For a race car drive from Alabama Talladega Superspeedway is sacred ground for Mobile’s Thomas “Moose” Praytor Dega is so much more.
“We literally have 2 races on the calendar circled that we think we have our best shot to win at, Daytona and Talladega,” said Praytor.
“Our plate program has really grown over the last seven years and with Tab (Boyds) help from the roof we’ve developed a lot of drafting moves that really pay off.”
With such a short turn around from Salem’s race on Sunday, the Mobile, Alabama based teams resources were pressed to the max getting motors and cars prepared for Talladega.
Better late than never the team pulled in to Talladega Superspeedway on Friday before the gate opened for the second day of the two day event.
“We got through tech but there just wasn’t enough time to get on track for practice. So we lined up for qualifying and let her rip.”
As usual, the games played during group qualifying found Praytor on the short end of the stick and the AIDB Chevy would roll off 28th.
As luck would have he wasn’t the only fast car stuck in the back, Bobby Gerhardt and Sean Corr were there with him. With the drop of the green flag the Moose was rumbling.
Three wide, four wide if he could sniff some air he was there. In just 10 short laps Praytor had moved all the way up from 28th to 14th and was looking for more.
“I was down at the bottom of three wide and the guy in the middle started bouncing around and bounced into my right front fender. My car shot to the right and the other car came across the nose of our AIDB Chevy.”
Spinning up and then down the track the nose took a big hit at the end of the embankment.
On pit road the UNOH over the wall guys taped up the nose and sent Praytor back out still on the lead lap. Coming back to the green some debris caught the left front and Praytor had to come back to pit road for tires.
“Our AIDB Chevy wasn’t hurt bad it was just hurt in the wrong place to get any speed out of her. I’m not sure how many times we pitted but our UNOH guys did a great job patching us back up.”
The remaining laps were spent picking off cars hurt worse than the AIDB Chevy and what had started with so much promise ended 21st.
“Just a shame we had great drafting partners and I knew we had a great car. Really appreciate all the support we get from our fans and friends in Alabama. We’ll start working on Daytona next week.”