Gary Gardella, Chevy Cobalt Score 10th Straight Win 2005 NOPI Pro 4 Cylinder Champion Takes Home State Victory ATCO, N.J., Aug. 28, 2005 - If Chevy Cobalt driver Gary Gardella wins any more races this year, he'll have to start using his toes to...
Gary Gardella, Chevy Cobalt Score 10th Straight Win
2005 NOPI Pro 4 Cylinder Champion Takes Home State Victory
ATCO, N.J., Aug. 28, 2005 - If Chevy Cobalt driver Gary Gardella wins any more races this year, he'll have to start using his toes to keep count. The 26-year-old New Jersey native captured his seventh NOPI Pro 4 Cylinder victory of the season today with another strong, consistent showing at the second annual New Jersey Nationals at Atco Raceway. Adding Gardella's three wins this year in the NHRA HOT ROD category, it marked the 10th overall victory this season in 12 final-round round appearances for the recently crowned 2005 NOPI Pro 4 Cylinder champion.
"There's nothing better than winning a race in your home state," said Gardella. "All season long this Ecotec-powered Chevy Cobalt has been fast and consistent, and we've had the luxury of knowing pretty much what it's going to run every time we take it to the starting line. If you look at all of our races this year, with the exception of maybe the first couple where we were still learning a new racecar, this Chevy Cobalt has made almost every lap down the track - that's incredible! Especially when you consider all of the extra information that provides us about learning how to run the car. No aborted passes means that much more we're finding out about racing this Chevrolet, and I feel that's one of the primary reason for our success this season."
Gardella came into the Sunday eliminator with the Ecko Unlimited/Hot Hues Chevy Cobalt qualified in the No. 1 spot after running 7.966 seconds at 173.23 mph during one round of Saturday time trials. With the rest of the Saturday session rained out, Gardella's low e.t. held up during a single round of qualifying on Sunday. In the first eliminator heat, Gardella received a bye but still sprinted to an e.t. of 8.095 seconds. He defeated Joe Demaree in round two running 7.987 seconds, and in the finals against John Shepard, the candy-apple red Chevy Cobalt crossed the finish line first with an 8.013 e.t. at 175 mph. The Eagle Talon of John Shepard finished with a run of 8.75 seconds. Since a final-round loss at the NHRA Sport Compact event at West Palm Beach, Fla., in April, Gardella has now won 10 straight eliminators (seven in NOPI Pro 4 Cylinder and three in NHRA HOT ROD), and captured nine No. 1 qualifying awards.
"John (Shepherd) really raised his game this weekend, and in the finals, he gave us just about everything we could handle," said Gardella. "My hat goes off to John and that whole team, they really did a fantastic job this weekend. At the same time, the Ecko Unlimited/Hot Hues Chevrolet team keeps doing a magnificent job on our racecar and it's only going to get better as we head into the final few races of the season."
The NOPI Chic category saw Brittany Kindle race to the No. 1 qualifying position in the Chevy Cobalt Phase5 and a semifinal-round appearance. Kindle made her best run ever in the Chevy Cobalt Phase5 during round one of eliminations on Sunday posting a 12.16-second elapsed time.
At the Formula Drift event at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, Calif., Rhys Millen and Pontiac GTO clinched the 2005 Formula D championship with an incredible performance that included a No. 1 qualifying effort and a second-place podium finish.