SEATTLE (July 28) -- Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas used a career-best elapsed time of 6.862 seconds during a 199.94-mph quarter-mile pass to complete his best qualifying effort of the year Saturday at Seattle International Raceway. The 48-year-old...
SEATTLE (July 28) -- Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas used a career-best elapsed time of 6.862 seconds during a 199.94-mph quarter-mile pass to complete his best qualifying effort of the year Saturday at Seattle International Raceway. The 48-year-old from Knoxville, Tenn., will now open tomorrow's elimination action at the 14th annual Prolong Super Lubricants NHRA Northwest Nationals out of the No. 7 position.
"It feels great to put together a qualifying effort like this," Thomas said. "The car has run extremely well this weekend. We've made improvements every round and we couldn't be happier. It's exciting to be racing on Sunday again."
Thomas has entered an arrangement with fellow team owner and engine builder Steve Schmidt that has Thomas transporting Schmidt's race car and equipment to this event and next weekend's race in Sonoma, Calif., in exchange for some technical assistance with his Finish Line Pontiac Grand Am. Aside from some advice, Schmidt and driver Brad Jeter are also supplying Thomas with a Schmidt-built motor.
"I had reached a point where we were struggling every race and we really weren't sure why," Thomas said. "Steve and his crew offered to look at our car and help us eliminate some of the variables that might have been slowing us down. At the same time we offered to help him with his expenses in transporting their car out to the west coast. They were contemplating skipping a couple of races and with Brad in the top 10 it was a decision they really didn't want to make. I think our agreement benefits us both.
"We're running one of Steve's motors now but we plan on testing extensively this coming week with our motors as well to see how we match up. We've made some pretty drastic chassis and suspension adjustments and we hope that solved a lot of our problems right there. Testing with Steve and Brad will really tell us a lot. Either way, it's great to run well and we certainly owe Steve and his team our thanks."
Looking towards tomorrow, Thomas will open opposite George Marnell, who qualified in the No. 10 position with a 6.865 at 200.38 mph. Due to his superior elapsed time, Thomas will have the advantage of lane choice over Marnell.
ESPN2 will carry several hours of the 14th annual Prolong NHRA Northwest Nationals. Highlights from the qualifying rounds will air tonight from 10 p.m.-Midnight (ET) with a repeat from 5-7 a.m. (ET) Sunday morning. The elimination rounds will be broadcast from 6-8 p.m. (ET) Sunday with a repeat showing from 1-3 a.m. Monday morning.