Topeka: Thomas tickled about Matco car's performance

TOPEKA, Kan. (Sept. 22) --Matco Tools-sponsored Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas and his revamped crew have a new mantra heading into the annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at Heartland Park Topeka -- the numbers don't lie. Led by...

TOPEKA, Kan. (Sept. 22) --Matco Tools-sponsored Pro Stock driver Mike Thomas and his revamped crew have a new mantra heading into the annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at Heartland Park Topeka -- the numbers don't lie.

Led by new crew chief Tim Freeman and long-time engine builder Rick Hickman, Thomas emerged from a five-race slump at the last event in Reading, Pa., to post some of the best incremental, quarter-mile numbers in the ultra-competitive class. Powered by his own handmade Finish Line Racing Engines, Thomas earned the No. 10 spot in the qualifying field at the event, based almost entirely on his down-track numbers.

"If you look at the numbers it's pretty obvious that this Matco Tools car is cranking out some serious horsepower," Thomas said. "I'm especially impressed with the top-end mph stats we put up. We're still fighting to get back in the thick of the points battle and run with the best teams on a consistent basis, but if last weekend was any indication of our progress then we have a lot to look forward to down the stretch.

"The only thing we're missing now is low-gear. We need to work on our 60-foot times and the guys are beating on the car right now to pick us up in that department. Everything else is working. Once we get our launch sequence down we'll be in contention to win another race.

"The mood on the team is really upbeat. Everyone is pumped up. It's been a hard year on all of us but I think the worst is behind us now. It's time to show Matco Tools and Pennzoil and all of our other sponsors how much we appreciate their support."

Same-day television coverage of the elimination rounds of the 12th annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals will air on TNN from 4:30-6 p.m. (ET and PT), Sunday, Oct. 1.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tim Freeman