classic tortoise and the hare race, the decision to keep fresh rubber on the USA Boxing Junior Olympics Championship Fusion gave Praytor an opportunity for a solid finish while some teams gamble on tire wear would cost them an opportunity at a good finish and a race car. A final restart gave Praytor an opportunity to slip by the 35 car and into the top 10. The fresh tire move would pay even bigger dividends for the Mobile, Alabama rookie when in the closing laps a piece of debris cut both left side tires and Praytor returned to pit road with 2 flat left side tires.

“We had another solid day for our team, pound for pound, dollar for dollar they are producing the best results in racing. It’s been a real honor to carry the USA Boxing Junior Olympics Championship colors the last 2 races. Looking forward to catching some of the action in Mobile at the end of the month.”

Praytor maintains the 9th position in the ARCA Championship point’s standings and closed to with 25 points of the 8th position and 65 points of 7th. Racing every weekend continues next week with the Scotts 160 at the 4.2 mile road course at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

 

 

Praytor Rolls Off 16th Michigan-Live on SPEED

The USA Boxing Junior Olympic Championship Ford will roll off 16th for this afternoons Michigan ARCA 200. "Our USA Boxing Fusion has been solid since we unloaded of the hauler. We made a gear change yesterday and worked on getting the right front all the way on the ground. Everything the guys threw at it made us faster. Really looking forward to the green flag and 200 miles of racing," said Thomas "Moose" Praytor. Race will be broadcast live on SPEED at 4:00 CST with a re-air tonight at 9:00 PM CST. Live timing and scoring on arcaracing.com.

 

Michigan Match Up Next for Praytor & USA Boxing Ford

MICHIGAN ARCA 200: The string of new tracks continues this week for Mobile, Alabama’s, Thomas “Moose” Praytor, with the 2 mile Michigan International Speedway(MIS). “We hope we can mix it up a little with USA Boxing in their final round before the Junior Olympic Championships in Mobile at the end of June. The response we’ve had to having USA Boxing on the hood has been incredible, boxing fans everywhere,” offered Praytor. “Michigan is going to be a lot of fun! Lots of different ways to get around, multiple grooves you can search around and find a place your car will run in.”

LAST RACE-ARCA POCONO 200: The “Tricky Triangle” at Pocono Raceway was extra tricky last week for the Scott’s Rookie of the year candidate. A broken oil line kept Praytor from making any practice laps, his first lap at the Speedway was the drop of the green flag. The repairs to the motor sent Praytor to the rear for the start and he was able to bob and weave his way up to 16th.

PREVIOUS ALABAMA WINNER: Alabama’s Dave Mader, III won the ARCA 200 at Michigan International Speedway on June 22, 1991. Mader was inducted in to the Alabama Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega earlier this year and is part of Praytor’s Mobile connection. Mader helped put together the Daytona car and test it at Daytona International Speedway.

ARCA CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 9th SCOTTS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CHALLENGE: 3rd

PRIMARY SPONSOR: The Michigan ARCA 200 will be the final race for USA Boxing Junior Olympic Championship. The Championships will be contested in Mobile, Alabama June 26-29th at the Arthur Outlaw Convention Center. For more www.usaboxing.org or www.mobilesportsauthority.com or www.mobile.org

CAR: Hixson Motorsports chassis RK 275, nickname “Batman” is a former Sprint Cup winning chassis at California & Texas with Greg Biffle behind the wheel. Praytor drove the same car last week at Pocono to a 16th place finish.

Practice is scheduled for Thursday June 13th with qualifying and the Michigan ARCA 200 scheduled for Friday June 14th at 4:00 PM CST. The Michigan ARCA 200 will be broadcast live on SPEED with live timing and scoring all weekend on www.arcaracing.com. SPEED will re-air the broadcast at 9:00 CST.

HIXSON MOTORSPORTS/MAX FORCE RACING: Max Force Racing is based out of Mobile, Alabama and is fielding cars in its 16th season of competition. Max Force has teamed with another home grown operation, Hixson Motorsports with 3 decades of experience in the ARCA Series from Soddy Daisy Tennessee for the 2013 season.

