Gary Gardella Drives Chevy Cobalt To Ninth Consecutive Victory Wins All-ECOtec Final Round Over Ron Lummus WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Aug. 21, 2005 - Gary Gardella and his Ecotec-powered Chevy Cobalt continue to run stronger with each passing event.
Gary Gardella Drives Chevy Cobalt To Ninth Consecutive Victory Wins All-ECOtec Final Round Over Ron Lummus
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Aug. 21, 2005 - Gary Gardella and his Ecotec-powered Chevy Cobalt continue to run stronger with each passing event. The 26-year-old New Jersey native captured his third NHRA Sport Compact HOT ROD victory of the season today at the Inaugural Palm Beach Nationals at Moroso Motorsports Park by defeating Ron Lummus in another all-Ecotec-powered championship heat. Adding Gardella's six victories this year in the NOPI Pro 4 Cylinder category into the mix, it marked the ninth overall win this season in 11 final-found appearances for the Chevy Cobalt driver.
"It was another hot weekend," said Gardella. "But we're on a win streak and we're going to try our best to keep it going. This Ecotec-powered Chevy Cobalt continues to run strong and perform above and beyond our expectations. Racing those three events at Memphis, St. Louis and Bristol, where the temperatures were blazing and the racetrack was a little slick and greasy really came into play this weekend. But the car performed flawlessly, the crew did another great job and right now I couldn't be any happier. "
Gardella came into the Sunday eliminator with the Ecko Unlimited/Hot Hues Chevy Cobalt qualified in the No. 1 spot after running 7.942 seconds at 174.68 mph. He defeated Junior Espinal in round one with a 8.054 e.t. at 174.96 mph. Gardella was unopposed in round two but secured lane choice for the finals with a 7.995 second run at 174.48 mph. In the championship round against the Lummus Pontiac, Gardella's Chevy Cobalt launched first with a .091 reaction time and sprinted to the finish line with a winning 8.014 second lap at 173.91 mph. Lummus' Sunfire followed with an 8.016 e.t. at 178.81 mph. Gardella's margin of victory was .028 of a second.
Since losing to Lummus in the finals here in April, Gardella's been on an extraordinary run capturing nine consecutive victories (six in NOPI Pro 4 Cylinder and three in NHRA HOT ROD), and eight No. 1 qualifying awards.
"Whenever you're racing Ron (Lummus) in the finals you have to bring a little bit more than just your A-game," said Gardella. "In today's heat, you couldn't have asked for a better, more consistent racecar, and I can't thank the engineers at GM Racing enough for putting together such an outstanding performance package. As a team, this has certainly been the best year we've ever had, but the competition continues to get tougher and we'll have to keep at it to maintain our level of performance."