OCALA, Fla. – Over the course of the past several decades, Hoffman Auto Racing/Dynamics, Inc. has been synonymous with USAC Sprint Car success.
Likewise, over the past two seasons, no driver has won more traditional sprint car features than Kevin Thomas Jr.
So when the announcement came down late last year that those two success stories would illustrate a new chapter in the coming year by combining resources, it made complete sense.
Thomas’ car will be dressed in the storied No. 69 that the Hoffman family has utilized in 93 of its 101 USAC-sanctioned Sprint Car victories.
However, Thomas’ team maintains the structure that led himself and the No. 9K to a series-leading six USAC National Sprint Car points wins last year, with returning crew members Davey Jones and Brad Alexander being joined by Hoffman Auto Racing staples Richard Hoffman and Tim Waechter.
The last time the car hit the track with Thomas, the cork was popped on the champagne in victory lane, something that the Cullman, Alabama driver aims to make a regular occurrence in 2018.
“It’s the same chassis and the same engines, literally the same everything,” Thomas said. “Once I got back from California last November, we stripped everything down. Then, we built one car back up and had one car already built that we didn’t have to use and changed a few little things on it. We threw some white bodies and some bright vinyl on them and Mean Green on the side and we’re going to roll them back into the trailer for the season openers the way we finished last year.”
“We’ve got the same crew with Davey and Brad back and my wife, Whitney, who keeps everything running with all the paperwork, T-shirt sales, arranging flights and sponsors,” Thomas added. “With the addition of Richard and Tim, I think it’ll be a good combination. Along with that, they expect results and it does bring a little bit of stress, but you must to be mentally prepared for that going in and know that they expect to win races as much as you expect to win races.”
Seemingly, the only noticeable differences are the skin of the car with black, red and white giving way to green, orange and white. Based on last year, on paper, this seems like a surefire bet to contend for a title.
But as most know, it takes several factors to be a front runner from the start in February until the finish line in November out west, including good fortune.
Thomas and the Hoffmans have proved time and time again, albeit separately, that they’ve got what it takes to accomplish the task at hand in terms of victories. But the Hoffman family’s championship pedigree may prove to be the ingredient that is the ultimate recipe for success in 2018.
“Considering where I started, whether it’s people doubting me or whether it’s me doubting myself, from winning all those races last year to now being in the Hoffman car, is really cool,” Thomas said. “Everybody who’s ever done anything in a sprint car has driven for Hoffman. To put your name on that list is a really cool honor. I’m blessed to be in the position that I’m in to where they wanted to come on board with us.”
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