Tommy Praytor Photo's
Race Recaps 2017
Praytor Takes Over Active ARCA Ironman Status
With his 83rd consecutive start in the Music City 200 Thomas “Moose” Praytor takes over as the ARCA Series Active Ironman. Currently Praytor has more consecutive starts in ARCA than any other active driver.
The Ironman in any sport is usually reserved for throwback style players, Footballs, Jim Marshall, Baseballs Cal Ripken and drivers like Frank Kimmel, Ricky Rudd, Terry Labonte and Mobile’s Rick Crawford, the long time Ironman of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Not only do they play hard, they worked hard in the shop and that work ethic keeps them coming to the racetrack, when others would call it a day.
Rudd taped his eyelids open to race, on 2 occasions Marshall walked out of the hospital to join his team on game day, Crawford left the infield Care Center to win at Daytona and Kimmel made 386 consecutive starts on his way to 10 Championships. Praytor has already experienced his share of tough starts, kidney stones, carbon monoxide poisoning, head dingers, torn muscles and some bones & joints that will tell him the weather forecast for years to come. But the Moose keeps on going.
“The idea that I’m still in the Series, still coming to the track every week is just incredible. We were only supposed to make 3 starts five years ago and well we’re still going. I don’t really think about being the Ironman, I just think about how fortunate I am to have a ride and nothing is going to keep me out of it.”
Climbing into a racecar was not always been a given, in 2003, while racing at Sunny South Raceway, Praytor hit the wall so hard his seat assembly came loose from the car allowing his head to hit the wall on impact.
Lifeflighted from the track, Praytor was in a coma for a week, survival first, racing would have to come second. Once on the mend, the Doctors prescribed one year of no racing or football. Praytor spent the year rehabbing his body and rebuilding his wrecked race car while spotting for his Dad. At the end of the year, the Doctors cleared the Moose to return to action but Mom was a much tougher sell. Eventually she came around and Praytor was back in the saddle.
“I never have remembered the wreck but I’ll never forget that year on the sidelines. I think the year off really made me appreciate the opportunities you have. I look at each start as special, I know there are thousands of other guys who would kill for my spot and I’m not giving up my seat to anybody.”
While the laps continue to pile up (Over 10,000) Praytor and his family owned Max Force Racing are focused on not just starting but improving. Last season Praytor turned in his best season on tour finishing 5th in the Championship Standings. And like the song says “with a little help from my friends.”
“There are so many people that have contributed to me being here. Belmont and Venturini gave me a shot, Hixson really got me going and every major owner in the series has contributed to me staying here. The support we receive in Mobile is just incredible, day and night friends come by the shop, pitch in and help us get our cars prepared for the track. We couldn’t do it without all of our friends.”
Most young drivers look at the ARCA Series as a stepping stone to bigger rides, Praytor has a unique perspective: “If it all ended tomorrow I’ve done more than I ever dreamed I would get to do as a race car driver. Daytona, Talladega, Pocono those were fantasy tracks on my computer not reality for a Super Stock driver from Mobile International Speedway. We still have so much more we want to accomplish.”
Consecutive start #84 is the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 at Salem Speedway on April 30th.
Praytor Hits Sour Note in Music City
The day began in usual fashion with the team working hard on finding the right balance on the DK-LOK Ford. With a long list of changes during the hour and a half practice session the Moose qualified 18th placing the legacy motor ahead of some of the new Ilmor engines.
With the drop of the green flag the Moose and his DK-LOK Ford resembled a salmon swimming up stream versus a man on the move. In the first few laps of tight racing Praytor picked off the cars in front of him but he was in the middle of a pack moving forward and one of the cars took off his right rear quarter panel puncturing the tire.
A small hole turned into big handling problems and the Moose started to fall back, the hole gave way to a blow out and he was in for wild sideways ride before getting under control. The spotter had him stay on track looking for a caution that finally came costing the team valuable track position early.
