Norwalk: Mark Thomas preview

(NORWALK, Ohio) - For Ethanol/Mopar Parts Dodge Avenger IHRA Funny Car driver Mark Thomas, life means more than a long, smoky burnout. The Ohio farmer, who is currently sixth in IHRA Funny Car points, understands the importance of balancing his...

(NORWALK, Ohio) - For Ethanol/Mopar Parts Dodge Avenger IHRA Funny Car driver Mark Thomas, life means more than a long, smoky burnout.

The Ohio farmer, who is currently sixth in IHRA Funny Car points, understands the importance of balancing his love of racing with the love of family.

"My family and farm are first in my life," Thomas said. "Even though I love to race and put a lot if time and effort into it, nothing compares to what they have given to me. Also, working on the farm can be pretty tough."

Thomas, who lives with his wife and three children, owns a large farm in Louisville complete with 700 cows, two dogs and plenty of other pets.

"To be honest, the races are more laid back than my farm life," Thomas said. "Not many farmers race Funny Cars everyday."

Thomas is no slouch at the track either. He has four IHRA Summit Racing Series World Championships (1990, '91, '92 and '94) to his credit and currently sits sixth in points, only 13 points out of fifth in this year's title chase.

"At this time last year we we're fifth in points and wound up second," Thomas said. "I think we have a shot at that again this year.

"We're very pleased with the Mopar program," Thomas said. "We're making more horsepower and should have a new Avenger after the Mopar Parts World Nationals."

Thomas comes into this weekend's Mopar Parts World Nationals at Norwalk Raceway Park brimming with confidence.

"We won this race last year," Thomas noted. "It was the beginning of a long stretch of success. Since we have been working with the combination, along with the help of Tom Anderson (former crew chief for NHRA Funny Car standout Al Hofman), we are on the right track. We know we can run 5.70-second laps at 250 mph. It's just a matter of making it happen."

As for Mark Thomas the person.

"I try to make everyday an adventure," Thomas said. "If your not enjoying life, it's your own fault. You have a choice."

Thomas would really enjoy life if he repeated as Mopar Parts World Nationals champion.

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Series Drag
Drivers Mark Thomas , Tom Anderson