Enjoying The Journey

ENNIS, Texas (Oct. 3) -- While others stress out about the challenges of the Countdown to the Championship, Scott Palmer and the popular CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel dragster team prefer to stay focused on the No. 1 command from sponsor Tommy Thompson -- "Have fun."

"Tommy Thompson is so much more than a sponsor," Palmer said. "He's a friend, a true friend who always has our best interests at heart. He gives us everything we need to be successful and we certainly wouldn't have had a chance to contend for championships the last two years without his support

"But the thing about Tommy is he picked our team because he likes the way we race. We have fun and he loves that. He asks us all the time, 'Are you having fun?' He's that kind of guy. There is no one in motorsports I'd rather work for than Tommy Thompson. I'm the luckiest guy out here."

Two events into the six-race playoffs, Palmer is ninth overall with dreams of moving much higher in the rankings before his year is through. He's anxious to get a win also, something he came very close to doing earlier this year in Phoenix when he finished as runner-up.

"We made the playoffs and it was a real effort to make the cut," Palmer said. "Then we went out and ran as hard as we could the first two races and moved up a spot but really felt like we could have done more. We still feel that way but having had a week off, I had a chance to reflect on what Tommy always says about having fun and it kind of made me push the reset button on that.

"It's cool we're going to Dallas because Texas people know how to have fun, for sure, and we're all looking forward to putting pressure on the other teams while we just smile and do our thing. I can't wait to whack the throttle!"

Attendees of this weekend's 33rd annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals should make sure they stop by the CatSpot pit during warm-ups as Palmer and crew perform their crowd-pleasing "throttle whack" to prepare for each pass. They even back their dragster out into the middle of pit row so more fans can crowd around their 10,000-horsepower machine.

"The fans keep us alive," Palmer said. "They push us to do the best we can and the throttle whack is our way of telling them we love their support. I get so much positive feedback about the throttle whack. It's something we'll always do.

"That's part of having fun, and we need to keep focused on that."