Pocono Raceway has been good to the DK-LOK team over the years and with a new motor, Thomas “Moose” Praytor and his team had high expectations for the General Tire, #anywhereispossible200.
After the quick turn around from Elko, followed by the 22 hour drive to Pocono, the team spent Thursday going through a day long technical inspection. While our car made it through tech, the Engine guys at Ilmor had issues with our installation job in Mobile.
“We don’t get to run an Ilmor very often but when we have the Ilmor Tuners at the track have really gone out of their way to help make sure we are taken care of.”
After a day long tech the Ilmor guys descended on the DK-LOK Ford to redo the wiring and nsure our motor was ready to go for Friday. The Ilmor team worked for 2 hours after the garage closed on Thursday and returned on Friday morning to finish.
“The Ilmor at track team did a heck of job going through our new set up. Ultimately I think they replaced a coil and an injector, along with fixing our wiring. Once we made some laps the Ilmor Tuners were back at our car downloading data and making recommendations. All of their hard work paid off, the motor didn’t miss a beat in practice or the race.”
Off the trailer the DK-LOK Ford was faster than last year picking up 2 seconds with the new motor but a long way to go to being competitive.
“We were just tight, tight, tight in practice. We made 3 pages of changes to free it up, we made it better but we still weren’t very good.”
The team made another big round of changes before qualifying and Praytor timed in 16th. A big wreck during qualifying meant the field could not complete qualifying and the field was set by practice time pushing Praytor back to 25th.
With the drop of the green flag Praytor was conserving fuel in the DK-LOK Ford knowing he would have to get to the halfway point to make it on 1 stop.
The rest of the field cooperated with the first 39 laps going green and most of the field making short stops putting Praytor in 14th.
“The first half of the race went our way and we were set for the second half. Our DK-LOK Ford was still tight but we had more to give it on pit road.”
With a full tank of fuel the team was set for the second half of the race. Back under green the DK-LOK Ford was still tight but better. Just a few laps under green the teams good day would come to an end.
“We had a tire go down and I tried to limp around looking for a caution but that was nowhere to be found. We had to come to pit road under green and that just took us out of contention for a good finish.”
After changing the flat tire the DK-LOK Ford was back on track but it turned wicked loose.
“When the tire disintegrated on the left front we must have torn a lot of stuff up and we were just limping around trying to finish.”
The DK-LOK Ford rolled home a respectable 24th but not what the team was looking for.
“Real disappointing end to a solid effort with our first Ilmor in a non-restrictor plate race. Thanks to the guys at Ilmor again for a lot of hard work to make sure we were right going on the racetrack. Our car didn’t hang in but the motor cooked all 200 miles.”
Another short week in Mobile as the team landed the DK-LOK hauler at midnight on Saturday and will be back on the road to Michigan Tuesday afternoon for Corrigan Oil 200.
Top picture: Racing with Tony Mrakovich down the mile long front stretch.