Contributed by: ACT Staff
Unbuckled: Getting To Know Tommy 'Thunder'
Driver of the #50 R&L Archery Ford
Hometown: Williamstown, VT
2012: Finished 4th Overall in Allen Lumber Street Stock Standings
What are your favorite hobbies in the off-season?
I do a lot of hunting, and I work on vehicles and race cars. I’ve been hunting pretty much my whole life, but now I do it with my wife.
What do you do for work?
I work for E.E. Packard Enterprise. I drive the trucks, but we pretty much do it all!
What is your biggest life accomplishment?
I’d say meeting my wife. We actually met playing pool at a bar. The rest is history.
Big Plans for 2013?
Win the Street Stock Championship. That’s my big goal this year. Last year was a good year for us, so this year I want to close the deal.
What is the state of your car currently?
Going to the paint shop next week, all ready otherwise. It’s the same car I ran last year. We’re really excited about this car. I think in all my years of racing, this is the best car we’ve ever had.
What race are you looking forward to the most in 2013?
I’d say the opener, can’t get here quick enough! I just want to strap in again.
What was the highlight of the 2012 season for you?
It was all good. I’m not sure I have a certain one. Maybe the 50 lapper when I got dumped three times and came to the front after. Had to come from the rear all three times and still finished fifth. A lot of anger that day, but it was great to recover like that!
Do you have a hero? Someone you idolize as a racecar driver or try to emulate?
I would have to say my hero is Tony Stewart. Tony Stewart goes and gets what he wants, and I really admire that about him. Before him it was Dale Earnhardt, Sr., who I think is the same way.
Who is your biggest fan at the track?
I would say my wife. We have been married 15 years, so we’ve been together 16 years. She’s come to the races since I started in the Street Stocks, and has helped me build my car every year.
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
I’m a good guy away from the track. I think my on track personality can seem aggressive, or maybe angry, but off the track I really am a good guy!
How did you start racing?
Well, I use to go and watch Dipstick Tofani back in the day. We built an Enduro car, and we were a team one year. He was 20, another guy was 21, and I was 22. I ran a few Enduros at Thunder Road and I thought ‘I want to do a lot more of this.’ So in 1996 I built my first Street Stock and after that I was hooked.
Tell me about your family?
My parents aren’t around anymore, but my brothers come on occasion. They all live around here I have some nephews that like to tinker on the car. All of my nephews have had a hand or two on the car. Five nephews.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Probably still driving a Street Stock. I can’t afford to move up. I’m still having fun, and there are still a good old guys that still have fun.