After road courses, speedways and the Tricky Triangle in Pocono Thomas "Moose" Praytor was looking forward to having his Realtor Chevy back on a short track like Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan. The last 2 short track outings for the SCOTTS Rookie of the Year candidate had produced 2 top 10s and a career best 9th at Winchester Speedway in Indiana. While the Primera Plastics 200 was expected to produce the same type of results it just didn't go the team's way this weekend and the Realtor Chevy finished 18th.
Berlin is known for not having any traction in the race track and ARCA teams spend a great deal of time creating grip with their setups to handle the slick old racing surface. In the case of the Hixson Motorsports/Max Force Racing effort this weekend the team went too far with its set up and created a Realtor Chevy that just wouldn't turn in the corners. "We weren't just tight, we were really tight, tight going in, tight in the middle and tight off." Our guys threw the kitchen sink at "Mickey" and kept working all race long on helping make our Realtor Chevy turn," offered Praytor. "We knew were not going to have the type night we were looking for after qualifying but our entire team kept digging every lap every, pit stop. We learned a lot Saturday night and the crew did a great job making stops in let's just say a unique setting. We've run further back this season than 18th but this one is going to smart for a little while, we were expecting more."
The team won't have long to lick its wounds with the Allen Crowe Memorial 100 ahead this weekend at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Indiana. Praytor will return to dirt racing for the first time since he was 10 years old. "It's been so long since I raced on dirt you might as well say I've never been on dirt. The best thing we have going for us is Mr. Wayne's (Hixson) 40 years of dirt experience."
Picture: Thomas "Moose Praytor and Realtor car on the front stretch at Berlin Raceway during the Primera Plastics 200.