Vincent Nobile, far lane, scored the $50,000 final-round win in the K&N Horsepower Challenge, beating Jason Line on a holeshot, 6.75 to 6.73.
Vincent Nobile became the youngest driver to win the K&N Horsepower Challenge, the special Pro Stock race-within-a-race bonus event, Saturday at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk.
Sophomore-sensation Nobile, 21, used a holeshot start in his Mountain View Tire Dodge Avenger in the final round of the K&N Horsepower Challenge and powered to a 6.750-second run at 205.94 mph to hold off veteran Jason Line’s quicker-but-later 6.732 and pick up the win and $50,000. Nobile wasn’t the only winner crowned in the final as Peggy Coleman, a tornado survivor from Joplin, Mo., won a new Toyota truck as Nobile’s fan representative selected from names submitted in an online contest.
"It's not about the money,” Nobile said. “It's not even about the trophy. It's about the story. Winning the race meant winning a Toyota Tundra for Peggy. She lost her house in a tornado, and it's great to be able to give her something back. We've had a pretty freaky year going on. It's so similar to last year that it's unreal. We won Houston back to back, and now Norwalk is treating me well again. Hopefully, it will carry on to tomorrow, and we can try to double up."
Nobile also used quick reactions to beat former world champ Mike Edwards in the semifinals, leaving first in a race in which both ran 6.733. In round one, Nobile upset Allen Johnson, the No. 1 qualifier for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, outrunning his fellow Dodge racer, 6.71 to 6.73.
Line, the No. 1 seed in the Challenge field based on a year’s worth of qualifying, beat Jeg Coughlin Jr. in round one and Summit Racing teammate and two-time defending Challenge champ Greg Anderson in the semifinals.
If Nobile can win Sunday’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, he can earn a $25,000 double-up bonus.