(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - December 17, 2011) - Thomas Praytor has visited Daytona International Speedway for a decade, but never as a driver in a full-bodied stock car.
Praytor will have his chance this afternoon when he tests for Andy Belmont Racing. A crew member for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran Rick Crawford at Daytona in the past, Praytor first attended Daytona with his father, Tommy, and The Outdoor Channel in the early 2000s. Crawford and the elder Praytor are currently working together to bring ARCA to Mobile International Speedway for the first time on March 10, and the younger Praytor is aiming to make his mark in the series as well.
"This is just an incredible opportunity," said Thomas Praytor, who is also called The Moose. "It's Daytona! I can't thank Mr. Andy and Mrs. Jennifer Belmont enough for giving me the chance. I started coming to Daytona with my Dad and The Outdoor Channel when I was 12. The last few years it's been as a crew member for Rick Crawford's truck team. Just coming to Daytona is awesome, so getting to make a lap, well, it's just hard to put into words."
Said Belmont: "Thomas spent some time at our home and with our race team this year. He is a fine young man. We thought this might be a way to help jump start his ARCA career."
Thomas Praytor began his career in the late 1990s, driving go-karts and bandolero cars. He became a track champion in 2003, and was named U.S. Army Rookie of the Year in super stock cars at Mobile in 2006. Praytor was named Rookie of the Year at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. in 2007, and Rookie of the Year at Mobile in late models in 2008.
Live timing and scoring coverage of open testing at Daytona is available at ARCARacing.com.