Brittany Kindle Enjoying Life Just Fine In Her New Chevy Cobalt Phase5 New York City Resident Looking To Build On Richmond Win May 10, 2005 - If you talk to Brittany Kindle, she'll tell you that driving her new Chevy Cobalt Phase5 is about the...
Brittany Kindle Enjoying Life Just Fine In Her New Chevy Cobalt Phase5
New York City Resident Looking To Build On Richmond Win
May 10, 2005 - If you talk to Brittany Kindle, she'll tell you that driving her new Chevy Cobalt Phase5 is about the most fun she's had racing in a long time. In just her second race this year behind the wheel of the Ecotec-powered Cobalt Phase5 at the NOPI Nationals in Richmond, Va., the 22-year-old New York City resident claimed her first NOPI Chic victory of the season, and that's just for starters. A week later at the NHRA Sport Compact race in Englishtown, N.J., Kindle ran her quickest time to date in the new Chevrolet after posting a lap of 12.58 seconds, and when you look at the season ahead, things promise to only get better for this up-and-coming racer.
"There's a point when you know your equipment is going to run nicely and is set up well, and with the Cobalt Phase5 that's where we are now," explained Kindle. "It's a great position to be in, especially when you look at how we struggled last year with our old car."
The production-based Cobalt Phase5 race car that Kindle drives features powertrain, chassis and safety components developed by GM Racing - including a 500+ horsepower race-prepared Ecotec engine that inspired the Phase5 name. The heart of the Cobalt Phase5 is a turbocharged 2.2-liter Ecotec engine that's been modified to produce 535 horsepower while retaining 65 percent of the production-engine parts. The race car features GM and aftermarket components, including a race-prepared Hydra-Matic 4T65-E automatic transmission, suspension upgrades, and performance electronics.
"A lot of people in the classes we compete in don't have the luxury of a car as reliable and consistent as the Cobalt Phase5, and that's definitely to our advantage," said Kindle. "When you can drive a car as fast, as consistent and as reliable as the Cobalt Phase5, it gives me more confidence and one less thing to worry about. All I have to do now is cut a good light and get it to the finish line."
Five years ago Kindle and her husband Jeramy got their start in drag racing at some of the local quarter-mile strips in their home state of Texas. Jeramy was the first of the two to get involved with the straight-line acceleration sport, and when the two would head off to some of the various bracket meets in the Lone Star State, Brittany tagged along as Jeramy's biggest fan. But a suggestion by some friends in 2003 that Brittany should give driving a try prompted her to enter a NOPI Chic eliminator in Dallas, and from then on she was hooked.
"I really enjoyed it, and from watching Jeramy race, became very involved and aware with how everything worked," explained Kindle. "We had some friends in San Antonio that felt I should give it a shot, so I went to Dallas and from there it snowballed because I really enjoyed it, knew a lot about what was going on and everything kind of fell into place. After that, Jeramy and I followed the NOPI series that year and it took off from there.
"When I first started it took me a little time to get used to the nuts and bolts of driving the car, but at the same time, I was already very educated about it because I had always been very attentive to what Jeramy had been doing with his car. I knew exactly why everything was happening, why we won and lost and was very involved. Once I got into the car, it fell into place because I knew what I was doing and things just seemed to work out well for me."
During the past two years, Kindle's love for speed and competition has taken her from seat time in sport-compact bracket cars all the way to the quarter-mile bullets in the All Motor category. Kindle's skills have allowed her to adjust quickly to the noticeable difference in speed and acceleration, and her high visibility as a sport-compact personality made a prime candidate for one of the new Chevy Cobalt Phase5 cars.
"I primarily bracket raced my first year," explained Kindle. "I raced an All Motor car shortly after that so I went from an automatic, completely-stock car that ran a quarter-mile in around 18 seconds to driving a full drag car that was running 11 second laps. The acceleration on an All Motor car is very similar to the acceleration of, say, Gary Gardella's Pro 4 Cylinder Chevy Cobalt, except an All Motor car doesn't have the power on the top end. You feel a hard launch off the starting line with all the power coming in at once, and then it tails off at the end. It was a huge step for me because I had never raced anything in between, but that got me hooked even more on drag racing."
In 2004, Kindle managed to scratch out a second place finish behind Loan Nguyen in NOPI Chic despite a series of chronic parts failure and breakage in her old car. Climbing into the new Chevy Cobalt Phase5, she knows those concerns are behind her now as she prepares to make a run at this year's title.
"Having the new Cobalt Phase5 and going from race to race with it, we're having a really great time," said Kindle. "When you have a car that breaks all the time like we did last year, the enjoyment of it all runs out pretty quick. We always look back to the first years we raced. We traveled across the country and had an amazing time. Last year at the end of the season we had lost that - it wasn't fun anymore with all the effort we were putting into it. Once the GM deal came along, it was a saving grace for us and put the fun back into racing for Jeramy and me."
At her first race this season at Budds Creek, Md., Kindle dialed in her Chevy Cobalt Phase5 with a 13.02 elapsed time. In the semifinals against Teresa Sherill, Kindle broke out with a 12.946 second run, but looking at the positive results of the round, it was the first time she had ever run in the 12s with the Cobalt Phase5 and was her best lap in the new car up to that time.
"We told ourselves that the only way we would be okay with losing would be to break out because that would mean we would have to run in the 12s," said Kindle. "I had run 11 seconds in a Pro car, but I had never been faster than 13 seconds in a street car, and that's what happened at Budds Creek. We broke out and ran in the 12s, but we were okay with that because it ended up being a milestone for me. It was bittersweet in the sense that we lost the race but it was pretty exciting as well. We couldn't have lost the race in better fashion, and the great thing is that we're still not running our 500-horsepower Ecotec engine up to its full potential yet."
Two weeks later at the NOPI Nationals in Richmond, Va., Kindle gave the Chevy Cobalt Phase5 its first win in NOPI drag racing competition with three solid laps on raceday that were separated by just .082 of a second. The 22-year-old Kindle qualified her Cobalt Phase5 in the No. 2 position with an elapsed time of 12.715 seconds at 102.66 mph, and then posted laps of 12.636 seconds, 12.728 seconds and 12.664 en route to her first win in '05. In addition to the consistency of Kindle's Chevrolet, the Cobalt Phase5 demonstrated an amazing degree of reliability and was the only car that solidly held together throughout the entire event.
"At Richmond we felt that we had the Cobalt Phase5 dialed in pretty close but it was just a matter of me getting comfortable with the car," said Kindle. "It was nice to win there. I absolutely love my new Cobalt Phase5. We had so many mechanical problems last year with the old car so it's great to be in car that runs so well, is completely solid and is so easy to maintain. The Chevy Cobalt Phase5 has been nothing but great. We're only two races into the season so it's easy to imagine where we can go from here.
"Everyone loves the Cobalt Phase5. It's fast, it looks amazing, it's a fun car to drive and is perfect for what Chevrolet is trying to market to our age group. As long as we can continue to enjoy ourselves at a competitive level, then we'll continue to race and see where it takes us. One thing we've learned is take it race to race, season to season, one step at a time. This year we're going after that championship again and having the Chevy Cobalt Phase5 is going to help us get there."