Nobile gets a case of summertime blues in Brainerd
BRAINERD, MN – Statistically speaking, NAPA/Mountain View Racing driver Vincent Nobile is the best driver in Pro Stock with the ability to consistently gain a starting line advantage against his opponents. As good as he is, even the best sometimes make mistakes and Nobile wasn’t afraid to admit it after suffering a rare first round loss at last weekend’s Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd. In the opening round of Pro Stock eliminations, Nobile had a .066-second reaction time, one of the worst of his career, and was defeated by good friend Larry Morgan, who ran a 6.60 to beat Nobile’s quicker 6.58.
“That was embarrassing and unacceptable,” said Nobile. “I made a mistake. I was setting the brake pressure just before stating and accidently turned on the stage bulb. By the time I realized it, it was too late and I was totally off-guard. It was absolutely my fault and I feel bad about it because my crew gave me a race car that was good enough to win this race. I did the same thing in Denver last month, but I’m determined not to let it happen again.”
In qualifying, Nobile had been among the leaders with a 6.576, which was good for the No. 4 seed in the 16-car field. The Nick Mitsos-tuned Mopar Avenger has qualified in the top half of the field in each of the first 15 events of the season.
“In qualifying, we did just fine,” Nobile said. “The car made several good runs and it responded to the changes we made. We did install a new engine, but it was a good one and I think we were going to have a long day on race day until I decided to mess it up.”
Despite the loss, Nobile remains a solid contender for the NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock championship. With one race remaining before the Countdown to the Championship playoffs start, he has already locked up one of the ten spots in the Countdown, which means he will contend for the title over the last six events of the season.
“The good news is that if I was going to make a mistake, this was the race to do it because we’ve already locked up our spot in the Countdown. I just need to make sure that we eliminated mistakes like this going forward. When you get to the last six races of the year, you have to be just about perfect in order to win the championship. That’s where our focus is right now.”
The NAPA/Mountain View team will be back in action Aug. 30-Sept. 3 at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at historic Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.