Richmond; Record field includes Mike Thomas

RICHMOND, Va. (April 29) -- After qualifying in the No. 2 spot of the sixth annual Moto1.net Nationals presented by Chevrolet Friday, Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas decided to experiment with his Matco Tools/Pennzoil Pontiac Firebird Saturday in ...

RICHMOND, Va. (April 29) -- After qualifying in the No. 2 spot of the sixth annual Moto1.net Nationals presented by Chevrolet Friday, Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas decided to experiment with his Matco Tools/Pennzoil Pontiac Firebird Saturday in hopes of finding the perfect Race Day set-up. In the end, the combination that carried him through the first session at 6.891 seconds and 198.15 mph proved to be the best one and kept him comfortably in the sport's quickest field ever assembled in the No. 12 spot.

"We tried a few things today and ended up missing a great opportunity," Thomas said. "After Round 2 we just thought it was a little too hot to go any quicker tonight so we decided to break in some tires and make a few other adjustments. I'm really surprised everyone ran as quickly as they did in the final round. We missed it.

"We'll put the car back to where it was in Round 1 and we should be in great shape for tomorrow. We're making so much horsepower now. By running so well early it afforded us the chance to try some things today, which is how you want it to be, generally. It just bit us a little today."

Thomas will relinquish lane choice to upstart rookie driver Jamie Yates in Round 1. Yates ran a 6.868-second pass at 199.02 mph in the final round. The marks represent a career-best for the son of former two-time champion Jim Yates.

"It really doesn't matter who we race or what lane we're in," Thomas said. "We have to stay within ourselves and just concentrate on getting the most out of this car. When you do that, winning takes car of itself.

"It's a real honor to make Matco and Pennzoil a big part of the quickest field ever assembled. Now I'd like to bring them with me to the Winner's Circle."

The elimination rounds of the sixth annual Moto1.net Nationals presented by Chevrolet will be broadcast from 4:30-6 p.m. (ET and PT) Sunday, April 30 on TNN.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Jamie Yates