Team Chevy's Jason Hunt Collects a Pair of Victories at Maryland International Raceway Hunt's Ecotec-Powered Chevrolet Sets NDRA Pro Outlaw FWD Top Speed Record at 200.11 MPH BUDDS CREEK, Md., May 20, 2007 - Team Chevy's Jason Hunt scored a ...
Team Chevy's Jason Hunt Collects a Pair of Victories at Maryland International Raceway
Hunt's Ecotec-Powered Chevrolet Sets NDRA Pro Outlaw FWD Top Speed Record at 200.11 MPH
BUDDS CREEK, Md., May 20, 2007 - Team Chevy's Jason Hunt scored a rare two-for-two this weekend at Maryland International Raceway with a pair of victories in the NDRA Pro Outlaw FWD category. The driver of the Matco Tools Chevy Cobalt captured a victory over Gary Gardella during the completion of the postponed event from Atco Raceway (N.J.) two weeks ago (which was completed this weekend at MIR), and Hunt then went on to defeat Gardella in a second all-Chevy Cobalt final round in the championship heat of the DC Spring Nationals.
"You certainly can't plan a weekend like this," said Hunt. "The opportunity doesn't come along very often, and when it does there's no way of knowing how it will turn out. With as good as Gary's been running recently, both of those final rounds could have gone either way. That's a good couple of days for us, though. The Matco Tools Chevy Cobalt was solid during qualifying and eliminations, and the results from both contests solidified our hold on first place."
In the make-up final round from Atco Raceway, Hunt's Chevrolet took the win light over Gardella with a 7.622 e.t. and an NDRA national record top speed of 200.11 mph, the first time the local Maryland resident has broken through the 200-mph barrier in his Ecotec-powered Cobalt.
For the DC Spring Nationals, Gardella's Chevy Cobalt took No. 1 qualifying honors with a 7.571 e.t. at 194.69. But in the finals, Hunt drove away with his second winner's trophy of the weekend by posting a winning 7.548 e.t. at 196.70 mph to Gardella's 7.683 second run at 195.45 mph. The two-time defending Pro Outlaw FWD champion has now won all four NDRA contests this season.
"It was a long weekend," said team-owner Charlie Schafer. "We got here on Wednesday, tested Wednesday and Thursday and came out ready to go for qualifying. We learned a lot, and in the long run, the effort we put in here during these last few days is going to pay off.
"This is precisely what we wanted to do. The car ran about the same number round after round, and to go over 200 mph, that was really an after thought because of the way the car bogged at the starting line. It's also something that we really haven't been trying to do, but we'll take it. It just shows how good this racecar can be."
"We're going to win some races," said Gardella. "Every week we keep getting quicker, and every week we get an even better handle on this racecar. Before we running top speeds in the 180-mph range and now we're consistently driving in the mid to high 190s with elapsed times consistently in the 7.50s. We're still learning, but our game is stepping up, and it shows."
In the Turbo Street category, Brian Ballard left Maryland International Raceway with a win and runner-up, the third victory in four contests for the K & N Filters Chevy driver. In the make-up event from Atco Raceway, Ballard eliminated Jason Greenewalt in round one (9.484ET/150.55MPH), and Jonathan Reynolds in round two (9.534ET/151.87MPH) to advance to the finals. In the championship heat against Felix Medina, Ballard's Chevy Cobalt ripped the quarter-mile strip with a winning 9.317 second run at 155.56 mph while Medina's Honda followed with 9.594 e.t. at 157.98 mph.
For the DC Spring Nationals, Ballard's Chevy Cobalt qualified in the No. 1 position with a 9.422 e.t. at 154.99 mph. On raceday he defeated Brian Stoll in round one (9.755ET/144.10MPH), David Campos in round two (9.994ET/119.42MPH) and Andrea Koury in round three (9.475ET/152.81MPH) to advance to the finals against Jonathan Reynolds. In the championship heat, Reynolds took the win with 9.540 e.t. at 160.61 mph to Ballard's 9.551 e.t. at 151.83 mph. The margin of victory was a slim .044 of a second.
"Getting two wins here this weekend would have been nice," said Ballard. "But at the same time, I can't think of anything else I would rather be doing. Win or lose, there's nothing more fun than driving my Chevy Cobalt through five rounds of drag-racing eliminations against some terrific competition."
The Pro 4 Cylinder category was where James Farrar collected two runners-up driving an Ecotec-powered Chevy Cobalt out of the Gary Gardella racing stable. Farrar lost in both finals, from Atco Raceway, and the event scheduled for this weekend at Budds Creek, to Stephanie Eggum.
In the Pro Extreme category, Don Nase Jr. collected his fourth win of the season in the GM Ecotec-powered dragster. Nase qualified in the No. 1 spot and won the event with a 6.879 e.t. at 175.18 mph.
-credit: gm racing