While Ken “Snake” Stabler was being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his team were involved in a full fledge donnybrook at Berlin Raceway in Michigan, Stabler would have loved it.
Michigan is home base to Crew Chief Adam Lowe and when we are in Michigan Adams duties include 2 cars and a whole bunch of family.
The smallest track on the ARCA tour created the most carnage so far in the 2016 season. Twenty Six cars started the 200 lap event with only 12 running at the end!
After qualifying 13th Praytor made his way up through the field bringing out the first caution when his Stabler machine tangled with the 14, it would be the first of many to come.
“The fans in the stands and those watching on American Sports Network got their money’s worth tonight,” said Praytor. “Lots of fast cars lots of leaning and pushing.”
The first incident wrinkled the right front corner of Praytor’s Ford and the team worked hard to get it off the right front tire and get Praytor back out staying on the lead lap. Aero would not come into play at Berlin.
20 laps in, the power steering fluid left the reservoir with a broken power steering line. Now the Moose was banged up and would have to make the last 185 laps with no power steering.
“I didn’t get a lot of sympathy from the roof when I said I had not power steering, something something keep something digging.”
Caution after caution Praytor was Snaking his way towards the top 10 handling an ill handling Ford and trying to survive each caution.
Just past the halfway mark the Moose and the 15 tangled with the Moose coming out on the short end of the stick spinning on the back stretch. This time the right rear quarter was ripped off the car.
More time on pit road and the Ken Stabler Hall of Fame car was battered but things were just getting good.
“Couldn’t hardly steer but we knew if we could stay out of trouble and go the distance we could end up with a good finish and a good points night.”
That would be the last caution the Moose was in but not the end of the pushing and shoving or the cautions.
While the Moose was getting beaten up, Mike Basham found a solid groove and was now giving Praytor all he wanted. The pair traded spots back and forth in a spirited battle before a long green flag run and motor issues hampered Basham.
“Really had a lot of fun racing with Mike, I think we swapped spots 10 or 12 times without touching each other. Lot of fun racing with someone you can trust.”
As the race wound down the Stabler Hall of Fame machine kept snaking through cautions and picking up spots for an 8th place finish.
“Another great performance by our race team, they just simply don’t know how to quit. Solid point’s night and a good finish for our team. Really wish we could have been in Canton Ohio with the Stabler family to celebrate Mr. Ken (Stabler) but it just wasn’t possible. It was truly an honor to know him.”
A much needed week off before the team heads to the dirt in Springfield.