KINGSPORT, TN. - If there was any notion that Tom Lee's conclusion to the 2000 season was a fluke, he pretty much erased those visions with a successful test session this week. The Kingsport, Tn.-based, Lee pushed Charlie Taylor's Autolite-sponsored, Pro Stock Ford Mustang to an incredible 6.574/211.89 lap at Gainesville Raceway. Many feel that Lee will be the pacesetter for the 2001 season.
Lee is confident that the team will fare well in 2001, but is careful about making bold predictions early.
"If this test session is a strong indication as to how 2001 is going to go, then it's going to be a blast," explained Lee. 'I really didn't want the 2000 season to end because we were at full stride and didn't want to break our momentum. It has all worked out well because we've had time to refresh and come back with renewed enthusiasm."
A driver can only be as successful as his supporting cast and Lee feels like he has one of the best groups behind him. Team owner Taylor has celebrated the ceremonial champagne once as his former driver Dan Seamon, Jr., captured the 1998 Pro Stock World Championship. Crewchief Cliff Moore was awarded the 2000 IHRA Crewchief of the Year award at the IHRA Summit Awards Banquet in Louisville, Ky.
Lee piloted Taylor's Jerry Haas-built, Jon Kaase-powered Ford to two nationals event wins in 2000. He was unstoppable as he claimed both the President's Cup and Autumn Nationals crowns. The former IHRA Rookie of the Year also stormed to the Sunoco Pro Stock Showdown crown as well. He completed the season in second place in the points despite joining the team at the Canadian Nationals, the third race into the season.