Known as “TMS”, (THE Mike Sawyer), he has enjoyed a highly successful career as a drag racer from the small town of Acton, Mass. His efforts have earned accolades and respect not only in New England, but on the national stage as well.
But all of his racing accomplishments have always taken the runner up stripe to his family. Mike literally grew up at New England Dragway with his parents, Ray and Denise, and his younger brother Brian. On the same day that he had earned his driver’s license in 1995, Mike was behind the wheel of Ray’s “Sudden Impact” 1967 Camaro.
Mike and his father Ray are the only father and son to be inducted into the New England Hot Rod Hall of Fame, which only further demonstrates how important family has been to Mike and to his success. Mike learned early on that as a family working together they could accomplish much. Mike became a scholar of the information his father Ray would collect and took it to the next level. He earned respect from the drag racing community for his willingness to help others, and to provide technical tuning advice. On top of that he displayed great talent at reciting Boston Bruins goalie, Tuukka Rask’s latest stats while sharing an evening drink.
Mike was instrumental in the development of several revolutionary products such as the APD Speed MAX carburetor, and the Autometer Datalogger. He also worked with Brian Bell and Dan Page to bring the Chevrolet C7 Corvette roadster body to production. Mike’s own version of this roadster is equipped with functioning factory headlights and taillights, and is truly a Best Engineered race car.
Mike has also accomplished much behind the wheel during his drag racing carreer. He has appeared in 35 NHRA Divisional finals and won 19 of those. He doubled up at two of those races by winning both Super Street and Super Gas at the same event. Mike has appeared in 11 NHRA National Event Finals and won seven times. He has been the NHRA Division 1 Champion four times. He has finished in the Top Ten in Division 1 18 times out of the 25 years that he has been racing. He has finished second in the NHRA National Point Standings twice and finished in the NHRA Top Ten National Points nine times. Mike has qualified for the Jeg’s All Star Championship six times and won that title twice. In 2009 Mike doubled up in Chicago, winning the Jeg’s All Star Event and the NHRA National Event there.
And that year he was joined in the winner’s circle by a young lady named Kari Larson, to whom he is now married. Kari was instrumental in helping Mike gain his greatest title and the one he is most proud of – Father.
The Orientals Hot Rod Club is very pleased to recognize Mike Sawyer as a 2020 New England Hot Rod Hall of Fame Inductee.