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2014 NHRA: Three Races Three Semifinals For Nobile
Posted by: newsla on Mar 18, 2014 - 06:20 AM
2014 NHRA: Three Races Three Semifinals For Nobile

When the Mountain View Tire & Auto Service NHRA Pro Stock team made the bold decision to make the change to a Chevrolet Camaro this season they did so with the intention of improving their consistency. Three races into the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello season and it appears they have accomplished their goal after driver Vincent Nobile raced to the semifinals for the third time in as many events.


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“This is exactly what we had in mind when we brought out this new Camaro,” Nobile said. “We feel like we have a top four team which means, in theory, we should be able to go to the semifinals at every race and so far we’ve done that. Of course, we really want to be going to final rounds and winning races but if we continue to run the way we have been running, those wins will come. When you look at the big picture, which is the points standings, you’ve got to be in the top four or five and right now we’re getting that part handled.”

The Gainesville Pro Stock field was one of the quickest in history and Nobile was right in the thick of it when he drove the Nick Mitsos-owned and tuned Camaro to a 6.510 elapsed time that was good for the No. 6 spot in the field. Nobile was happy with the run, but admitted that the team could have been even better during qualifying.

“We had an issue with our front struts and even though we got it straightened out, it cost us a little bit of performance early in the race,” said Nobile. “Even though none of my runs was perfect, we were very competitive with everyone else in the field and that’s a great feeling.”

Nobile’s race day march to the Final Four began with a 6.57 to 6.56 holeshot win over Chris McGaha, a win that was only possible because Nobile got off the starting line two-hundredths of a second ahead of his opponent.

“Most times, this team wins because they give me a great car but every now and then I have to win one with my driving,” Nobile said. “I didn’t feel like I was particularly great on that run but it was good enough to get the job done and that works for me. In this class, you take round wins anyway you can get them.”

Paired with reigning champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the second round, Nobile knew he’d once again have to be sharp on the lights and he was with a .021 reaction time. However, Coughlin was even quicker with a .015 light yet the Mountain View Camaro managed to cross the finish line first by a matter of inches, winning by a 6.58 to 6.59 count.

“Jeg is tough,” Nobile said. “I mean he has that No. 1 on his car for a reason. I’ve had good success against him but that’s not typical. Most of the time, he has the edge but everyone on the team did their job on that run and that’s why we got the win.”

Nobile’s dream to win the prestigious Gatornationals ended when he lost in the semifinals to Erica Enders-Stevens. Nobile ran another 6.58, but couldn’t match Enders-Stevens’ 6.56-second run. Earlier in the weekend, Enders-Stevens set the NHRA speed record with a 214.69-mph run in her Elite Motorsports Camaro.

“I tried but she was just too tough this weekend,” Nobile said. “We came up a little short but right now, we’re No. 3 in the points and we’ve been a factor at each of the first three races so I know our time is coming. We just need to keep on doing what we’re doing.”

The Mountain View Tire & Auto Service team will be in action next on March 28-30 at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas. That event will also include the prestigious K&N Horsepower Challenge, a special event that is exclusive to the top eight Pro Stock drivers in the country. Nobile, who won the K&N Challenge in 2012, has already clinched his spot for this year’s event. He will be the No. 7 seed and will once again be paired with Coughlin in the opening round.

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