Hoyos Sets Pro FWD National Record in Chevy Cavalier; Kubo Uses Ecotec Power to Post Speed Record MORRISON, Colo., June 12, 2004 - After driving his Ecotec-powered Chevy Cavalier to the quickest pass by a Pro FWD competitor in NHRA Sport Compact...
Hoyos Sets Pro FWD National Record in Chevy Cavalier; Kubo Uses Ecotec Power to Post Speed Record
MORRISON, Colo., June 12, 2004 - After driving his Ecotec-powered Chevy Cavalier to the quickest pass by a Pro FWD competitor in NHRA Sport Compact Drag Racing, one can expect Nelson Hoyos to feel a mile high. The Hollywood, Fla., native made an impressive 7.786-seconds pass at 188.60 mph to claim the No. 1 qualifying spot and set a national elapsed-time record in Pro FWD for tomorrow's eliminations at the inaugural NHRA Sport Compact Nationals at Bandimere Speedway just outside of Denver. Just as impressive as the record run in the always-challenging high altitudes of the Rocky Mountains was the fact that Hoyos posted his mark on the very first of today's three qualifying passes down the quarter-mile strip. He then backed up the time to claim the national record on his third and final qualifying run with a nearly identical elapsed time of 7.789 seconds. This is the second consecutive NHRA Sport Compact Drag Racing event that Hoyos has claimed the top spot in Pro FWD, matching his No. 1 qualifying effort at Atco (N.J.) Raceway last month. "That just felt wonderful," said an obviously excited Hoyos. "We wanted that so bad. After running that first 7.78, we said we have got to back this thing up before we go into eliminations. We knew we'd be going into eliminations with a lot more confidence, and obviously even have an opportunity to do it better in eliminations. So the quicker we backed it up, the better it was going to be for us. And here we go and back it up almost to the thousandth. That's fantastic. These guys just did a great job.
"We came here on Wednesday to do some testing because we didn't have any high-altitude data," said Hoyos, the 2003 Pro FWD champion. "Wednesday we had to cut it short because the rain clouds really came in, but we had made some good, solid 8.00 runs, so we thought we were at least in the hunt. On Thursday we came out and ran solid, back-to-back 8.00 runs at 185 mph, so we thought we were getting this perfected. If we look at everybody else that is about two or three tenths off, then those are stellar runs for us. So we were very confident coming in, but to run this 7.78, this is just enormous for us. At sea level, that could well have been a run in the .50s.
"We definitely learned some things from testing. There were some specific things that we changed to correct for the altitude and the barometers, and boy they worked exactly the way we thought they would and it showed in the results. First time out of the gate and the car worked great. The guys have just really been doing a great job. They're really hustling. We need to go off on the pole, and we need to win this event just for them."
Lisa Kubo was not going to let Hoyos take all the spotlight and used the Ecotec power in her Saturn Ion to claim the Pro FWD national record for speed. The current Pro FWD points leader qualified second with an elapsed time of 8.066 seconds at 191.00 mph. She backed up her speed for the national record on her third and final qualifying run with a speed of 189.79 mph.
"I guess it's fitting that one of us has the speed record and the other one has the e.t. record, considering how we've battled each other all year long," said Kubos. "We had three good, consistent runs, they just weren't quite quick enough."
In HOT ROD, Marty Ladwig was No. 1 qualifier in his Pontiac Sunbird for the third time this season with an elapsed time of 8.331 seconds at 172.19 mph. Ladwig started the 2004 NHRA Sport Compact season with consecutive HOT ROD class poles, at the season-opener at Fontana (Calif.) and at the next event at Moroso Motorsports Park in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and the 2003 HOT ROD champ currently sits No. 1 in the points standings
"It was a good day," said Ladwig. "I'm real happy with the car. We were just real consistent and things are good."
Television coverage of the NHRA Sport Compact Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 on Thursday, July 1, starting at 2:30 p.m. (ET), and 30 minutes of event coverage will re-air on ESPN2 on Sunday, July 11, at 2:30 a.m. (ET).