Three laps down Praytor started racing hard to put the DK-LOK Ford in position for the lucky dog. Three laps turned to two, two to one and the caution needed to put the team on the lead lap ended the night. Two car got together off of turn 4 blocking the track in front of Praytor and the Fusion T-Bone one of the cars destroying the radiator in Praytor’s Ford.
“We had a decent DK-LOK Ford just a bad night on the race track. The guys worked hard in practice and really improved our race car and we had a solid qualifying effort taking out some of the Ilmors. It’s amazing how much this track has changed since last year. I don’t think we have the balance where we need it yet on our cars and we’ll keep working on it. Looks like we’ll bring back Black Betty to Salem, another great short track car. We had a lot of local support up from Alabama this weekend really appreciate everyone being there.”
A few weeks off before the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 at Salem Speedway April 30th on MAVTV.
Praytor Ready For First Short Track of 2017
Music City 200 presented by Azure Foundation at the NASHVILLE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY: “I really like short track racing and Nashville is a big half mile track that is a lot of fun to race on. Nashville is a good track for us and we’ve been working hard on our short track program, we should get a good indication of what we have this weekend.” In addition to racing in Nashville, Thomas “Moose” Praytor has made the Music City a regular stop including trips to the CMA Awards, American Country Countdown Awards including some favorite honky tonks in Downtown Nashville. “Nashville is one of the places you wish was like a 3 day show so you could go Downtown and enjoy some of what the City has to offer. That’s why I like coming back here so much when we’re not racing.”
The Music City 200 PRESENTED BY Azure Foundation is a 1 day event double header including an ARCA CRA/Southern Super Series race before the Music City 200 on Saturday April 8th. The Music City 200 will begin at 8:00 PM CST. Live timing and scoring for practice, qualifying and the race will be on ARCAracing.com. The race will be broadcast live on MAV TV.
PRIMARY SPONSOR: DK-LOK Fittings & Valves www.dklokusa.com.
ASSOCIATE SPONSORS: G-Force, Nudraulix, REALTOR, Rettigs Auto Body, APS Automotive Painters Supply, Dueitt’s Battery Supply, Airgas, John Thompson & Associates, Judy’s Place, Greer’s Food Market, Campbell, Duke & Campbell, Omni Fitness, Golden Flake, Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, Praytor Realty
CAR: Roush Chassis #500-Chassis 500 is the Moose’s favorite short track car and was run at all the short track races, road course and dirt races in 2016. Praytor’s DK-LOK Ford is powered by Roush Yates Ford Motors.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEKEND: Nashville is the first short track on the 2017 calendar and there are a lot of young drivers too young to race at Daytona making their ARCA debut-hang on! Opened in 1904 the old track in the middle of the State Fair Grounds is steeped in racing history with winners picking up a Nashville guitar in Victory Lane.
NASHVILLE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY: .596 Mile Oval,Banking-18 Degrees in Corners, Straights 3 degrees
Praytor Trains With Alabama State Troopers
In most cases when you combine a race car driver and Alabama State Troopers for a week, the outcome usually isn’t too good for the driver. This time Thomas “Moose” Praytor finally earned some paperwork from the Alabama Department of Public Safety that wasn’t a ticket.
Professor Praytor added CDL Examiner to his non racing resume and now has the same power as an Alabama State Trooper to administer the CDL driver’s exam.
“The last few semesters teaching at Bishop State has been really rewarding. Every one of our students has been employed within a week of completing our course”, said Praytor. “Bishop State gave me the opportunity to go to school with the Troopers and that was a whole new learning experience!”
With a hole in the ARCA schedule after Daytona Praytor has enjoyed the time away from the shop but is ready to get back behind the wheel.
“Nashville is a good track for us and we’ve been working really hard on our short track cars in the off season and we’re looking forward to the Fairgrounds.”
The Music City 200 presented by the Azure Foundation is Saturday, April the 8th at the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville. Practice is 1:15 to 2:45 with General Tire Pole Qualifying at 4:15. The green flag is slated to wave at 8:00PM CST. Live timing and scoring of practice and qualifying will be on www.arcaracing.com. The Music City 200 will be the first live broadcast on MAVTV. With the addition of MAVTV all 20 ARCA Series races will be televised in 2017.
