Tommy Praytor Photo's
Sorry, we were short handed in Pensacola early and then when forgot to get the camera out, so we don't have any pictures. We took a good race car from Mobile that was a piece of junk in Pensacola. I think Brendan changed our tire set up and sway bar 8-10 times before we finally found a set up that worked. The real problem was, I used up all of my drawing power for Mark Davis the last time we were there and I drew dead last. We started 35 or 36 (last) and thanks to Brian & Brendan spotting me through traffic and wrecks we finished 11th. We had a great run and didn't tear the car up so we'll be ready for the finale in Mobile this week. Our teammate Zondra Yarber had a short, long night. She drew a spot on the pole, got a good jump on the start and then got shoved into the wall by the 3 car before they made a lap. It knocked the right front wheel out and she was done for the night, it was really too bad because she had a good car.
LAST POINTS NIGHT AT MOBILE
That's me trying to explain to the crew why I screwed their car up.
Some of the crew taking a dinner break and watching late model qualifying.
I couldn't resist this when I saw the pictures
One of Thomas's go cart buddies Michael Hazard stopped by the track with us Saturday night.
BACK IN MOBILE
It seemed like it had been months since we raced in Mobile. Either rain, go carts or travel had kept us away from MIS. While we were back the night belonged to Zondra Yarber and her team with their return to racing. She looked better than I did, on the track that is, but we did manage a top 5 and a top 10 in the feature to keep that streak alive. We made some changes to the car to try and loosen it up and went a little too far. I didn't have enough dirt track experience to handle the new feel. As usual, my guys did a great job on the car and we'll be even better next time.
The go carts had a night off and I had real driver Anthony Claxton sit behind the wheel.
Two of the biggest trouble makers at the track, me and Roy Harrison.
Ward and his son Evan, their first night at the track since Ward & Tinker had their baby son Dillon.
Brendan at work under the hood. We had a rough set up night and we chased the car all night.
We picked up a few bumps and bruises but nothing major. This wheel mark was actually my fault, I came down on top of Freddie Tanner on the start.
The toughest part of not being at the track every week is the kids after the races. They always crack me up even when we've had bad night.
PENSACOLA SUMMER SHOOTOUT
After the Bay Bears show we reloaded for racing at Pensacola. We normally have a pretty good car at 5 Flags and I screw it up before we get a chance to really get going. Several Mobile Pure Stocks made the trip and I think we either finished in the top 5 or broke. The trip was suppose to be fun and it didn't take long before we were causing trouble. We didn't qualify so we had to draw for position, Mark Davis and I drew for each other, I drew him outside pole and I'm still trying to count the number of rows back he drew for me. Our car was slipping and sliding during the first round of practice and Dr. Steven Davis started working on a new set of Goodyear's for us. The last practice had the car sticking better and we made some more changes for the feature. Once we got the first lap in the feature, we made a long green flag run and our car really started to come to us and we started picking up spots. Brian and Brendan worked hard on the radios to keep me out of trouble on the track and to find the fastest way around. With 10 to go we had moved all the way up to 5th or 6th and the power steering went out on the car. At least thats what I noticed first, we had broken the water pump pulley and our night was done. Mark went on to win the race from my starting spot and James Alonzo & Little Man Baezel from Mobile both finished in the top 5. Look for pics from mandatory testing for all GM cars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway early in the week.
Mark Davis and his crew after picking up the win,
BAY BEAR'S RACE NIGHT
PAST RACE RECAPS
July 3rd, We took a pretty good car to the track and qualified with our best time ever without hitting anything at 21.49. The time put us starting 15th in the feature and 3rd in the heat race. The heat race was one of the best times I've ever had in a race car while racing with Mike Woodson, Big 90 (It was his first night back this year) and Martin Robinson, 10. We shuffled each other around and with a lap left to go I made a run at the lead by making it 3 wide going into 3. It didn't work and I was lucky to keep it on the track. In the feature we were working our way to the front when Martin Robinson and I got tangled up coming out of turn 2. I guess I didn't get off the corner as fast as I usually do and Martin got into the back of me. It was all I could do to keep the car on the track and I got him in the right rear as he passed me and we both took a ride down the back straight away. My car rolled off but Martin had to be towed in. The track officials caught the tail end of the incident and blacked flagged us both for rough driving. I real shame because I don't think Martin hit me on purpose and my in car camera shows I didn't hit him on purpose but we had to park it. Sorry, we don't have any pictures this week but our crew really was pretty down about having to park it. We are scheduled to appear at the Bay Bears Game next Thursday night and we'll be racing in Pensacola on Friday Night and Mobile on Saturday Night. This weekend we will be at J & J with my son racing his Go Cart.
June 19th, While we had a tough night at the the track in
the car Saturday night was one of my favorite nights at the track. For the last few
weeks our crew has been preparing a special hood to run announcing the birth of Brian
& Zondra Yarbers baby. On June 14th Brelee Nichole was born and we were proud to
run the Brelee Yarber hood on Saturday night. While the night for us on the track
was uneventful, with a top 5 in the heat and a top 10 in the feature, it was a special
night watching the drivers, teams and fans sign the hood and express their feelings for
the Yarber's and their new baby.
Our Car with the Brelee Yarber hood.
Our crew, Josh, Ward & Cameron, getting the car ready to go.
Some of the fans that came by the car after the race and signed the hood.
June 5th, After I tore the car up on the 15th our crew had to work overtime to try and get it back together. They busted their butts for 2 weeks and then we were rained out. Brendan Catlin, Brian Yarber, Tom & Big John Claxton, Twilley & Josh killed themselves to get us ready and they did a great job. The rain was a great deal for us because we got another week to get our act together. We were able to get one test day in and worked some of the kinks out but we were still off the prewreck pace. After our first set of hot laps on race night we were doing a routine check and the front right spindle was chewed up. Since there were going to be no transfers from the B-Feature we had to qualify the car or miss the big show. Again, our crew went to work, Brian, Brendan, Ward & Cameron Davis, completely disassembled the right front suspension, replaced the spindle & bearings, reset the tires and we were able to qualify. OK, so I stunk that up too, we only made the show by 1 car. The race finally started and I think I made half a lap and realized I had little to no brakes and we were dead last, man this was going to be a long night. That's when the coach came out in Brian and we started to work our way through the field. By the time the race was over we scored a top 5 and finished 4th. I wish I could take credit for it, but it couldn't have happened with out the great group of people that make our car go every week. We'll be back in 2 weeks after my son, Thomas, makes his debut in his new cart at J & J Speedway Saturday Night.
My daughter Hayley made it down to the track.
Some of the crew that makes us go-
Ready to roll out for the feature.
Some of the late model regulars before the big 150
I flattened the right side of the car and basically tore out all of the suspension on the right side of a great car.
Josh carting off some of the debris.
Jessie Reid and his crew after their win. Last time I stole his steering wheel, I stole his trophy this time.
SATURDAY NIGHT RACING MAY 1
After we took such a bad car to the track we completely changed the shock and spring package on our car. We were charting new territory with the set up, Brian Yarber and Twilley lent us a hand and we took the best car we've ever had to the track. The problem was, it was nothing like I had ever driven before and we had to do a lot of on the job training. I was able to put the car anywhere I wanted to during hot laps but I still didn't get a chance to really wind it out. After the hot lap session Mark Davis & Mike Woodson helped me with the driving style for the new set up, while Brian and I were working on it over the radio on the track. My newness with the setup showed during qualifying, I over drove the car and took it in to the turns way too deep and nearly pushed off the track and in to the wall. We were still able to qualify 13th. The heat race started really bad with me getting hung up behind another car on the start and letting Jessie (90), Kevin (52) and Howard (1) get by me. We were able to pass everybody back but Jessie and we were having a tough time getting around him. So, instead of taking a comfortable second I pushed too hard and nearly looped the car and had to take a disappointing fourth. Starting 13th in the feature we knew we had a long way to go and we were still trying to teach me how to drive the new handling car. We stayed out of trouble and made out way up to a 6th place finish.
Ward & Cameron Davis and I go over some of the new set up numbers.
After Jessie beat me in the heat race, I got even with him before the feature. While he stepped away from his car I stole his steering wheel.
SATURDAY NIGHT RACING APRIL17
We got off to a great start with opening night and then we quickly hit the skids. In the feature on opening night we knocked the geometry out of line in the front end and didn't get it fixed all the way and we took a terrible car to the track. We qualified 18th, last row of the a feature, sucked in the heat and worked the car up to 7th in the feature and got together with Little Man and finished a disappointing 12th.
This is how we spent most of the night trying to figure out what the problem was.
Brendan Catlin's dad Paul came down to the pits. He wasn't happy with the car either
Doug Knoll watches our shot at winning go up in smoke.
I can't drive but, I look good.
"I turned left but the car went right".
How the night came to a close.
OPENING NIGHT 1999
WOW! What a way to start the year! I went to the track concerned about the wholesale changes we made to our car after the last practice session. We had a good hot lap session and then we set one of our best qualifying times which put us starting 11th. We made a few more changes after qualifying and during the heat race the car was the best it had ever been. We started on the outside front row and after a couple of laps moved into the lead and won our first race of the year! With a win underneath us and a good car we were looking forward to the feature. Early on Todd Martin got by me on a restart and the 2 of us started to work our way up to the front. we had moved up to 7 or 8 when Jessie Reid got sideways in front of us and I checked up to miss him coming out of 2. Unfortunately, the car behind me didn't see it and hit me in the rear turning me sideways. The 1 car wheel hopped my front left and his rear end flew over my hood, then the 36 car tag me in the left quarter panel. I was able to restart the car and finish the race, but the car wasn't the same. Todd went on to finish third and I'll guess I'll have to bench race what we could have done, until next time. Tommy
Our car before I started putting a few dents in it.
A couple of members of the crew taking a break, Brendan Catlin & Ward Davis
Post race with a new dent in it.
That's a large with thick crust and don't forget the bread sticks!
TEST RESULTS MARCH 28, 1998
After a long winter and a lot of hard work
by our crew we were able to take the car to the track for the first time on Sunday the
28th. Our car has basically been rebuilt from the ground up and almost every
part has been taken off, replaced, reworked or remanufactured. Our times were less
than spectacular, I think we have a driver problem, but we will be making changes from
what we've learned and get ready for the opener.
Our car with testing paint and stickers. Look for new paint scheme for Opening night.
Some of our crew at work at the track, Gene Friday, Brendan Catlin & Thomas Praytor. Terry Rodgers is not in the picture but was a huge help in getting the car ready.
On the track.