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Houston's Patterson ready for Amalie Nationals

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For Immediate Release March 22, 2004


Contact: Bobby Bennett, Harley Communications






Patterson ready to shine in front of home-state crowd at IHRA Amalie Oil Texas Nationals




SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Thomas Patterson does his best work when his back is against the wall. When the track gets tough to navigate – Patterson is the man. When he’s up against a deadline and then forced into action – he’s your man. Better yet, when the IHRA Amalie Oil Texas Nationals rolls into town, he’s the one you want to place your bets on.




Now were not saying anything is wrong with San Antonio Raceway. In fact, it’s one of the IHRA’s premiere race facilities. That’s why Patterson loves to run there.




As for that deadline thing…that’s where our story begins. Just days before last year’s inaugural running of the event, Patterson and the talented crew at Vanishing Point Race Cars had put the finishing touches on a 1941 Willys and then sent the completed ride to master painter Barney Squires. That left minimal time for testing and the father and son team of Richard and Thomas Patterson.




The Pattersons admittedly struggled in the first day of qualifying and just when it appeared that qualifying would be a pipe dream, the rains came. In fact, it rained so much that the IHRA Hooters Drag Racing Series was forced to come back a week later.




The Pattersons and crewchief Brandon Pesz pulled out and headed back home to Houston, where they rented Raceway Park and laid down some test laps. That provided the medicine the team needed to find their groove in San Antonio.




Patterson ended up qualifying eighth during the final session and also scoring the “Best Appearing†Award for their outrageous scheme.




In fact, Patterson didn’t stop running until the final round when he finished runner-up.




“That was just a magical outing for us,†added Patterson. “We knew we had the deck stacked against us headed in the first weekend. Once we had an opportunity to do some testing we had more confidence in the car and the new car blues were non-existent.â€





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