Brainerd Tom Hoover interview (Funny Car)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 HOOVER MAKING THE MOST OF SECOND CHANCE IN FUNNY CAR BRAINERD, Minn. -- Tom Hoover may be outside the top 10 of the NHRA Winston Funny Car point standings this season, but...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 HOOVER MAKING THE MOST OF SECOND CHANCE IN FUNNY CAR BRAINERD, Minn. -- Tom Hoover may be outside the top 10 of the NHRA Winston Funny Car point standings this season, but he has two things that no other driver can claim. A victory, and a second chance at life. Hoover, from Minneapolis, won the Pontiac Excitement Nationals in mid-June at Columbus, Ohio, just nine weeks after undergoing quadruple heart-bypass surgery. He missed four races during his recuperation, but won at Columbus in just his second race back in the Pioneer Electronics Dodge Avenger. He is 15th in the NHRA Winston point standings. "I do appreciate the little things right now," Hoover said. "I feel better. Everything is flowing right now. "To win on Father's Day, and after my heart surgery, it was a special Sunday. The way the car runs, and as competitive as the team is right now, anything can happen this year. It's going to be a player before the year is over." Hoover could be a definite player in the wide-open Funny Car field at his home event, the 16th annual, $1,425,050 Champion Auto Stores Nationals, Aug. 14-17 at Brainerd International Raceway. The race is the 15th of 22 events this season in the $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Health problems started for Hoover, 56, in March. He finally checked himself into North Memorial Medical Center in Minneapolis on April 3, and doctors operated that day. Since his surgery, Hoover has become a grateful poster boy for healthy living. "My wife and I are walking, exercising," Hoover said. "I tell a lot of my friends to start watching your diet, guys. You can't eat all the grease that American society does."

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