THOMAS “MOOSE” PRAYTOR: In 2012, Moose made his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. He also raced in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega with Andy Belmont Racing and rounded out the season with a couple of starts for Venturini Motorsports. Praytor is currently 9th in the ARCA Series Championship point’s standings. Prior to the ARCA series, The Moose started cutting his racing teeth at 8 years old on short tracks across the Southeast, racking up local and state titles along the way. The Moose and his Max Force Racing Team earned the Ironman Status of the Gulf Coast in 2011 for competing in every Late Model (Pro & Super) Race at Mobile International Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finishing in the top 10 in the Championship standings at both tracks. Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. Recently the duo teamed up donating a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wore at Daytona and Talladega to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. For more on the Moose- www.realtorcar.com.

 

AL.com Names Praytor One Of Top 20 in 20’s

The Press-Register/AL.com announced their first class of 20/20 Vision members that were selected through nominees from the public.

The inaugural 20/20 class includes business owners, teachers, artists and entertainers of all ilk, community leaders, a chef, an engineer and even a racecar driver, Thomas “Moose” Praytor.

Story & Video Link All 20/20 Coastal Alabama’s Best and Brightest 20-Somethings- http://blog.al.com/live/2013/06/2020_vision_coastal_alabama_best.html

Story Link Thomas Praytor’s 20/20 Coastal Alabama’s Best and Brightest 20-Somethings-
http://blog.al.com/pr/2013/06/2020_vision_thomas_moose_prayt.html

 

20/20 Vision: Thomas 'Moose' Praytor, 23, property manager, Praytor Realty, Mobile; Racecar driver

Thomas Praytor, 23, race car driver and real estate agent (Mike Brantley/mbrantley@al.com)

By Ellen Mitchell

• Why he lives in Coastal Alabama: "There's so much to do here, I never really felt like I needed to go anywhere else. When you go to other places, you appreciate what you have here."

• Claim to fame: NASCAR driver in the ARCA Racing Series.

• Next step: Become a full-time, professional racer in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, and take over the family business.

A name like Praytor is easy to recognize in Mobile, especially in the housing industry. But these days, the Praytor gaining attention isn't Jamie Praytor, the company's late founder; it's her 23-year-old grandson.

Thomas Praytor has worked as the property manager for the past three years at Praytor Realty Co. Inc., a mid-sized, family-owned company, but that's just his day job. He's built a name for himself outside the housing business with stock car racing, competing for the past two years in the ARCA Racing Series.

Racing since he was 8, Praytor moved up quickly through the local ranks and first raced at Mobile International Speedway at 16. He's picked up a number of titles throughout the southeast over the years, with more than 50 wins, a track championship, a state crown and three U.S. Army Rookie of the Year titles at two different tracks.

As with the family company, Praytor says staying local is by far the most important thing in his quest for racing glory. "Everything we do, we try to stay in Mobile," he said. "I prepare the cars to race in our shop here, and three-fourths of our sponsors are local businesses. I feel like there's value in that."

Though his ultimate goal is to get to the top in NASCAR, Praytor also hopes to take over the family business one day, but he "hasn't gotten that far," in figuring out how he'll balance the two dreams.

"If the whole racing thing doesn't work out, then I'm already a distinguished realtor to where I don't have to start my life all over," he said. "But I'll do whatever it takes to get there."

 

 

Praytor Bobs & Weaves USA Boxing Ford to 16th at Pocono

Pocono Raceway is one of the most difficult tracks in all of motorsports and eats first time Rookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thomas “Moose” Praytor was coming off a career best finish at Elko Speedway but had never seen the “Tricky Triangle” until Friday when rained covered the track and washed out all of the practice and qualifying for the ARCA race on Saturday. During a short practice session on Saturday an oil line issue kept the ARCA rookie from making any laps. “Rain on Friday was bad, the oil line going bad warming up was really bad, not being able to get it fixed in time to make the inspection line was even worse for our USA Boxing Junior Olympic Ford. Really have to thank the guys at Roush Yates for helping us out and our guys never gave up,” offered Praytor.

Because it took all the way to race time to get the USA Boxing Junior Olympic Championship Ford in line the team was penalized from a 12th starting position to the tail end of the field. Praytor’s first lap and first trip down the mile long front stretch would be the drop of the green flag with 33 cars in front of him. Bobbing and weaving through the field the Moose worked his way methodically towards the front passing half the field and ending up 16th. “We have a really good car for here and now with 80 laps under our belts we’re really looking forward to coming back to Pocono. Today really belongs to our team and the guys at Roush Yates on getting this car ready to race in such a short period of time and making 200 miles with all the band aids. Not exactly the day we were looking for but any time you can roll one on the trailer from Pocono that’s not too bad of a start!”

Praytor and his Hixson Motorsports/Max Force team’s USA Boxing Junior Olympic Championship Ford are slated for 10 rounds next week at Michigan International Speedway. Live coverage from SPEED and timing and scoring on arcaracing.com.

 

Rain Washes Out Fridays Practice and Qualifying

Heavy rains washed out all on track activity today for the ARCA Pocono 200. The schedule call for a short 30 minute practice session in the morning before going live on SPEED at Noon CST. "We really needed some laps today on our USA Boxing Ford at one of the hardest tracks on the tour. Mother Nature didn't cooperate and since I've never turned a lap here I sure would like a a lap or 2 before we start racing," offered the Moose. Practice timing and scoring is live arcaracing.com and the race will be live on SPEED.

 

Praytor Ready to Mix It Up-Pocono Pre-Race

Coming off a career best finish at Elko Speedway (10th) in the Akona 250 presented by Federated Car Care, Scott’s Rookie of the year candidate, Thomas “Moose” Praytor, is looking to capitalize on last week’s strong performance at the “Tricky Triangle” in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. With primary sponsorship from USA Boxing’s Junior Olympic Championships Praytor is ready to go the distance at one of the ARCA Series most unusual tracks. “Pocono is like Talladega and Daytona nothing can really prepare you to race there, you just have to do it. I’ve been putting in my time on I-racing on the computer, talking with the veterans but the front stretch is a mile long and there only 3 corners! It’s going to be big change compared to last week’s 3/8th mile at Elko, it’s going to be fun,” said Praytor. “Having USA Boxing on the car the next 2 races is a big honor for our race team. The Junior Olympic Championships are held in Mobile and made possible by the Mobile Sports Authority and the Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau. Thanks to them Mobile is going after and getting world class sporting events.”

PRIMARY SPONSOR: USA Boxing Junior Olympic Championship to be contested in Mobile, Alabama June 26-29th at the Arthur Outlaw Convention Center. For more www.usaboxing.org or www.mobilesportsauthority.com or www.mobile.org

CAR: Hixson Motorsports chassis RK 275, nickname “Batman” is a former Sprint Cup winning chassis at California & Texas with Greg Biffle behind the wheel.

CREW IN VICTORY LANE: While Pocono is new to the driver, members of the team have been to the “Tricky Triangle” on numerous occasions and even to Victory Lane. Tire specialist, Crystal Bates, went to Victory Lane last year working for Venturini Motorsports when Brennan Poole won the Pocono ARCAQ 200.

Practice and qualifying are scheduled for Friday June 7th with the Pocono 200 slated for Saturday, June 8th at NOON CST. Live coverage on SPEED with live timing and scoring all weekend on www.arcaracing.com.

HIXSON MOTORSPORTS/MAX FORCE RACING: Max Force Racing is based out of Mobile, Alabama and is fielding cars in its 16th season of competition. Max Force has teamed with another home grown operation, Hixson Motorsports with 3 decades of experience in the ARCA Series from Soddy Daisy Tennessee for the 2013 season.

Thomas “Moose” Praytor: In 2012, Moose made his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. He also raced in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega with Andy Belmont Racing and rounded out the season with a couple of starts for Venturini Motorsports. Praytor is currently 9th in the ARCA Series Championship point’s standings. Prior to the ARCA series, The Moose started cutting his racing teeth at 8 years old on short tracks across the Southeast, racking up local and state titles along the way. The Moose and his Max Force Racing Team earned the Ironman Status of the Gulf Coast in 2011 for competing in every Late Model (Pro & Super) Race at Mobile International Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finishing in the top 10 in the Championship standings at both tracks. Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. Recently the duo teamed up donating a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wore at Daytona and Talladega to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. For more on the Moose- www.realtorcar.com

 

Praytor Realtor Car Rumble to 10th in Minnesota


Thomas "Moose" Praytor wheeled the Realtor car to a career best 10th place finish in the ARCA Series Akona 250 presented by Federated Auto Parts at Elko Speedway, moving up to 9th in the ARCA Championship standings.

