Mobile, AL - After the disaster 2 weeks ago and the rainout the night before at 5 Flags the Moose was ready to rumble at Mobile International Speedway on Saturday night. Off the trailer our G Force Ford Fusion was bottoming out hard on the racetrack and the team worked to obtain the delicate balance of, as close to the track as you can be without hitting it. Even though the Moose has been close to the pole all season we are still tweaking our qualifying package and a new gear on Saturday night was part of that equation. Gears change how a car handles in the corners and the speed at the end of the straightaways, the gear selection for Saturday night tightened (the car doesn't want to turn) Midnight up. Tight and bouncing off the track makes for an ill handling racecar. While the team was fighting handling issues other gremlins surfaced from the rebuild after the disaster 2 weeks ago. After the first practice the Moose noticed our just rebuilt rear end was too far back on the right side. The new right rear trailing arm bracket had broken its weld and spun pushing the right side of the rear end backwards. A port-a-power and a fresh weld had the rear end back in place and ready for the second practice. After the second practice the team prepped the G Force machine for qualifying and while straightening the steering wheel to set the sway bar the steering column snapped off in the Moose's hand. Apparently the column had a hairline crack in it from the wreck and it finally broke. A problem in the pit, a broken steering column would have been a disaster if it happened on the racetrack. Fortunately we still had the welding machine out from the rear repair and without missing a beat the steering column was cut smooth and the steering wheel nut welded on the column. The problem with the quick repair was the steering wheel was now further away than before and would make for a different steering feel inside the G Force Fusion. Having to use the welding machine twice and we hadn't even qualified was not a good omen. Even with the calamity of practice and the repairs the Moose missed the pole by just a tenth of second and he was 2 tenths faster than his last qualifying effort. The front of Saturday night's field was so close that a tenth would put the Moose 4th and starting outside of the second row. With the drop of the green flag the outside row was freight trained by the inside line and the Moose would settle in to 5th. A missed shift by the leader on a restart scattered the field and put the Moose deeper in a hole trying to avoid running over the cars in front of him. The race took on a green flag look and went the distance without a caution. Under the long green flag Midnight became a handful for the Moose and our post race inspection found chunks of rubber out of the right rear tire. Pensacola's reigning track champion, Ronnie Smith was able to slip by the Moose for the 5th spot and the Moose hung on for 6th. The 6th place finish put the Moose back in the top 5 in the Midwest Cooling Towers championship standings and just 1 point away from the 4th spot.
Thomas: "What a night! After our luck the last race, all the stuff that happened during practice really had you wondering what's going to happen next. Our team did a great job making repairs on the fly during practice. Even after all that I thought our G Force Fusion was a pole car, I really missed the first lap and I think that hurt us on the money lap. Some of what we were trying for qualifying didn't work for us in the race. We're still working on how to make our car good over 35 laps. I should be happy we're back in the top 5 in points and we rolled it in the trailer but I'm not."