Nobile sweeps event; Massey, Neff, Hines also win in Norwalk
Sunday, July 08, 2012
Spencer Massey raced to his fourth Top Fuel victory of the season Sunday at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
Mike Neff (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock), and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.
Massey powered his FRAM/Prestone dragster to his first Norwalk win with a quicker reaction time at the start to hold off the quicker, but losing, Capco Contractors dragster of final-round opponent Steve Torrence. With the victory, Massey returns to the series points lead.
“I knew the final round was going to be huge," said Massey. "Steve was running awesome all day. He’s been running awesome all season, actually. I’m from Texas, he’s from Texas, and we both drove Top Alcohol Dragsters in Division 4. The weather here was even hot like it is in Texas."
In Funny Car, Neff claimed his second win of the season and second at this track by defeating Tim Wilkerson in the final round. Neff drove his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to a performance of 4.217 seconds at 298.21 to hold off Wilkerson's Levi, Ray & Shoup Mustang.
“I don’t know how it all works, but Norwalk has definitely been good to me," Neff said. "We’ve done fairly well on the hotter racetracks. We usually do pretty well on those. And sometimes, it just seems like you go some places that you just always do well at, and then there are some tracks you go to and it just seems like you can never do any good no matter how you’ve been doing up to that point. Tim Wilkerson put up a heck of a run over there. It had to be very close at the finish line, so it was just our day.”
In Pro Stock, Nobile celebrated an NHRA sweep in the winner’s circle after claiming his second win of the season. In the final round, he powered his Mountain View Tire Dodge Avenger to a performance of 6.661 seconds at 208.01 mph to defeat the Summit Racing Chevy Camaro of defending world champ Jason Line. Nobile also defeated Line in the final of Saturday's K&N Horsepower Challenge.
With the victory, Nobile claimed more than $100,000 for the weekend; he also won the $50,000 K&N Horsepower Challenge race on Saturday, claimed $25,000 for the race win and another $25,000 for an NHRA Sweep Bonus for winning both events during the weekend. He also won here in 2011.
“I never thought in a million years that things would be going like this," said Nobile. "My team supplied me with the fastest car today, and I have to give them the credit. [The semifinal win over Allen Johnson] was the coolest round I ever won in my life. I saw Jason Line and Shane Gray get in a pedaling match in front of me, so I mentally prepared myself for that situation. Luckily, my dad [John] taught me how to drive and told me to find 5th gear as soon as possible if I ever had to lift and saw that the other guy wasn’t in front of me. I felt like Ron Capps in the car.
"The best part of the weekend was getting Peggy [Coleman], my partner in the K&N Horsepower Challenge, that Toyota Tundra. She was in a terrible situation where she lost her house, and it was great to give something back to her."
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, three-time world champ Hines claimed his third win of the season on his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson with a performance of 6.929 at 193.43 in the final round against opponent Hector Arana Jr., who rode his Lucas Oil Buell. Hines is the first rider to win three times at Norwalk ( also 2009 and 2007). It was Hines’ 28th career victory.
“It was a good weekend all around for our team, and we just treated it like we did [in Chicago] last weekend when I got the national event win,” said Hines, who remained in second place in the points standings. “We just slowly picked way at the tune-up. Conditions changed tremendously today. The air dried out a lot, and we struggled a little bit with my bike the first couple rounds, but we learned a lot against Eddie [Krawiec, teammate] in the semifinals, and luckily I was able to get the eight-thou win against Eddie in the semifinals and learned everything we possibly could and applied that to the final. That was our best speed of the weekend and our best e.t. of the weekend. It was a heck of a race with Hector Jr. I beat him on a holeshot in Houston, and that was huge, and to do it again is ‘ice cream’ on the cake.”
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series continues July 20-22 with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver.
Don Walsh raced to his first career victory in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by ProCare Rx.
Walsh held off event No. 1 qualifier and Ohio native Troy Coughlin in the final round after defeating David Roemer, Mike Janis, and Kevin McCurdy in earlier rounds. In the final round at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, Walsh powered his '11 Ford Mustang past Coughlin with a performance of 5.893 seconds at 251.95 mph. Walsh posted the second-quickest and fastest pass of the event to take the win.
Coughlin had the starting-line advantage but slowed near midtrack when his Chevy Camaro with lost traction and finished with a performance of 11.771 at 92.65.
With the victory, Walsh moves to fourth in the series points standing.
The NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by ProCare Rx continues Aug. 29-Sept. 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis with the 58th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus.
Friday: Torrence, Gray, Johnson, Arana are opening-day leaders in Norwalk
Saturday: Torrence, Gray, Johnson, Hines lead final Norwalk fields