After getting beat up in Winchester, Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his DK-LOK Team returned to the first dirt track that produced a top ten in 2016.
For a guy who had never really raced on dirt until his first dirt ARCA start 5 years ago, the Moose has taken to power sliding like a 5 year old with a big wheel, he ain’t done till the tires melt.
Sunday Herr’s Chase the Taste 100 at the Illinios State Fair was no different, literally.
Within a few laps of unloading, the ARCA Ironman was extremely comfortable with his DK-LOK Ford and the crew worked on building some adjustments for the 100 miles so they could keep up with the ever changing dirt surface. Praytor would qualify 19th.
The first part of the race was spotted with cautions allowing the team to make changes to get the just right for the final half of the race. It should be mentioned here that with Summer break from school, vacations, babies and work our crew for the weekend consisted of 1 guy, Adam Lowe.
If we had a change, Adam made it. Gas, Adam fueled the car and when we had to change tires, Adam borrowed a Jackman from the 27, carried his own tire, took off the old tire and put on a new one. All the while keeping Praytor on the lead lap!
Of course Adam didn’t fly completely solo, we suited up Julie, Thomas’s Mom. Her job was to hold the sign to stop the car, then go over the wall and clean the dirt off the grill so the motor wouldn’t over heat.
The best part was watching the high dollar over the wall crews getting beat by Adam and Julie.
By halfway, Praytor was rumbling around the old horse track and was a full second faster than his qualifying effort staying with the lead pack and on the lead lap.
Things were going Praytor’s way and a massive pile up started in turn 3, cars wrecked in front of him, beside him and behind him, while the Moose snaked his way through into the clear.
“Stuff was going everywhere and you really couldn’t see because of all the dust. I missed the 18, thought I was going to hit the wall, the hole closed behind me and more cars piled in, then I barely missed the 34 spinning, it was wild.”
After the wreck Praytor started to lose touch with the lead back and radioed in his right rear tire was gone. The hard sliding Alabamian had turned a treaded tire into a slick, just like a big wheel.
With a new right rear the Moose was loose again on the dirt and taking back spots lost on the burnt up right rear. More cautions led to a 20 lap shootout with Praytor remaining on the lead lap and taking home 13th, the best performance of the 2017 season.
“Congratulations to Grant Enfinger and Kelly Kovski, great win for them really glad to see Kelly back at the track. Congratulating Grant in Victory Lane was like old times when he was winning the Championship. We had a solid day, the dirt really helps bring the Ilmors back to us. The last couple of years I’ve become a big fan of the dirt. Headed back to the road course next week, not a fan yet.”
All season long we have been sharing some great pics from the race track, thanks to Harlen Hunter, Jay Alley and Rich Corbett. These guys do a heck of job, thanks!