Pomona Mike Thomas Qualifying Report

Parts failure foils Thomas POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 5) - Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas had no shortage of horsepower at this weekend's season-opening 40th annual AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway. But a batch of faulty clutch plates wouldn't...

Parts failure foils Thomas

POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 5) - Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas had no shortage of horsepower at this weekend's season-opening 40th annual AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway. But a batch of faulty clutch plates wouldn't allow the famed engine builder to get his power onto the track.

The end result is that the 47-year-old Thomas, from Knoxville, Tenn., finished the race's qualifying sessions in the 28th spot, thereby missing a chance to race in Sunday's elimination action. His best lap of the weekend was a 7.011-second pass at 197.13 mph, 0.063 of a second off the competitive pace.

"I'm disappointed for sure," Thomas said. "We desperately wanted to start the season strong but I'm not going to beat myself up over something that was out of my control. The coatings on all of our clutch plates were not applied properly. We had shipped all of them out to be serviced this off season but there was some sort of problem.

"This explains a lot. We were having the same problems we had this weekend with our brand-new Jerry Haas car last week in Houston and we just didn't find the problem until today. We chased the clutch every direction and couldn't find an answer until we finally examined these things under microscope.

"This is a first for us but the good news is that it's a fixable problem. Our Finish Line Racing Engines were pumping out power, we just couldn't get it on to the track.

"The plan now is to get these discs fixed and test extensively before Phoenix. I DNQ'ed here a year ago and then went to Phoenix and nearly earned the pole. Maybe we can repeat that again this time around."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Jerry Haas