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Sep 04, 2014 - 02:19 PM
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2014 NHRA: Nobile Ready To Enter 'Countdown Mode' As Playoffs Begin
Posted by: newsla on Sep 04, 2014 - 02:13 PM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Nobile Ready To Enter 'Countdown Mode' As Playoffs Begin


Following a semifinal finish at the rain-delayed Brainerd event and a quarterfinal finish at the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Vincent Nobile and the Mountain View Tire & Auto Service NHRA Pro Stock team have secured their spot in the Countdown to the Championship. Nobile will start in the seventh spot and will begin the six-race playoffs just 70-points behind leader and teammate Jason Line.

 

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“We’ve struggled a little bit this summer at a few races but now that the Countdown is here, it is time to wipe the slate clean; Everyone gets a fresh start,” Nobile said. “The truth is that anyone who qualifies for the Countdown has a chance to the win the championship and that’s pretty much the attitude our team has. We think to ourselves, ‘Why not us?’”

Nobile, in his first season driving a Chevy Camaro, recorded a win and seven semifinal finishes in the first 18 races of the year. Using engine from the KB Racing team, he also qualified No. 1 in Pomona and Topeka, providing a glimpse of the team’s potential.

“The funny thing is that I don’t think we’ve really hit our stride yet,” said Nobile. “There have been times this year when our car has been very good but we’ve also missed the set-up a few times in qualifying and that has hurt us. If just a couple of small things would have gone our way, I could see us with three or four wins and we could be ranked much higher than seventh in the Countdown. That’s why I’m so optimistic. I’d rather that we were on top of our game in the last six races of the year than the first six. That’s how you win a championship.”

Last week in Indianapolis, Nobile lost to former teammate Jeg Coughlin in the semifinal round of the Brainerd race, which was delayed for two weeks by rain. After an even start, Nobile’s car spun the tires and he trailed Coughlin across the finish line, 6.63 to 6.71.

Two days later in final eliminations for the U.S. Nationals, Nobile defeated Matt Hartford in round one but lost a close race in round two against rookie Jonathan Gray, who needed a win to make the Countdown playoffs. In that race, both drivers ran identical 6.639 elapsed times but Gray got off the starting line first and maintained that advantage to the finish line. With Gray in the Countdown, Nobile’s teammate, Greg Anderson, finished outside the top ten. Anderson missed the first five races of the season after undergoing heart surgery.

“I hate it for Greg,” Nobile said. “He’s my teammate and he deserves to be in the Countdown. I tried to help him out but we came up a little bit short. Now, we just need to focus on doing the best job we can during these last six races.”

Nobile and the NAPA/Mountain View Tire & Auto Service team will begin the playoffs at the NHRA Carolina Nationals, Sept. 12-14 at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C. Qualifying for the NHRA Carolina Nationals will take place on Friday, Sept. 12 at 3:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. and on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 2:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Final eliminations will begin at noon on Sunday, Sept. 14.


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