Pocono Raceway is one of the most difficult tracks in all of motorsports and eats first time Rookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thomas “Moose” Praytor was coming off a career best finish at Elko Speedway but had never seen the “Tricky Triangle” until Friday when rain covered the track and washed out all of the practice and qualifying for the ARCA race on Saturday. During a short practice session on Saturday an oil line issue kept the ARCA rookie from making any laps.
“Rain on Friday was bad, the oil line going bad warming up was really bad, not being able to get it fixed in time to make the inspection line was even worse for our USA Boxing Junior Olympic Ford. Really have to thank the guys at Roush Yates for helping us out and our guys never gave up,” offered Praytor.
Because it took all the way to race time to get the USA Boxing Junior Olympic Championship Ford in line the team was penalized from a 12th starting position to the tail end of the field. Praytor’s first lap and first trip down the mile long front stretch would be the drop of the green flag with 33 cars in front of him. Bobbing and weaving through the field the Moose worked his way methodically towards the front passing half the field and ending up 16th.
He said afterward, “We have a really good car for here and now with 80 laps under our belts we’re really looking forward to coming back to Pocono. Today really belongs to our team and the guys at Roush Yates on getting this car ready to race in such a short period of time and making 200 miles with all the band aids. Not exactly the day we were looking for but any time you can roll one on the trailer from Pocono that’s not too bad of a start.”
Praytor and his Hixson Motorsports/Max Force team’s USA Boxing Junior Olympic Championship Ford are slated for 10 rounds next week at Michigan International Speedway. Live coverage from SPEED and timing and scoring on arcaracing.com.