Daytona Heartbreak - Thomas "Moose" Praytor Breaks Taking Lead

Monday, February 17, 2014
Moose taking the lead at Daytona International Speedway.
Moose taking the lead at Daytona International Speedway.
- photo by Ashley Rowe, official photographer of the ARCA Mobile 200

Thomas “Moose” Praytor wheeled the ARCA Mobile 200/DK-LOK Chevy from 34th to second in the Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real at Daytona International Speedway. Praytor took the lead on a restart until the transmission broke sending him tumbling back through the field relegating the Max Force/Hixson Motorsports team to a 31st place finish.

Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway got off to a slow start for Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his Max Force/Hixson Motorsports team with the ARCA Mobile 200/DK-LOK Chevy looking for speed on the speed chart from the first practice session.

“We were really disappointed during practice, we had a lot more speed in our ARCA Mobile 200/DK-LOK Chevy during the test,” said Praytor. “Our guys never let up and we kept working. We got some of the speed back for qualifying but had to use happy hour on Saturday morning to keep looking for speed in the draft.”

Starting 34th with five top 10 cars that were disqualified after qualifying behind you, there are several strategy options, go with that group on the start or wait until after the first big wreck and then go. As luck would have it Maryeve Dufault’s spotter, former ARCA driver and current Cup spotter, Rick Carelli and the Moose’s spotter are longtime friends and the pair struck a deal to hang out drafting together until after the first big wreck. “Maryeve did a great job drafting and we tried it several different ways, her pushing or me in the back to find out which way was fastest when it was time to go.”

The race laid out to plan and the big wreck happened letting Praytor and Dufault leap frog from 20th to the front row using pit strategy. “We ended up on the front row and I felt really good about our chances, we knew we could draft with Mary Eve if I got hung out but I was looking for a big push from Dylan (Kwasniewski) and Grant (Enfinger) who were lined up behind me in my lane.” The new double file ARCA restart format allows the outside row to go when the leader fires allowing the outside lane to pass before the start finish line leaving Praytor in a typical Mobile International Speedway shootout position and the short track racer took advantage. “I heard her hit the gas and I was already rolling pretty good and I felt like I had her cleared when I shifted to fourth and our race was over.” The transmission broke and while the shifter would go in fourth gear it wouldn’t engage ending the Moose’s day. “Just a sick feeling, the guys behind me did a really good job getting around me without causing a huge wreck.”

“Congratulations to Grant Enfinger, Howard (Bixman car owner) and the entire Team BCR Team, those guys really had a great weekend. Proud of our team, we have some new guys and everybody worked their butts off, they never gave up. Can’t thank everyone enough that came on board to help with tires. Really appreciate DK-LOK stepping up to take up a big role in our Daytona effort.”

Praytor has now run second in the last three restrictor plate races. Next up for the Max Force/Hixson Motorsports team is the ARCA Mobile 200 on March 22. 


Notre Dame Blanks Merrol Hyde, 7-0

Using speed, ball control and an offense clicking on all cylinders, Notre Dame scored early and often to defeat visiting Merrol Hyde (Hendersonville), 7-0 in an A-AA Region 4 semifinal girls soccer match Tuesday night. The Irish (8-5-4) were led by a hat trick by junior Sofia Olenchek, while Gaby Mullin, Ashley McMeen, Emma Higgins and Liz Ciabattone each scored once. Assists ... (click for more)

State Volleyball Begins Wednesday In Murfreesboro

The ever-exciting state volleyball tournament will begin Wednesday morning in Murfreesboro with action scheduled for four different schools. The Boyd-Buchanan Lady Bucs are Chattanooga's entry in the Class A bracket while Red Bank and Signal Mountain will be competing in Class AA.  Baylor is entered in D-II Class AA. Boyd-Buchanan, 32-14, will face Loretto (31-12) in ... (click for more)

Architect/Contractor Selected By Erlanger For New Children's/Women's Hospital

HKS has been selected as the architect and McCarthy as the construction manager for a new Children’s and Women’s Hospital at the Erlanger campus on East Third Street. The Atlanta team competed against another Atlanta group for the major construction project. Erlanger officials announced Monday that $11.5 million is being set aside in a debt restructuring for the new $30 ... (click for more)

Westfield Charged In Burning, Torture Of Kitten At Cleveland

An arrest has been made in the case of a kitten who was burned and tortured in Cleveland, Tn. At 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Gary A. Westfield, 31, of Cleveland, was placed in custody on a warrant obtained by Lt. Robert Harbison and Detective Matt Jenkins of the Criminal Investigations Division. Westfield was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, which is a Class E felony. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)