Daytona Ends In A
Cloud of Smoke,
Max Force Racing began its 20th Season of competition at the World Center of Speed in the Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 driven by General Tire on Saturday.
After a career season in 2016 Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his Max Force Team rolled in to Daytona looking to capitalize on the momentum they created last season.
Technical inspection and practice went as planned with the Moose clocking the 8th fastest time in practice. A disorganized group in group qualifying had Praytor rolling off a disappointing 23rd.
With the drop of the green flag the Moose and spotter Tab Boyd, on loan from Joey Logano, quickly worked their DK-LOK Ford from 23rd up to 12th.
A caution on lap 20 gave the team its first big decision of the day, come in or stay out. The fuel calculations said the team would have to come in again if they brought the DK-LOK Ford to pit road and the team decided to keep Praytor on the track.
The decision moved the Moose up to 3rd behind the 78 and 98 of Mason Mitchell Motorsports. Back under green the trio was joined by Matt Tift’s, Kyle Busch Motorsports machine and the four cars quickly broke away from the field. (Pic above)
The four cars spent the next 30 laps nose to tail pacing the field until a timely caution flag on lap 50 let the DK-LOK Ford come to pit road for badly needed fuel.
With just a few cars using the same fuel strategy the team decided to pack the Ford full of fuel versus just enough to get them to the end of the race. The weight of the extra fuel would help pull the rear spoiler down out of the air giving the team and extra advantage back on the track.
Back under green Praytor had to be patient for the strategy to play out, the other cars would have to pit again before the end of the race moving the Moose, 78, 98 and 18 back to the front.
On lap 65 the DK-LOK Ford was drafting in the outside lane and the inside lane had a bump draft go wrong sending the 15 of Lelani Munter into the Moose’s left side door and the DK-LOK spinning and bouncing off other cars in to the infield grass in a plume of smoke, dirt and flying grass.
Praytor’s DK-LOK Ford was battered and bruised but it wouldn’t fire up, getting the Ford a ride back to the garage on a wrecker and the Moose a trip to the infield care center.
The team quickly went to work on the machine and had it ready to return to action but didn’t have a driver. Praytor’s CO2 levels were too high in the infield care center and they had him held up until those levels returned to normal.
Ed Pompa was involved in the same wreck but his Clemson car was done and the team recruited Pompa to finish the race. Pompa strapped in and just as the car was ready to return to the race the final caution flag flew and the race was called after a long red flag period ending this year’s Daytona race early.
“Our DK-LOK Team had a solid Speedweek in Daytona. We had speed all weekend and we showed we can run up front and compete with the biggest teams in the sport,” said Praytor. “We can’t do what we do without all the people in Mobile who support our race team. We had a record number of tire sponsors for Daytona this year, just incredible. Our all-volunteer UNOH crew had a good week and did a great job on our stop and getting our Ford patched back up to go back out. I appreciate Ed Pompa climbing in for me. Congratulations to our spotter Tab Boyd, he and Joey Logano won the Clash on Sunday, he does an awesome job. We have some work to do before Talladega but we’re really looking forward to putting on a show in front of our home state fans.”
Next up, Nashville on April 8th.
MAVTV Signs ARCA Racing Series to Multi-Year Broadcast Agreement
The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) and MAVTV announced a new multi-year broadcast rights agreement for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards under which racing events will be televised on MAVTV during the 2017 through 2019 racing seasons.
Ten races will be telecast on MAVTV in 2017, with ten races having already been announced for broadcast on Fox Sports 1. The pairing of MAVTV and Fox will put all Twenty ARCA races on National Television in 2017.
“MAVTV is working hard to become the home for motorsports and I think they will make a great outlet for ARCA Racing,” said Thomas “Moose” Praytor. “The combination of Fox and MAVTV means our fans will get to see every heart pounding lap from places like Salem, Winchester and Elko plus the speed of Pocono, Chicago and Talladega.”