As rookie in a series that has been around over 60 years there are a lot of first and the trip to Elko Minnesota was another first for Praytor and his Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing Team.

Elko Speedway can best be described as a classic 3/8ths mile bull ring just south of Minneapolis. "You're always working in the car, just about the time you get off the corner it's time to get set up for the entry of the next. There's not a lot of banking and if you don't get the car slowed down it'll never turn. All lessons the track taught me in my first few laps," offered Praytor.

In preparation for the Akona 250 presented by Federated Auto Part the track had 2, 45 minute practice sessions planned. The first went off as scheduled and the second was washed out by rain. "We really needed that last practice session. We made a lot of changes to our Realtor car in the break and we needed to try them out. Even without the 2nd practice the guys made some great changes and we picked up nearly a second in qualifying." Praytor timed in at 13th the best of his ARCA career.

With the drop of the green flag Praytor found himself in the middle of wild scramble for position. "Everyone was digging early and we stayed 2 wide most of the first 50 laps. It had to he a great show for the fans!" Praytor held his own in the first half of the race with the Realtor Chevy running 3 tenths of a second faster lap times than his qualifying effort.

While everyone was scrambling for position the Realtor Chevy was getting tighter (car would not turn) with every lap. Just past the halfway point Praytor picked up the free pass as the first car a lap down and dove to pit road for a round of adjustments to free up the Realtor machine and the Moose was loose. "After we came to pit road our Realtor car came back to life and we were on the move."

With the next caution Praytor came to pit road for 2 tires and fuel, saving 4 fresh Hoosiers for the final dash to the checkered flag. As luck would have it the race took on a long green flag run to the end and the 4 fresh Hoosiers would never see action. Even without tires Praytor would record his first top 10 finish marking a career best.

"Really a good weekend for our Realtor team, we kept fighting all race long. Our crew did a great job all day and kept us in the hunt with our pit stops and adjustments. This was our second race with "Pooh" (as in Winnie the Pooh, nickname for Hixson chassis #5) and we really learned a lot on what makes Pooh handle. Congratulations to Frank Kimmel, the old man keeps showing us young guys how to get it done."

Praytor moves up to 9th in the ARCA Championship standings while continuing to look for sponsorship to complete the season.

 

 

Elko-Another New Track for Praytor & REALTOR Car


In a year of first, Thomas “Moose” Praytor is looking at another first this weekend as he and the Realtor car make their first trip to Elko Speedway in Minnesota. An 18th place finish at the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Toledo Speedway solidified Praytor’s position in the top 10 in the Championship standings an inched the Mobile, Alabama rookie a little closer to next spot up the line. “Our Realtor Car team was solid in Toledo, we needed a good finish and we got it. Elko is another wild card track, it’s tight, unforgiving and there will always be traffic. It’s the kind of place I love but gives my car owner and my spotter nightmares,” offered Praytor.


CAR: Hixson Motorsports chassis #5 “Pooh”, as in Winnie the Pooh


PRIMARY SPONSOR: Realtors
www.realtorcar.com


Practice, qualifying and the race are Saturday, June 1st with the race beginning at 8:00 PM CST. If you can’t be there in person the race will have live timing and scoring on
www.arcaracing.com.


HIXSON MOTORSPORTS/MAX FORCE RACING: Max Force Racing is based out of Mobile, Alabama and is fielding cars in its 16th season of competition. Max Force has teamed with another home grown operation, Hixson Motorsports, with 3 decades of experience in the ARCA Series from Soddy Daisy Tennessee for the 2013 season.


Thomas “Moose” Praytor: In 2012, Moose made his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway. He also raced in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega with Andy Belmont Racing and rounded out the season with a couple of starts for Venturini Motorsports. Praytor is currently 10th in the ARCA Series Championship point’s standings. Prior to the ARCA series, The Moose started cutting his racing teeth at 8 years old on short tracks across the Southeast, racking up local and state titles along the way. The Moose and his Max Force Racing Team earned the Ironman Status of the Gulf Coast in 2011 for competing in every Late Model (Pro & Super) Race at Mobile International Speedway and Five Flags Speedway, finishing in the top 10 in the Championship standings at both tracks. Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. Recently the duo teamed up to give a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wore at Daytona and Talladega to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. For more on the Moose- www.realtorcar.com.

