Kubo Annihilates Competition with Top Qualifier, National Record, Win & Points Lead! Fontana, CA - Even a best-selling author could not have scripted a more perfect race day than the one that played out this past weekend for Lisa Kubo...
Kubo Annihilates Competition with Top Qualifier, National Record, Win & Points Lead!
Fontana, CA - Even a best-selling author could not have scripted a more perfect race day than the one that played out this past weekend for Lisa Kubo and the Saturn Motorsports Team at the opening event of the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series in Fontana, California.
Kubo delivered a blazing performance with her APC/Saturn Motorsports/Valvoline ION, tuned by husband, Gary Kubo, that included #1 qualifier, new national e.t. record, a win and the PRO FWD points lead. "We literally picked up right where we left off last year", exclaimed Jim Epler, Saturn Motorsports Director. "At the last NHRA race in 2003, we qualified #1, reset the national e.t. record and won the race, so the momentum from last year definitely carried over. But even better, we leave this race with a 41-point lead and that's a huge advantage that will no doubt be a critical factor in the championship."
Kubo and crew kicked off the start of the Nitto Tires NHRA Sport Compact Nationals presented by Import Tuner, qualifying #1 on Saturday with a blistering 8.028 elapsed time at 186.12 mph, the quickest run in PRO FWD history. That stellar run edged the team closer to the coveted 7-second barrier, a life-time achievement that has become the goal of every team out there and for Saturn Motorsports and their sponsors, APC and Valvoline, is almost as important as winning a championship. "We want to be the ones to break the 7-second barrier" stated Lisa Kubo. "We're closer to it now than anyone else so the pressure to get there first is intense."
While the team will have to wait for the next race to take another shot at the 7's, they still became the top story on race day Sunday. In the first round of eliminations, Kubo defeated JoJo Callos, running an 8.390 at 142.06 mph to JoJo's 9.273 at 145.28 mph. Between the first and final rounds, an extensive clean-up in the left lane caused a major delay which Gary Kubo and crew put to good use, spending 30 minutes studying the tricky track in anticipation of their final round against 2003 PRO FWD Champ, Nelson Hoyos, who had lane choice. The crew's detailed evaluation of the track provided the data they needed for a winning tune-up when Kubo clocked an 8.055 elapsed time at 180.79 mph over Hoyos' 8.397 at 180.48 mph in the final round. Not only did Kubo and crew take home the trophy, their 8.05 was within the required 1% to back-up the 8.02 for the new NHRA national elapsed time record. Kubo also proved to be the fan favorite as a record crowd in attendance chanted Lisa's name during the final and turned out in great numbers to congratulate her in the winner's circle.
As the Saturn Motorsports Team begins their quest for a 2004 championship, Jim Epler also expressed gratitude on behalf of the crew. "We want to thank our sponsors, APC, Valvoline, Matco Tools and all the great Authorized Saturn Motorsports Dealers across the country who support us. We know the best way to say thanks is through performance, so this win's for you."
The team returns to San Diego to savor their victory and prepare for the next event April 17th and 18th, the 2nd Annual BF Goodrich Tires NHRA Sport Compact Nationals at Moroso Motorsports Park in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
TV Coverage: ESPN2, March 28th, Noon (Eastern Time) and April 2nd, 1:00 am (Eastern Time)