Team Chevy's Gary Gardella Wins Pro Outlaw FWD at Milan Dragway Gardella and Hunt Battle in All-Ecotec, All-Chevy Cobalt Final MILAN, Mich., July 22, 2007 - At the NOPI Michigan Sport Compact Nationals at Milan Dragway, Gary Gardella captured...
Team Chevy's Gary Gardella Wins Pro Outlaw FWD at Milan Dragway
Gardella and Hunt Battle in All-Ecotec, All-Chevy Cobalt Final
MILAN, Mich., July 22, 2007 - At the NOPI Michigan Sport Compact Nationals at Milan Dragway, Gary Gardella captured his first national event victory of the year in the Pro Outlaw FWD category by defeating Jason Hunt in the all-Ecotec, all-Chevy Cobalt final round. It was the first time that the NDRA series had competed at the Milan quarter-mile, and the Red Bull Chevy Cobalt driver capitalized on the opportunity by earning a race win that is sure to add some boost to his 2007 championship aspirations.
"That's what we've been working toward for the last six months," said Gardella. "Our Red Bull Chevy Cobalt was flawless this weekend and started to run the numbers that we've come to expect. It's been a long time since we've gone home with the winner's trophy, and this one was pretty special."
Gardella qualified his Red Bull Chevrolet Cobalt in the No. 1 position after running 7.502 seconds at 204.59 mph. Hunt's Matco Tools Chevrolet was qualified in the No. 2 position with a 7.533 e.t. at 198.40 mph. The two paired up in the final round on Sunday with Gardella taking the win on a holeshot, his Ecotec-powered Chevy Cobalt running 7.516 seconds at 196.57 mph to Hunt's quicker 7.485 e.t. at 200.86 mph.
It was the fifth consecutive national event that the two Chevy Cobalt drivers have met in a final round (combining both NHRA and NDRA contests) and the first time in 2007 that the 28-year-old Gardella has come away the winner.
"This Red Bull Chevy Cobalt has been running phenomenally here lately," said Gardella. "The car is so consistent and has been great. At Las Vegas we stayed after the race there and worked on some things, that I think, helped us here. It made it so much easier to pick up where we left off, and to hit the track running as fast and as quick as we did here this weekend."
In the Turbo Street category, Brian Ballard, driving an Ecotec-powered Chevy Cobalt, was the No. 2 qualifier after posting a 9.387 second elapsed time at 155.25 mph. Ballard advanced to round two before losing to Jason Greenewalt.
Don Nase Jr. won the Pro Extreme category in the GM Ecotec-powered dragster. Nase qualified No. 1 with a 6.523 e.t. at 207.66 mph. Nase picked up the national-event victory trophy for the fifth time this season.
-credit: gm racing