After a solid effort in DuQuoin, Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his DK-LOK team were looking forward to Throwback weekend at the Eddie Gillstrap Motors 200 Fall Classic at Salem Speedway.
The Intimidator inspired Ford started slow then picked up speed during practice. An aggressive qualifying set up pushed the Moose back to 18th.
“We were trying for something big in qualifying and it just didn’t work. We did learn some things we can use later but they didn’t work Saturday night.”
With changes made during final adjustments Praytor was on the move with the drop of the green flag.
“We unscrewed ourselves from qualifying and our DK-LOK Ford was really good and we picked back up some spots we gave up in qualifying.”
During the first half of the race Praytor moved up into the top 15, using a little pit strategy the Moose moved even closer to the top 10.
“We had a good battle all night with Ed Pompa and Mike Basham. We snookered them on a pit stop putting them a lap down to us and we were in good shape for the back half of the race.”
As the leaders set a torrid pace for the next 50 laps Praytor’s brakes started to fade and by lap 150 there wasn’t much to push.
“I’d hit the pedal and she wouldn’t even think about stopping. I could pump them up going down the straightaway and get enough to turn but each lap they got worse.”
Salem is tough enough, Salem without brakes is just miserable. Praytor once on the move was now sliding back through the field and giving up spots to folks he had already passed. The Moose would bring home his DK-LOK Ford 16th.
“Just really disappointing, we had a good car and it just slowly slipped away from us, lot of fun racing with Ed and Mike. Appreciate the fans and Salem Speedway putting on the throwback weekend it’s really cool seeing all the old cars.”
A really short week in Mobile and the team will be headed back up I-65 dodging what’s left of Irma to get to Chicagoland by Thursday.