Memphis: Tennessean Thomas happy to be home

MEMPHIS (Oct. 4) -- Knoxville resident Mike Thomas takes his powerful Matco Tools/Pennzoil-sponsored Pro Stock Pontiac across his home state this weekend to compete in the 13th annual AutoZone Nationals presented by Pennzoil. The popular nine-year...

MEMPHIS (Oct. 4) -- Knoxville resident Mike Thomas takes his powerful Matco Tools/Pennzoil-sponsored Pro Stock Pontiac across his home state this weekend to compete in the 13th annual AutoZone Nationals presented by Pennzoil. The popular nine-year pro is hoping his familiarity with Memphis Motorsports Park and the always-boisterous backing of his home state fans will propel his team to their first win of the 2000 season.

"We're ready to throw a victory party in our own backyard," Thomas said. "It's always fun to race at home. All of your friends and family come out to support you and there's a real level of comfort and familiarity when you're close to home."

For the last two seasons, Thomas had one of the quickest and fastest cars in Memphis, qualifying solidly in the top half of the elimination field on both trips. But he has yet to parlay his strong starts into race day success, a trend he hopes to reverse in 2000.

"I've been racing at Memphis Motorsports Park for several years," said Thomas, a 16-time national event winner. "When I was running in the sportsman ranks we had several divisional races here so I know the track as well as any on the circuit. I hope we can use that local knowledge to go some rounds on Sunday.

"This Matco car has really come around over the last few races and I expect big things to happen this weekend. We've been pounding out some stellar top speeds lately on the racetrack. I know that as soon as we get our low gear numbers up to par with the top teams we'll be tough to beat. It's just a matter of time for us now."

Qualifying highlights will air at 8 p.m. (ET), Saturday, on Speedvision. Same-day coverage of the elimination rounds will begin at 5:30 p.m. (ET), Sunday, also on Speedvision.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas