DALLAS (May 22) -- Veteran Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas enters this weekend's fourth annual Castrol Nationals presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts with a mission. He wants to prove to his sponsors and the rest of the Pro Stock class that he'll be a...
DALLAS (May 22) -- Veteran Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas enters this weekend's fourth annual Castrol Nationals presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts with a mission. He wants to prove to his sponsors and the rest of the Pro Stock class that he'll be a contender in 2000 and he feels he has the pieces in place to mount a charge at the renowned Texas Motorplex in Ennis.
It's been a whirlwind season so far for Thomas, a 47-year-old from Knoxville, Tenn. Due to a laundry list of complications and a rare testing accident, he's been forced to drive five different cars in the first eight races of the season and, understandably, has had sporadic results on the race track. But, according to Thomas, all that is about to change. He has a completely rebuilt Pontiac Firebird to race and a brand-new title sponsorship package from Matco Tools adorning the car. Finally, all the pieces are in place.
"I feel better about this team right now than I have in a long time," Thomas said. "The start of the year has been a test of character to say the least but we're ready to move forward and get this team and this Matco Tools car some well-deserved attention.
"Dallas is a great place to start a new chapter. We love the track and have always run well there in the past. The entire strip is concrete, which means we can pour all the power we have into our set-up and let it rip. This track is famous for being able to hold whatever you throw at it."
Thomas certainly hasn't lacked horsepower this year. His award-winning Finish Line Racing Engines continue to produce amazing amounts of power as evidenced by engine customer Richie Stevens' career-best weekend in Englishtown, N.J., just two days ago. Stevens wound up as the event's No. 2 qualifier, his best effort of the year.
"We've known all along that our engines are strong," Thomas said. "Richie proved it in Englishtown. He was using one of our motors because he thought he'd have to race Kurt Johnson in the Dominator Duel and he can't use his W.J. motor when he races against either Kurt or Warren. Still, even after they cancelled the Duel, he was running so well with our piece that he decided to leave it in there. I'm glad it worked for him.
"Now we need to get this Matco car dialed in the same way and we'll be right there with the best of them. I know it takes time and we're getting anxious but once it's all sorted out I feel that this long wait will have been worth it. Our time is coming very soon."
The elimination rounds of the fourth annual Castrol Nationals presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts will air from 4:30-6 p.m. (ET and PT), May 28 on TNN.