 

Bitter Pill for Moose at Mobile

The Moose with some old football teammates. AJ McCarron, the Moose and Hunt Griffith. Griffith traded in his football helmet for a glove and finished his career as a standout second baseman for the USA Jags. The other 2 are still looking for paying jobs.

 

Thomas “Moose” Praytor rolled his Mobile Lumber Fusion off the trailer on Friday and within a few laps was thundering around his old stomping grounds of Mobile International Speedway. Halfway through a scheduled 4 hour test session the Moose unexpectedly shut the motor off in the middle of a 10 lap run. “There was just a little flutter in the motor and I knew it wasn’t good,” said the Moose. Back in the pits the crew inspected the motor and it didn’t take long to see the issue was terminal. Without a back up the Moose’s return to Mobile was over. “We had a really good car and just couldn’t believe we were done, all I can say that is printable is really bad.” Instead of spending the day preparing for the Southern Super Series 125 the team spent the day taking the motor out. “It was pretty bad day on Saturday, it’s like being a kid on Christmas morning to find out the Grinch stole your presents. I’ve said all week the fans at Mobile are incredible and before the race I was in the grandstands signing autographs and talking with the fans. They were definitely what the doctor ordered. Congratulations to our old buddy Augie Grill on taking home the win.” The team is back in the shop today working on an ARCA car that will be announced later this week. “In the middle of a great racing weekend we want to remember of all of our troops on this Memorial Day weekend.” For the Moose he’ll be back in action this Saturday night in the Akona 250 at Elko Speedway in Minnesota.

Live timing and scoring for the Akona 250 is on www.arcaracing.com radio broadcast in partnership with CBS Radio Minneapolis also on wwww.arcaracing.com.

 

 

 

 

Praytor Returns to MIS Saturday for Southern Super Series

Praytor at Mobile International Speedway for the ARCA-Mobile 200. Photo courtesy of Ashley Rowe the official photographer of the ARCA-Mobile 200. 

 

Currently 10th in the ARCA Series presented by Menards Championship points standings and having the weekend off, Thomas “Moose” Praytor will return to his home track, Mobile International Speedway, to compete in the inaugural Southern Super Series 125 on Saturday night.

After spending the first half of 2013 season bouncing from Daytona-Mobile-Salem-Talladega and having just returned from a 1,400 mile hauler drive to Toledo, Praytor is looking forward to being back at Mobile International Speedway. “Traveling with the ARCA Series has been awesome, I’ve learned so much from the other ARCA competitors. Almost everywhere we’ve been I’ve been a stone cold Rookie not this weekend,” offered Praytor.

Familiarity will not be a problem for the ARCA Rookie this weekend at MIS. Praytor cut his stock car racing teeth at Mobile, earning a couple of US Army Rookie of the Year Titles including top 5 finishes in the Championship standings in each division as he’s moved up the racing ladder. “It’s going to be fun slinging a 2700 pound car around Mobile’s high banks versus a 3,600 pound car. Plus the level of competition in the Southern Super Series is stout, Pollard and Grill are always good and the talk in Toledo this past weekend we may have a few more ARCA drivers coming down for the weekend.”

The Miller Lite 125 presented by VDL Fuel Systems on Saturday night is part of a Southern Super Series Gulf Coast Double header weekend with Pensacola 5 Flags Speedway getting the party started on Friday night with round one of their Blizzard Series.

The Southern Super Series consist of 16 Super Late Model races contested at 5 different venues, Nashville’s Fairground Speedway, Gresham Motorsports Park, Montgomery Motor Speedway, Pensacola’s 5 Flags Speedway and Mobile International Speedway. The Series culminates with running of the All American 400 at Nashville’s Fairground Speedway in November.

For more on Thomas Praytor www.MaxForceRacing.com, Mobile International Speedway www.mobilespeedway.net and on the Series www.southernsuperseries.com

 

Moose Soldiers to 18th at Toledo

Moose racing with Tom Hessert during the Menards 200 at Toledo Speedway