Thomas savors career milestone Pennzoil driver credits team, engine program for break-through race KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (May 6) - For eight years, Pennzoil Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas has been working towards achieving two goals that...
Thomas savors career milestone Pennzoil driver credits team, engine program for break-through race
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (May 6) - For eight years, Pennzoil Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas has been working towards achieving two goals that ultimately took less than 14 seconds to achieve. But in Thomas' estimation, those exhilarating 13.868 seconds have been the best moments of his drag racing career.
Like the rest of his peers in the National Hot Rod Association's Pro Stock class, Thomas has long coveted earning membership into his bracket's two performance clubs - The Holley 6-Second Pro Stock Club and the Speed-Pro 200-mph Pro Stock Club. The fact that each group has just 16 members each makes the reward that much sweeter.
Now, after a successful weekend of racing in Virginia, Thomas can take his sense of accomplishment one step further knowing he is one of just seven men that have earned their way into in both exclusive clubs. Last Saturday, Thomas powered his way into the Speed-Pro 200-mph Club by reaching 200.35 mph during a qualifying run at Virginia Motorsports Park. Together with the 6.988-second pass he recorded April 11, 1997 in Commerce, Ga. that earned him the final spot in the Holley 6-Second Club, Thomas has finally realized his goals.
"It's overwhelming," Thomas said. "I guess it's taken a few days to soak in, but this is quite an accomplishment for my team and our sponsor Pennzoil. It would be impossible to explain how proud I am of being in both of these clubs. There are a lot of people who deserve credit. All the folks at Pennzoil, for sponsoring me for so long and having faith in me. My crew chief Rick Hickman, my clutch tech Gary Rost and crewman Kyle Beeler, my engine builders Jim Oliver and Tom Roberts, and all the former team members I've had over the years. There is a bunch of hard work that went into achieving these awards. They are very, very special to me.
"We've been knocking on the 200-mph door for some time now. We've surpassed it a couple of times in testing but couldn't get it done at a national event. The Pennzoil Pontiac is running so well now that we're ready to record some national records and win some races. Now that we've achieved the 200-mph Club and the 6-Second Club, the next step is to be the No. 1 guy in the world and win the championship. I believe we're ready to challenge for that role. There is no question that we have the horsepower to be on top. It's just a matter of doing it."
Thomas' Finish Line Racing Engines have been exceptionally strong this year. They have already helped seven drivers win 18 elimination round races in 1999 and have been involved in three straight final round appearances. "Hopefully, we'll be on top very soon," Thomas said.