Brainerd: Thomas happy with weekend

BRAINERD, Minn. (August 19) -- The resurgence of Finish Line Racing Engines Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas continued at this weekend's 20th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals with the former top-10 driver qualifying for his second...

BRAINERD, Minn. (August 19) -- The resurgence of Finish Line Racing Engines Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas continued at this weekend's 20th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals with the former top-10 driver qualifying for his second race in the last three events.

Under the power of his own hand-made 500 cid engines, Thomas made steady improvement throughout qualifying, finally posting a 6.992-second quarter-mile at 196.47 mph in the third session to nail down the 13th spot in the elimination field.

Thomas opened race day opposite former Pennzoil teammate Bruce Allen, who started out of the No. 4 position on the strength of his 6.952-second, 197.77-mph qualifying effort. When the lights flashed, both drivers launched with nearly identical reaction times. But the race was soon decided when Thomas' car suffered severe tire shake that pushed him out of the groove and, effectively, out of contention. Thomas wisely shut-off his motor to avoid any catastrophes and watched Allen take a 6.996-second victory.

"He was there for the taking," Thomas said. "We just missed the clutch set-up slightly and couldn't get out power down on the track. It was considerably warmer today then what we expected. It's disappointing to not go rounds here but it's encouraging to be back in position where we can win again. I don't know if we're out of the woods yet but it feels like all of our hard work is finally starting to pay off."

Interested parties can watch the 20th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals from 5-7 p.m. (ET) today on ESPN2. A rebroadcast of the race will take place from 4-6 a.m. (ET), August 30, also on ESPN2.

-FLR

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Bruce Allen