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2014 NHRA: Nobile's Back-To-Back Bid Derailed By Mechanical Woes
Posted by: newsla on Jul 08, 2014 - 06:27 AM
2014 NHRA: Nobile's Back-To-Back Bid Derailed By Mechanical Woes

A week after winning his first race of the season at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Vincent Nobile and the Mountain View Tire & Auto Service NHRA Pro Stock team headed for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk looking for a repeat. Nobile felt that he was well on his way to a second win in as many weeks, but the transmission in his KB Racing-powered Chevy Camaro had other ideas. Leading opponent Chris McGaha in the second round of eliminations, Nobile slowed when his transmission shifted directly from third to fifth gear.


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“We have no idea why it happened,” said Nobile. “This was a problem that we’ve never encountered before. Occasionally, a transmission will ‘dead-head’ which is basically getting stuck between gears but this time it went directly from third to fifth [gear]. After that, we had no hope.”

Once his transmission acted up, Nobile slowed to a 7.02 while opponent McGaha moved on to the semifinals with a 6.62-second run. Earlier in eliminations, Nobile defeated Australian Shane Tucker in the first round with a solid 6.590 run, one of the best of the round.

During two days and nights of qualifying, Nobile raced in front of a packed house at Summit Motorsports Park, which has become one of the most popular events on the NHRA Mello Yello Series tour. Nobile drove the purple Mountain View Camaro to a 6.551 in qualifying, which gave him a favorable No. 5 stating spot for eliminations.

“I’ve got no complaints about our race car right now,” Nobile said. “We didn’t make a perfect run in qualifying and we were still very quick. If we nail the set-up just right, we have the ability to be the No. 1 qualifier almost anywhere we go. As a driver, you can’t ask for much more than that from your team.”

With a string of starting line reaction times that have been among the best in the class, the Mountain View team also couldn’t ask for much more from Nobile. In his two elimination rounds, he had .004 reaction times, just a fraction of a second from perfect.

“When the car is right you feel comfortable and when you feel comfortable it shows up in your driving,” said Nobile. “Yes, I didn’t like to lose that round but now it just means we can go out west in two weeks and sweep the Western Swing.”

Last year, Nobile nearly pulled off the rare feat when he won back-to-back wins in Sonoma and Seattle. He missed the first leg of the Western Swing in Denver.

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