A cool front rolled through the Iowa plains prior to the Fans With Benefits 150 turning the corn popping heat of Iowa into a perfect day for a summer drive for Thomas “Moose” Praytor and the rest of the ARCA series.
Over the last few races the team has been making some aggressive changes to their DK-LOK Ford paying big dividends on the race track. So if it’s working keep going!
After the 1,200 mile commute from Mobile to Newton, Iowa, the Moose developed a stomach bug that drained him Friday night and in to Saturday morning.
“I’ve been sick before but nothing like what hit me Friday. It was pretty bad, the guys got me some medicine and some Gatorade to slow it down. I stayed late at the hotel while the guys got us unloaded and through tech.”
With a few minutes to spare a little whiter and lighter Praytor showed up for practice.
First laps on the track proved, a little of a good thing is a good idea but a lot maybe not so much.
“We were really loose on the track and had to go to work making some major changes. The guys did a great job and we picked up speed with each run.”
With a much improved DK-LOK Ford Praytor timed into the 18th starting spot for the Friends With Benefits 150.
The start of the race was an indication of how the night would go.
“The green flag flew and our DK-LOK Ford just sputtered. It took me a few seconds to realize we had a bad ignition box. I swapped the box and Betty came back to life.”
The bad ignition box cost Praytor a straight away to the field, rolling again he was making up ground.
As fast as the DK-LOK Ford could catch them Praytor was on the move and in the first 40 laps had worked his way up to 11th when the caution flag flew.
“Everything was fine until it wasn’t. We had a fast car and were under caution and it just quit, dead.”
The DK-LOK Ford rolled to a stop on the back straight away requiring a push back to pit road.
Back on pit road the crew quickly changed out the batteries. Even with the quick change it cost the team 5 laps on the race track.
“Saturday night is a classic example of how our race team has improved with Adam (Lowe) in the shop. Adam was responsible for getting the extra batteries charged and set up with quick disconnect cables. Something we wouldn’t have had time to do in the past.”
The change only cost the team 5 laps and the Moose went back on track with a lot of steam.
A fast car got faster and Praytor started unlapping himself. The DK-LOK Ford turned its fastest lap of the night on lap 110.
When the checkered flag flew Praytor had worked his way back from the tail end of the 30 car field to finish 18th.
“We ended up with a really nice car after a lot of hard work. Our guys worked hard all day and kept overcoming obstacles during the race. As crappy as the day started we really ended up with a solid night. Would have loved to have had a few more laps to catch some more cars.”
Team has a week off before the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis.