Mobile based Max Force Racing tested two drivers, with two different agendas during the ARCA Series test at Daytona International Speedway-both accomplished their task.
For the 18 year old Pearl River, Louisiana native, Ronnie Osmer’s task was simple, make laps, get comfortable and earn his ARCA Superspeedway license.
For the Ironman of the series and one of the drivers with the most restrictor plate laps at the test, Thomas “Moose” Praytor’s task was different, improve on the Talladega Test and get ready to run up front.
The addition of the second car for the test put a lot of pressure on the all volunteer team from Mobile, Alabama. In the two weeks leading up to the test all of the resources the team could muster were working towards having the 2nd car ready.
Even with everyone working well in to the night and 48 hours continuously before leaving the team was behind. The DK-LOK hauler arriving on Friday afternoon, just in time for it to rain.
The team used the rain to finish up minor items on the cars, starting fresh on Saturday.
Praytor took the second car out for its first trip at the World Center of Speed, making sure it was good to go and turned it over to Osmer.
As with every new driver at Daytona there is a learning curve, the hardest are, don’t let off the gas and don’t run off the bottom of the racetrack.
“I took a ride in the van around the track earlier in the morning. That gave me a really good perspective in person,” said Osmer. “I turned a lot of laps on the simulator preparing for the test but there is no way a computer can simulate Daytona!”
Osmer’s first few laps were tentative, as they should be, then the young Rookie started dropping his lap times picking up speed and confidence.
While Osmer was getting to know the track, Praytor was at home hammering out lap times in and out of the draft putting his car through it’s paces preparing for ARCA’s 55th return to Daytona.
“We just have a tremendous amount of confidence in this car, it ran third most of the race here last year until we got collected in somebody else’s mess,” offered Praytor. “We were working on small things like tape and gears, we really didn’t get the draft partners we were looking for but I think we know the direction we need to come back with in February.”
With the test winding down Praytor took to the high banks of Daytona one final time with his Rookie teammate in tow. “We wanted Ronnie to draft some before leaving so he could get a feel for the draft if he gets an opportunity to race here,” added Praytor.
The pair of 9’s were soon making tracks at the World Center of Speed and it didn’t take the 18 year old long to have a handle on the draft. “Really appreciate Thomas spending so much time with me showing me the way around the track in the draft. When we got lined up nose to tail my car really took off,” Osmer.
Missions accomplished, Osmer received his Superspeedway license and Praytor is ready to return for the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire on February 10th.