SEATTLE (July 24) â€“ Showing the same tenacity that made him one of the most successful Pro Stock drivers of the last three NHRA seasons, Matco Tools driver Mike Thomas enters this weekendâ€™s 13th annual Prolong Super Lubricants Northwest ...
SEATTLE (July 24) – Showing the same tenacity that made him one of the most successful Pro Stock drivers of the last three NHRA seasons, Matco Tools driver Mike Thomas enters this weekend’s 13th annual Prolong Super Lubricants Northwest Nationals at Seattle International Raceway intent on taking home the race’s title.
Thomas, a 47-year-old from Knoxville, has been fighting through one of his toughest seasons as a professional driver. He wrecked his primary car during a testing session earlier in the year and has been battling to get back in the hunt ever since. Still, lifted by the potential of his award-winning Finish Line Racing Engines, Thomas continues to compete hard every race weekend, hoping to right his program as soon as possible.
“We’re beating these motors to death on the dyno trying to squeeze every bit of horsepower out of them,” Thomas said. “And they continue to show numbers that put us even with or above any other program in the Pro Stock class. We’re extremely excited about that. We just haven’t been able to sort out this car enough to show it on the track.
“The problems we continue to have with the car comes down to a simple matter of bad timing for us now. Everyone in the class, including us, will be switching to new cars next season so it’s not viable at this point for us to go out and buy another Firebird just to finish the year. If we had known at the time that this car was going to give us this much trouble from the relatively small accident we had, we would have made a move then. But the feedback we got right after the wreck was that the car would be as good as new.
“As it turns out we’ve had a multitude of chassis and electrical problems. Bashing up a car and then having it catch on fire effects every single component. We realize that now. It was only the second accident of my career and I’ve been racing my whole life. It’s been disappointing, but at the same time we’ve learned a lot.
“We’re ready for Seattle. After Denver we took the car to Rick Jone’s shop to get a totally new approach on how to fix it. He completely rewired the car again and found a bunch of chassis adjustments he thought needed to be made. I’m hopeful that we finally have this car in good enough shape to win some rounds and make a move down the stretch.”
ESPN2 will broadcast this race. Qualifying highlights will air from 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET (7:30-9:30 p.m. PT) Saturday with a repeat at 3:30 a.m.-5:30 a.m. ET (12:30-2:30 a.m. PT) Sunday. The eliminations will air from 7-9 p.m. ET (4-6 p.m. PT) Sunday with a rebroadcast from 3:30-5:30 a.m. ET (12:30-2:30 a.m. PT) Monday morning.