Nobile is too quick for his own good
TOPEKA, KS – Having the quickest left foot in the NHRA Pro Stock class can have it’s disadvantages as Mountain View Racing’s Vincent Nobile found out at this weekend’s NHRA Dollar General Summernationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
Riding a string of incredible starting line reaction times, Nobile was a bit too quick for his own good as let the clutch out too soon and red-lighted by five-thousandths of a second during his second round race against Greg Anderson. Earlier, Nobile defeated Kurt Johnson using a perfect .000 reaction time, which means that he left the starting line at the exact instant the green light on the Christmas Tree starting system illuminated.
“As they say, ‘You live by the sword, you die by the sword,’” said Nobile. “I’ve been cutting it close at the last few races and it’s helped me win a lot of rounds but that time I was too close. In qualifying, I had a .009 light and a .003 light and then that perfect .000 light in the first round. We talked about trying the make an adjustment to try and slow me down a little but decided not to. As it turns out, I couldn’t have beat Greg even if I had another perfect light, so it really didn’t matter what we did.”
Nobile qualified for the Topeka event in the No. 7 spot with a 6.64-second elapsed time and improved to a 6.57 in his round one win over Johnson. Nobile ran a 6.59 in round two, but could not have beaten Anderson, who posted a 6.57 run.
Despite the loss, Nobile leaves Heartland Park Topeka as the fourth-ranked Pro Stock driver in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, a noteworthy improvement over the 2011 season, when he was ranked sixth following the Topeka event.
“Overall it wasn’t a bad weekend,” said Nobile. “This year started out a lot like last season, but now we’re making steady progress. The car is running great and we’re winning rounds at just about every race. I definitely think we’re a better team than we were last year.”
Nobile also accomplished another important goal in Topeka as he once again out-qualified Rodger Brogdon, who is his main rival for the final guaranteed spot in the upcoming K&N Horsepower Challenge in Norwalk, Ohio, July 7. The winner of the K&N Horsepower Challenge will receive a $50,000 bonus and Nobile currently enjoys a comfortable 45-point lead with three events remaining to make the exclusive eight-car field.
“We’ve been focusing on improving our qualifying results and that is also starting to pay off,” said Nobile. “We really want to make the K&N Horsepower Challenge and I think we’re in pretty good shape now. We just need to continue to qualify well.”
Nobile will now head to his home track, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. for the upcoming Toyota NHRA Super Nationals, May 31 -June 3. Last year, Nobile reached the final round in Englishtown before losing to his teammate, Allen Johnson in a battle of HEMI-powered Dodge Avengers.
“Our car is very strong and we’re going to have a lot of fan support in Englishtown,” said Nobile. “I’d love nothing more than to win a race at my home track. That would be awesome.”
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