READING, PA - Mike Thomas and Team Pennzoil will be ready to race when they pull into the race track at the 13th annual True Value NHRA Keystone Nationals in Reading, PA. Thomas, driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, wrecked his car...
READING, PA - Mike Thomas and Team Pennzoil will be ready to race when they pull into the race track at the 13th annual True Value NHRA Keystone Nationals in Reading, PA. Thomas, driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, wrecked his car in the third round of qualifying when his parachute became wrapped around his wheelie bar. The damage to the car was so great that it could not be repaired fastest enough to make the call for eliminations. Jim Yates came to the rescue of Thomas and Team Pennzoil, by loaning them his back up car so they could race on Monday. The crew went straight from Indy to the shop of the of car builder, Jerry Haas, where repairs where made.
"I was sick about wrecking the car, but it could have been a lot worse. The damage wasn't that bad. The car went straight to Jerry Haas' shop and will be fixed for Reading. Haas had to replace the right front and rear quarter panels, and number of front-end components. When we pick it up it will be as good us new. It's being painted right now. We will be ready to race in Reading."
The True Value Keystone Nationals has a reputation as a track where national ET records will fall. The cool early fall weather conditions historically have been conducive to quick ET's. That combined with an excellently prepared race track, makes Reading a tuners dream.
"Reading is a fast race track, and we have always done fairly well there. The conditions are great for Pro Stock cars. The weather is always cool and dry, which is real good for the naturally aspirated cars. NHRA always gives us a real good, tight track. Our car has been running strong. I look forward to getting out there and see what this car can do. I know we will qualify well and we expect to go some rounds.
Thomas continued, "This year I would like to finish in the top 10 in the points. To do that we need to go rounds. This last part of the year is going to be critical for us. The top guys will bobble somewhere during these last few races. If we stay consistent like we have been, we will be able to move in there. We had a rough start in the beginning of the season, but expect to finish strong."
Thomas currently holds the number 12th spot in the Winston points chase.
It seems that the buzz in the Pro Stock pits about Reading revolves almost solely around the weather conditions. Bruce Allen, driver of The Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, expanded on the topic.
"Conditions at Reading are always good and we are looking forward to going there. This is the time of year when we work on cool weather racing. It will be fall in Pennsylvania when we get there, which means it will be cooler. It is a myth that the Pro Stock cars run better in Reading because of more oxygen in the air. It helps, but that is only a small part of it. The cooler dryer air increases horsepower, which goes hand in hand with a cooler better track; so everyone runs better. With the days and the nights being cooler it gives us more chances to run fast. Reading has a real, real good starting line, but is bumpy at the top end. The bumps knock off speed, but I wouldn't be surprised if it takes around 6.92 or 6.93 to get in the show. We are going to need our ducks in order when we get there if we are going to keep up."
After a fairly successful weekend in Indianapolis, Allen and Crew Chief David Reher, are back at their shop in Arlington, TX preparing for their trip to the Keystone Nationals.
"Right now we are working here at the shop getting ready for Reading; freshening motors, working on the dyno. We have an ongoing development program where we are always working to improve our stuff. We will race the engine that runs the fastest and continue to work on the dyno with the slower ones. We feel we are prepared for Reading right now. The only thing left to do will be minor adjustments to our setup after we see what the track is like. I'm confident that this will be a good race for us. We would like to bring home a win for Pennzoil and Outlaw Fuel Additives."
Allen enters the 13th Annual True Value NHRA Keystone Nationals currently in the 17th position in the Winston Pro Stock points race. Professional qualifying starts with 2 sessions on Friday September 17, continuing on with 2 sessions on Saturday September 18. Eliminations start at 11:00 AM EST on Sunday September 19.