The first of the three-year agreement, coverage begins Saturday night, April 8 with the first Live broadcast from Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to Nashville, races from Elko Speedway in Elko, Minn., Madison International Speedway in Wis. and the Illinois State Fairgrounds will also air Live on MAVTV.
“MAVTV continues its long-term commitment to motorsports,” said Bob Patison, president of MAVTV. “We see the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards as a premier property on our network, and are happy to begin our ARCA relationship with this new contract.”
In addition to the Live events, MAVTV will provide coverage from an additional 6 ARCA Racing Series events, including delayed broadcast coverage from the 4-mile Road America road course in Elkhart Lake, Wis., plus great short track action from Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, Winchester Speedway in Ind., the dirt mile at DuQuoin Fairgrounds in Southern Ill. and both Salem Speedway events in Ind.
MAVTV can be found in the US on major cable providers, including Cablevision, Charter Communications, GCI in Alaska, select cable systems within the Caribbean Co-op, Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, AT&T U-verse and DirecTV (214). MAVTV is currently available in 62 million homes.
“ARCA has a well-established history of investing in long-term relationships, and that certainly holds true in the case of our television network partnerships,” said ARCA President Ron Drager. “We’re very pleased that MAVTV will become a broadcast partner, and are proud to be a part of their programming mix. As we build our plan for the future of the series, we’re especially enthused to make this major, multi-year announcement. This mutual commitment between ARCA and MAVTV provides our series a high quality television platform available to deliver a tremendous value for viewers, race teams and sponsors.”
Race Day in Daytona
A new racing season begins today at Daytona International Speedway for the Moose, Thomas Praytor and his Mobile based DK-LOK Race team. Praytor rolls off 23rd after a disjointed group qualifying effort left some of the best cars in the field in the middle of the pack.
“We have a really fast race car and qualifying yesterday went south from the time our group rolled off pit road. We were all disjointed yesterday but today we will all be pressing to the front the together,” said Praytor. “we have a huge amount of local support to start the year and its part of why we have such great equipment here.”
Local Sponsors for Daytona 2017:
Our Local Sponsors that ride with us all year:
Automotive Paint & Supply
The Max Force Race Team will begin its 20th year of competition starting behind 8 time Daytona Champion Bobby Gerhardt.
“I’d like to be starting up front with Mr. Bobby but we both know we have fast cars and we can work our way up there, we’ll be pushing as hard as we can.”
Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 driven by General Tire gets underway Saturday afternoon at 3:00 PM CST with live coverage on Fox Sports 1 and live timing and scoring on ArcaRacing.com. The team will live tweet and facebook all day from dklockracing-join the conversation!
Praytor Rumbles to Eighth at Daytona Practice
Coming off a career season in 2016 Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his DK-LOK team fired the first shot of the 2017 season posting an 8th place spot in practice for the Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 driven by General Tire at Daytona during Thursdays practice.
“Solid day for our team, lot of energy has gone in to this effort and our DK-LOK Ford really performed well in the draft,” said Praytor. “Having Tab (Boyd) on the roof again is awesome, his experience is incredible. We’ll see what we can get today in qualifying.”
Eighth on the speed chart put the Mobile, Alabama race team in good company working towards Saturday’s season opener. Team Venturini, last year’s Championship team, Kyle Bush team and 8 time Daytona Champion Bobby Gerhardt were the only teams to record a faster time at the World Center of Speed.
The team is so confident in their DK-LOK Ford they skipped the morning practice to prepare for this afternoons qualifying session. Menards Group Pole Qualifying is at 2:30CST with live timing and scoring on ArcaRacing.com.
The 2017 season will get underway Saturday afternoon at 3:00 PM CST with live coverage on Fox Sports 1 and live timing and scoring on ArcaRacing.com.
Sponsor-GoodBookey Featured in Forbes
GoodBookey America’s online charitable gaming site and sponsor of the Thomas “Moose” Praytor’s ARCA car is featured in Forbes. Follow link below for full article:
Watch GoodBookey President Tony Pease and Operations Officer Sarah Deasy give a short presentation on GoodBookey using their involvement with racing as part of their presentation.
“Congratulations to the entire GoodBookey team on being recognized by Forbes. We had a lot of fun with GoodBookey and The Chive Charites on the car in Kentucky and Kansas,” said Praytor. “They are making a difference in a fun way that everyone can be involved with. I’m taking all bets against the Patriots, download the app and put your money up!”
Team Praytor Starts 20th Season With Testing At Daytona
After a mad scramble for a test motor, Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his Mobile based Max Force Race team spent some long days with sleepless nights preparing their DK-LOK Ford for testing in Daytona.
“We got back late Sunday night with the motor and went to work on installing first thing Monday morning. We felt like we had until Thursday night at 9 to finish in order to make testing at 7AM on Friday, we closed the door on the hauler at 7:30,” said Praytor. “We had lots of great help and couldn’t have done it without, Dink (Stevens), Mark (Hutchinson), Brandon (Stokes), my Mom, my Sister everybody pitched in.”
While all Ilmor Motors are all made the same way they are not wired or plumbed the same way and all the hook ups in the car had to be changed out to match the motor. “Tony (Blanchard) was a big help, we took a lot of pics and texted back and forth, he really kept us on the right path.”
A long nights drive across the panhandle of Florida to Daytona Beach and hauler arrived in time for an hours sleep before registration opened.
With the DK-LOK Ford finally in the garage, a team of Ilmor engineers started to go over the motor. “The Ilmor guys did a great job all weekend. They were constantly going over the motor after each run.”
The team battled the usual gremlins on the first few runs, tire rub, leaking oil line and after a couple of single car runs the Moose was turned lose, ready to draft.
“We’ve spent a lot of time and money on this chassis and it really shows it in the draft. Our DK-LOK Ford didn’t miss a beat from Talladega and it was really fun to drive.”
After a couple of draft packs, Praytor parked his Ford for the afternoon and the team prepared for a complete tech on Saturday morning. The DK-LOK Ford timed in at 185.770 MPH good enough to be 23rd out of 62 competitors.
Testing in Daytona allows the teams to have the cars teched by ARCA officials to make sure their car and components are ready to go when they return in February for the Lucas Oil Complete Treatment 200 driven by General Tire.
The team spent Saturday morning taking the car apart for tech, putting it back together followed by Praytor made a leisurely stroll around the 2.5 mile World Center of Speed at 180 MPH to make sure it was all back together properly.
“We actually loaded up early which is truly unusual for our race team. Our UNOH guys had a great weekend, the car performed like we wanted and can’t say enough about the guys from Ilmor they really worked hard to get all we could get out of the motor and it paid off.”
The countdown for the start of the 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season in now underway for the Lucas Oil Complete Treatment 200 driven by General Tire on February 18th.
Sarah Cornett-Ching Saves Moose Again
As the days tick down to the test in Daytona for the Lucas Oil Complete Treatment 200 driven by General Tire, Thomas “Moose” Praytor found himself without his primary motor and it looked like he could be watching the test from Mobile.
Enter Sarah Cornett-Ching with her Dickies Race 101 Team and just like Pocono a couple of years ago, Sarah came to the rescue loaning Praytor a motor for the test.
“We were cutting it pretty close with our primary engine not being ready but Sarah, Tony and the guys at Race 101 saved us again,” said Praytor. “It’s one of the cool things about our Series, having competitors helping each other.”
With the snow melting away Praytor made a quick trip to the Race 101 Shop in Denver, North Carolina picked up a motor and the team is hustling to get it installed and ready for the test this weekend.
“Our teams have always been close going back to when we were working out of the same team. Thomas and his guys have always been there to help us when we need it and it was great to be able to help him,” said Sarah Cornett-Ching.
Testing for the Lucas Oil Complete Treatment 200 driven by General Tire is slated for Friday and Saturday at the World Center of Speed, Daytona International Speedway. Live timing and scoring will be available at arcaracing.com.