Houston Mike Thomas Hopes for Last Hurrah

Thomas hopes for last hurrah in Houston HOUSTON (Oct. 27) - Pennzoil Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas has devised an interesting way to motivate himself for this weekend's Matco Tools SuperNationals at Houston Raceway Park -- he wants to win one...

Thomas hopes for last hurrah in Houston

HOUSTON (Oct. 27) - Pennzoil Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas has devised an interesting way to motivate himself for this weekend's Matco Tools SuperNationals at Houston Raceway Park -- he wants to win one more race for his sponsor. While that might seem an obvious mantra for a professional driver, the fact that Pennzoil has dropped their sponsorship of Thomas and the rest of its professional drag racing teams makes this a special occasion.

"We've had a wonderful run with Pennzoil that dates back to 1994," Thomas said. "I'm very disappointed that it won't be continuing into our race team's future like we had expected but I respect their decision and wish them well. I know this is Pennzoil's hometown and they always have a lot of employees out at the races. Over the years I've become great friends with most of them and I'd love to have one last victory celebration as a group before we part ways."

Thomas and the rest of his crew are doing everything in their power to make sure this is a memorable weekend. They remained in Dallas after last weekend's race to test several things on their Pontiac Firebird and seemed pleased with the results.

"We had a devastating wreck in Indy, the first of my career, and it really effected us much more than I would have ever imagined," Thomas said. "You basically have to start over from ground zero after a wreck like that. Every week we'd find something else wrong with the car and it had just taken a lot of time to find all the damage. The only thing that works is running laps and we've had several test sessions since the accident to correct all the problems. I think we made up a lot of ground this past weekend."

The 47-year-old from Knoxville, Tenn. has enjoyed several strong showings on HRP's sea-level quarter-mile, the best of which was a runner-up finish at last year's spring event. In that race Thomas actually led Winston champ Warren Johnson for most of the lap but was nipped at the finish line by less than a foot.

"My Firebird and my Finish Line Racing Engines have always run exceptionally strong in Houston," Thomas said. "I ran a test lap of 6.845 seconds at 200.17 mph earlier this year there so I'm hoping that data will help us this time around."

Thomas is currently in 13th place in the Winston championship points standings, 88 points out of the top 10.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Warren Johnson