Temperatures Hot 104 Degrees At Gateway As Gardella's Chevy Cobalt Continues Hot Streak
Kindle Wins No. 3 In Cobalt Phase5
MADISON, Ill., July 24, 2005 - Turning in a strong weekend performance that was apropos given the 100-plus degree temperatures that blanketed the St. Louis metropolitan area, Chevy Cobalt driver Gary Gardella continued his torrid winning streak by capturing his fifth Pro 4 Cylinder victory of the season at the NOPI Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. Combined with his two wins this year in the NHRA HOT ROD category, it was the seventh victory in a row and the seventh win overall this season for the 26-year-old New Jersey native.
"This one was brutal," explained Gardella. "If there was ever a win that was earned it was this one. I can't remember when we've raced in temperatures this high and to be able to come out on top today, anything less would have been a big disappointment.
"We learned some things racing two weeks ago in Bristol (Tenn.) that came in handy here this weekend. That was our first opportunity to really put this car on a hot, sticky racetrack and some of the information that we picked up there we were able to use this weekend. The Ecko/Hot Hues Chevy Cobalt performed great and to get our seventh win in a row is a real tribute to the guys on this team that made it possible."
Gardella entered the Sunday eliminator with his ECOtec-powered Cobalt qualified in the No. 1 position, the fifth time this year that his Chevrolet has started from the lead position. During Saturday time trials, Gardella's Cobalt got stronger with each session running 8.234 seconds at 170.62 mph in round one, 8.146 seconds at 173.87 mph in round two and 8.128 seconds at 175. 25 mph in round three. On raceday, Gardella defeated Nathan Silveri in round one, Joe Demaree in round two and Kenny Tran in a final-round rematch from Bristol posting an 8.226 e.t. at 175.00 mph. Tran's Honda Civic broke and did not post either an e.t. or mph.
"Given the kind of track temps we experienced this weekend, the Hydra-Matic transmission was put to the ultimate test," said Gardella. "When other cars struggled, our Chevy Cobalt shot straight down the racetrack with the kind of consistency we've demonstrated all year long. Everyone and everything did its job, from the guys on the race team, to the incredibly reliable ECOtec engines, to the durable Hydra-Matic drivetrain that adapted flawlessly to these extreme conditions. This is just another win for all the great sponsors and supporters that allow us to race so competitively."
In the NOPI Chic series, Brittany Kindle drove the Chevy Cobalt Phase5 to her third win of the season in three final-round appearances. Kindle entered the Sunday eliminator qualified in the No. 3 spot. She defeated Kristin Garzillo in round one with a 12.306 e.t. at 114.02 mph, Linda Werdenhausen in round two with a 12.440 e.t. at 113.04 mph, and Loan Nguyen in the finals with a 12.395 second run at 108.65 mph. Nguyen's Honda trailed with a 12.889 e.t. at 105.78 mph.
The next stop on the NDRA racing circuit is the O'Reilly Auto Parts NOPI Nationals on July 30 - 31 at Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, Tenn.