Competing in their third event in three weeks as part of the exhausting NHRA western swing, the NAPA/Mountain View team was forced to work overtime during this weekend’s O’Reilly NHRA Northwest Nationals as they completed a pair of engine changes in their Dodge Avenger Pro Stock car. The hard work put in by crew chief Nick Mitsos and the rest of the crew paid off as driver Vincent Nobile drove to a pair of wins over Mark Wolfe and V. Gaines to reach the semifinal round for the sixth time in 15 races this season.
“This race was brutal,” said Nobile. “It was hot out and we worked our butts off. We changed an engine before the first round and then we found out that we had a problem with that engine so we changed it again before the semifinals. To be honest, we were lucky to go as far as we did but it says a lot for how hard our crew works. They never panicked and they never complained; we all just went to work and got the job done.”
In the semifinals, Nobile’s day ended when he dropped a 6.65 to 6.70 race against Jason Line. Since his debut in 2011, Nobile has raced the reigning NHRA Full Throttle champion 12 times and has come away with just four victories.
“Jason has been tough on me,” said Nobile. “He doesn’t have that big No. 1 on the side of his car by accident. I actually think I could have beaten him if we had lane choice but after we hurt that engine in the first round, we got a little behind and by the time I got to the semi’s, I was stuck in the right lane, which was a bit trickier to negotiate than the left lane had been. It was hot and the car spun the tires right on the starting line and I did all I could to get it down the track.”
Nobile finished the three-race Western Swing with a 5-3 record in elimination rounds. He also locked up his spot in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs which will determine the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Series champions.
“Overall, I’d say the Western Swing was not too bad for our team,” said Nobile. “Obviously, we’re out here to win just like everyone else and when you have success, it raises your expectations but I can’t say I’m unhappy with a semifinal. Now, I’m looking forward to going home and taking a weekend off. We’ll be ready for the next race in Brainerd.”
The NAPA/Mountain View team will be back in action Aug. 17-19 at the Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd Int’l Raceway in Brainerd, Minn.
Source: Mountain View Racing