Semifinal appearance makes Thomas smile Houston, Sunday: Pennzoil Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas finally found the right combination for his sleek Pontiac Firebird as he drove to his first semifinal appearance since mid-May. The impressive Race...
Semifinal appearance makes Thomas smile
Houston, Sunday: Pennzoil Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas finally found the right combination for his sleek Pontiac Firebird as he drove to his first semifinal appearance since mid-May. The impressive Race Day performance helped push the 47-year-old from Knoxville Tenn. to up two spots in the Winston championship points standings into the No. 11 spot, just 27 points out of the top 10.
"This has been a tough year for us all the way around," Thomas said. "We switched crew chiefs in the spring and had our first-ever wreck in Indy. There's been a lot of bad luck-type things happening to us and everyone on this team has worked extremely hard to overcome all these problems.
"Going to the semis makes this day so satisfying. My crew chief Rick Hickman, clutch tech Gary Rost, and crewman Kyle Beeler and Ansel Richards have killed themselves for me and I'm glad I was able to show them that their work was worthwhile. We definitely had the car to win today and if we had gotten a break it would have happened.
"We're already working on stuff for next year and it looks like we're ahead of schedule. This is really a testing period for us but if we can get into the top 10 it would be a great lift for this team. I know we'll be a big-time contender next season and I can't wait for it to start.
"I wish we were all on a level playing field out here. It looks as though some teams have gotten a head start on this new fuel everyone is using and we're still trying to figure it out. When we do, everyone else better look out."
Thomas has registered eight elimination-round wins in 18 races this season. He and the rest of the NHRA pros will finish the circuit Nov. 11-14 in Pomona, Calif. at the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.