Semifinals no longer enough for Nobile
MADISON, IL – Vincent Nobile accomplished his primary goal by driving the NAPA/Mountain View Dodge Avenger to another semifinal finish in this weekend’s NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event at Gateway Motorsports Park, but now the second-year pro admits that isn’t enough to satisfy his expectations.
“We need to make some finals and we need to win some races,” said Nobile. “All along, we’ve said that we want to be consistent and get to the semifinals at every race because that is the benchmark of a good team but we want more. We know how to win races and we need to do that more often.”
In his first event at Gateway Motorsports Park, a new addition to the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing series tour this season, Nobile qualified the Nick Mitsos-owned Dodge in the No. 6 spot and drove to race day wins over Chris McGaha and four-time world champion Greg Anderson before losing a bizarre race against Mopar teammate Allen Johnson. Both Nobile and Johnson spun the tires off the starting line, but Johnson was able to recover first to win with a sub-par 8.56 elapsed time.
“The race track was not what we thought it was going to be and the car went sideways as soon as I let the clutch out,” said Nobile, who defeated Johnson in a similar race earlier this year in Norwalk, Ohio. “I tried to get back on it but by the time I got the car pointed in the right direction, it was too late. Allen was already gone. There wasn’t really anything I could do.”
Nobile, who has been to the semifinal round in ten of 19 events this season, is currently in fourth place, 150-points behind leader Johnson but is just 24 points behind third-ranked Erica Enders.
“It’s a shame that we couldn’t get past Allen because we had a good car and obviously if we had won that race, we would have been one round closer to him in the point standings. As it is, we’re in fourth place and it’s going to be pretty hard to get anything higher than second place. Still, that would be an improvement over last year and that would be a big accomplishment for this team so that will be our focus for the last three races of the year.”
The NAPA/Mountain View team will now head to Reading, Pa. for this weekend’s event at Maple Grove Raceway.