Pennzoil Continues With Mike Thomas

HOUSTON (Jan. 19) - The makers of Pennzoil motor oil announced a one-year extension of its major sponsorship agreement with Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas today. Thomas, who competes in the National Hot Rod Association in the Pennzoil Pontiac ...

HOUSTON (Jan. 19) - The makers of Pennzoil motor oil announced a one-year extension of its major sponsorship agreement with Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas today. Thomas, who competes in the National Hot Rod Association in the Pennzoil Pontiac Firebird, led Team Pennzoil's drag racing efforts in 1998 with a national event win in Chicago, two final round appearances, 15 elimination round wins and a career-best sixth place finish in the Winston championship points standings. Prior to April of 1998, Thomas represented Gumout products, Pennzoil's sister brand of automotive chemicals, for three and a half seasons in the NHRA's Pro Stock ranks. "We're always looking for the next champion and we firmly believe we've found him in Mike Thomas," said Tom Floyd, senior vice president, lubricants marketing for Pennzoil-Quaker State Company. "Mike's already provided us with several exciting moments both in the Gumout car, which he drove for almost four years, and in the new Pennzoil machine. He's proved on several occasions that he can compete with anyone out there, especially during the '98 season. This coming year we hope he puts Pennzoil at the very top of this extremely competitive bracket." The 46-year-old Thomas was excited about the deal. "It's rewarding to have your hard work pay off on the track," Thomas said. "And success on the track helps strengthen deals like the one I have with Pennzoil. I feel like Pennzoil products are as much a part of the car as I am. Pennzoil products work. I wouldn't have been as successful as I've been without their backing." Thomas, who resides in Knoxville, Tenn., honed his drag racing skills for many years in the NHRA's sportsman ranks where he carded 15 Super Stock class wins and the bracket's first nine-second lap. His early sportsman successes eventually prompted a 1992 switch to the world of Pro Stock racing, which is widely regarded as the toughest division in the NHRA. Becoming a pro opened also another door for the Tennessee Tech graduate - that of a top-notch engine builder. In 1998 alone, Thomas' hand-crafted Finish Line Racing Engines powered six different Pro Stock teams to a total of three top-10 finishes in the Winston points standings, four national event victories and 61 elimination round wins. "We tasted a little success in 1998," Thomas said. "Now we want a championship. With Pennzoil's continued support, that goal just got a lot closer."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas