After sitting out the final five races of the 2017 season, driver Vincent Nobile and the Mountain View Tire & Auto Center team are set to return to the Pro Stock class this season. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., based team is expected to take delivery of a 2018 Chevy Camaro from Jerry Haas Race Cars in the coming weeks. After an abbreviated testing schedule, they are planning to return at their home event in Pomona, the season-opening Lucas Oil Winternationals presented by Protect the Harvest.com.
“We’re definitely coming back this year,” said team spokesman Chris Mitsos, the son of team owners Nick and Irene Mitsos. “Last year, we made the Countdown but quite frankly, we weren’t very competitive for most of the season. It wasn’t fun to go to the races just to qualify and lose in the first or second round so my dad parked the team after Charlotte and decided to regroup.”
The five-month layoff gave the Mountain View team a chance to evaluate their program and they ultimately decided to return to familiar surroundings as part of the Elite Motorsports team. Nobile will once again be a teammate to Elite regulars Erica Enders and Jeg Coughlin Jr., as well as Alex Laughlin and part-time driver/crew chief Brian “Lump” Self. The Elite team struggled last year with just two wins by Enders and Laughlin, but they made steady progress on their fuel injected engine program.
“We’ve got a new car coming from Haas and we’re going to continue racing with the Elite group,” said Mitsos. “We’re pretty optimistic that we’re going to be more competitive than last year. The important thing for us is to be competitive. We want to go to every race knowing that we’ve got a chance to win it.”
Since joining the Mountain View team in 2011, Nobile has competed in 160 Pro Stock races and has qualified for all of them. He’s got 10 wins in 21 final rounds and has been the low qualifier at seven events. Nobile, who won’t be 27 until the end of the season, needs just two round wins to have 200 for his career. Very few drivers have achieved that much success in such a short time.
Looking ahead to the 2019 season, Mitsos also revealed that the Mountain View team is planning to race a COPO Camaro in the popular School of Automotive Machinists and Technology NHRA Factory Stock Showdown. The car is scheduled to be delivered later this Summer and will debut next season. Former Pro Stock racer Greg Stanfield is scheduled to build the supercharged engines for what should be a 7-second race car.
“We got picked for COPO No. 4 [out of 69 built] this year and we’re pretty excited about that,” said Mitsos. “I’m guessing we’ll have the car late this summer and we’ll spend the next few months after that getting it ready to race. That Factory Stock class looks like a lot of fun and I know there are a lot of current Pro drivers who are going to be active in it. It will definitely be a part of the future at Mountain View Racing.”