Gardella and Chevy Cobalt Stay Hot With Win at Memphis NOPI Nationals Victory is Eighth in a Row MILLINGTON, Tenn., July 31, 2005 - Earlier this spring Gary Gardella's new ECOtec-powered Ecko/Hot Hues Chevrolet gave Cobalt its first-ever win in...
Gardella and Chevy Cobalt Stay Hot With Win at Memphis
NOPI Nationals Victory is Eighth in a Row
MILLINGTON, Tenn., July 31, 2005 - Earlier this spring Gary Gardella's new ECOtec-powered Ecko/Hot Hues Chevrolet gave Cobalt its first-ever win in drag racing competition with a victory at the NOPI DC Nationals, and amazingly the 26-year-old New Jersey native hasn't lost since. Gardella kept his streak intact with his sixth Pro 4 Cylinder victory of the season at the NOPI Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park. Combined with his two wins this year in the NHRA HOT ROD category, it was his eighth victory in a row and eighth win overall this season. The impressive streak leaves him on top of the Modified Mag Pro 4 Cylinder points standings.
"I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but this Chevy Cobalt is just awesome," said Gardella. "No matter what the track conditions, this car just seems to go straight down the track. We're into that hot, steamy time of the summer where the tracks can be a real challenge to get a handle on, but it doesn't seem to make a difference to this Ecko/Hot Hues Chevy Cobalt.
"But it hasn't come without hard work, and I can't say enough about the guys on this team," said Gardella. "They make it look easy, but they've been working their tails off all season. We continue to learn things about this car, and they just keep working hard to try and make it better. We'll just keep riding this wave for as long as it lasts."
Gardella entered the Sunday eliminator with his ECOtec-powered Cobalt qualified in the No. 1 position, the sixth time this year that his Chevrolet has started from the lead position. During Saturday time trials, Gardella's Cobalt rolled off the trailer with a solid elapsed time of 8.248 seconds at 158.43 in round one, and he retained the top spot on the grid with a third-round qualifying run of 8.093 seconds at 173.25 mph.
With his No. 1 qualifying effort Gardella received a bye in the first round of eliminations. In Round 2 he defeated Stephane Beauregard with a winning elapsed time of 8.108 seconds at 172.81 mph, and in a repeat of their final-round showdown at Virginia earlier this year Gardella bested Chuck Seitsinger with a near-identical elapsed time of 8.109 seconds at 174.19 mph to Seitsinger's 8.371 e.t. at 173 .47 mph.
"This Chevy Cobalt seemed to get better every time we went down the track," said Gardella. "I'm just amazed at the consistent runs we were able to make all weekend long. It's a real testament to the GM Racing team and the kind of car they've put together with the ECOtec power and the Hydra-Matic transmission. It's performed flawlessly all year."
In the NOPI Chic series, Brittany Kindle qualified her ECOtec-powered Chevy Cobalt Phase5 No. 2 but lost to Katrina Thompson in Round 1. No. 1 qualifier Anna Comingore was the event winner.
The next stop on the NDRA racing circuit is the NOPI Nationals at Atco Raceway Park in Atco, N.J., on Aug. 27-28.