Pensacola, FL With the 2007 season winding down, Pensacola's Five Flags speedway hosted a night of double points night racing. At the start of the 2007 season the Pensacola Rookie was an improbable contender for the season title against the veterans of 5 Flags Speedway but as the season progressed he took the points lead when the favorite for the Championship, Chris Cotto had an off night and held it until 2 weeks ago.
The Moose entered the double points showdown 6 points behind Cotto and was looking to regain the top spot. On Friday night both the heat race and the feature were double points and everyone in the field was looking to improve their positions in the Championship standings. With the drop of the green flag in the heat race the Moose and Cotto were on the move from the back (For the heat race the field is inverted by points with the highest in the points to the back). The pair was passing cars as fast as they could get to them. Two laps in, Cotto would find trouble and destroy his racecar. The Moose missed the wreck and kept passing cars to retake the point's lead after the heat race. Cotto would not be able to use his car for the feature and borrowed a car, keeping him in the title hunt.
With a solid finish in the heat race, the Moose would start on the outside pole for the feature. The Moose worked the outside groove for a couple of laps before falling in line in the 3rd position. Going into turn 3 the Moose got tapped from behind, pushing him into the car in front of him and sending the 3 cars into a sideways slide. All 3 kept from spinning and the race stayed green. The Moose lost a few spots but the contact cut the right rear tire and the Moose had to pit under green. The stop would cost Thomas 4 laps and what looked like a shot at the Championship. Back on track the Moose was making laps when give and take went out the window on double points night for those cars on the lead lap. The destruction that ensued was incredible with cars dropping like flies as the laps progressed. The Moose was at the tail end of the field with 10 to go when a car blew a motor in the middle of the pack. 4 cars would slam the outside wall including the Moose.
The G-Force Pontiac hit left rear first then whipped around and hit the left front. The rear end was moved forward 8 inches, the left front was shoved 5 inches in and the back end of the car was up to the rear window. Basically the car was destroyed and it appeared so was the Moose's title hopes. The wrecker pushed the Moose backed to the pit area and the team went to work, new tires, tearing away the sheet metal that was going to fall off and trying to get the G-Force Pontiac back on track. In addition to the front of the car going one way and the back going another, the transmission was stuck in 4th gear because the drive shaft had been rammed in to it about 3 inches further than what it should have been. The Moose limped back out onto the racetrack to try and finish the race. The carnage that was the super stock race had taken its toll on the field and now there were only 2 cars on the lead lap and if the Moose could limp home, he could pick up 6 spots and finish an improbable 4th.
The first lap back on the track the left rear brake rotor shattered and sent the brake caliper flying over the wall into the pit area causing another lap of caution and an inspection of the G-Force machine by race officials to make sure nothing else was going to fall off. Fortunately the track sent the inspector that uses a Seeing Eye dog and a red tip cane to inspect the Moose’s and car and he went back on the track. Everyone held their breath as the Moose limped around the track. With the checkered flag in the air the Moose limped home and passed all the cars that were involved in the blown motor wreck and the rest of the destruction to finish 4th. The finish would actually allow the Moose to close in on the point's leader and now trail by only 4 points heading to the season Championship in 2 weeks.
Thomas on his night: "Really the whole night was just a blur. Everything was happening so fast, one minute we were up and the next it looked like we were down for the count. Fixing the cut tire cost us 4 laps and I thought it was over. Then I got in the oil from the blown motor and hit the wall a ton. I've never been in car that was that screwed up and still tried to drive it. The guys worked hard to get us back out but it wasn't pretty. I didn't realize how bad it was until after the race. It's pretty messed up we’ve got a lot of work to do to get ready for the season Championship race in 2 weeks."