Nobile clinches spot in prestigious NHRA Countdown
SONOMA, CA – Following his quarterfinal finish in this weekend’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals, NAPA/Mountain View Racing Pro Stock driver Vincent Nobile has officially locked up one of the ten coveted spots in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
“At the start of every season, our goal is to finish in the top ten and now that we’ve achieved that, its time to set some new goals,” said Nobile. “We have three races left before the playoffs start but that doesn’t mean we can let up. We’re constantly working to try and make this team better, and that’s not going to change now that we’re guaranteed a spot in the top ten.”
Following the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Aug. 29-Sept. 3, the top ten drivers in each NHRA professional category will have their points totals adjusted and will move on to the final six “playoff” races, where they will compete for Full Throttle Championships. In his rookie season in 2011, Nobile entered the Countdown as the No. 4 seed in Pro Stock. He is currently ranked fifth in this year’s standings.
“I’d like to move up into the fourth spot again and I think that’s a reachable goal,” said Nobile. “I don’t think that it’s possible to be any higher than fourth but as we’ve seen with the NHRA Countdown, it’s possible for anyone in the top ten to win the championship.”
Racing in the rolling hills of Sonoma wine country, Nobile qualified the NAPA/Mountain View Avenger in the No. 5 spot with a quick 6.538 elapsed time and improved to a 6.529 in his opening round win over Kurt Johnson. In the quarterfinal round, Nobile made a very competitive 6.537 run, but lost to reigning world champion Jason Line, who ran a slightly quicker 6.534 elapsed time. Line also gained a rare starting line advantage over Nobile with a .001-reaction time.
“When we left, I thought I was late because I noticed that he jumped a head of me a little,” Nobile said. “We made a good run and I was pretty happy with the way I drove but Jason just did a better job. I really don’t have much to complain about. We’re just going to head to Seattle next week and see if we can’t do a little better.”
Next week, Aug. 3-5, the NAPA/Mountain View team will head north to Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., for the annual Northwest Nationals. The event marks the third and final race in the annual NHRA Western Swing that includes the events in Denver, Sonoma, and Seattle.