Career Weekend for Nobile/Mopar at Norwalk!  

2nd Generation NHRA Pro Stock driver Vincent Nobile probably felt like he was dreaming after he ran the table during  last  weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio…..

Nobile began with a $50,000 victory in Saturday’s K&N Horsepower Challenge race, and then finished the rout by successfully defending his title in Sunday’s final eliminations. In the process,  driving his Dodge Avenger which features a Hemi-engine program by Roy Johnson, Nobile earned a $25,000 double-up bonus from NHRA, bringing his total haul to more than $100,000 for the weekend. 

The Napa/Mountain Tire Dodge team had a lot to celebrate at Norwalk!

“This is incredible,” said Nobile, who has now won five times in just 38 starts as a professional. “Never in a million years did I think we could come in here, win both races, and get that double-up bonus. We have a great team and when everything is clicking, we’re tough to beat but at the same time, winning seven-straight rounds against the best racers in Pro Stock is almost impossible to do. I’m just in shock.”

On Saturday, Nobile won the K&N Horsepower Challenge following a final round victory over reigning NHRA champion Jason Line. Nobile won the final on a holeshot, winning with a 6.75 elapsed time to Line’s quicker 6.73. Nobile also defeated Mike Edwards and teammate Allen Johnson in the special event, which is open only to the top eight Pro Stock drivers. 

Returning for Sunday’s final eliminations, Nobile once again faced Line in the final round with a similar result, winning with a 6.66 to Line’s 6.70. Nobile also defeated Warren Johnson, V. Gaines, and Allen Johnson to stretch his win streak to seven-straight rounds.

“My crew gave me a great car this weekend,” said Nobile. “The weather was brutally hot and we had some of the highest track temperatures we’ve ever raced in but we managed to get the job done. This is only my second trip toNorwalkand I’ve won three races and 11-straight rounds so I guess you could say this is my favorite track on the tour.”

2nd generation driver Vincent Nobile had his finest outing yet in drag racing -- winning two major Pro Stock titles!

Nobile wasn’t the only one to score big inNorwalkas lucky fan Peggy Coleman ofJoplin,Mo., also got to share the wealth. As part of a promotion tied to the K&N Horsepower Challenge, Coleman won a brand new Toyota Tundra pick-up as a result of Nobile’s victory. The new truck was an especially welcomed gift for Coleman, who lost her home as a result of the tornadoes that devastated large portions ofJoplinlast year.

4th Season win for Massey

Professional racing titles atNorwalkwere also won by Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle).   

Massey powered his FRAM/Prestone dragster to his 4th win of the season but his first at Norwalk when he used a superior 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. 

Spencer Massey won for the 4th time in 2012 in Top Fuel

“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 fromTexas, he’s fromTexas, and we both drove Top Alcohol Dragsters in Division 4. The weather here was even hot like it is inTexas.”

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.

Mike Neff and Tim Wilkerson faced off in the event's fuel FC title final round.

“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 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 atNorwalk( also 2009, 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 inJolietlast 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 ET of the weekend. It was a heck of a race with Hector Jr. I beat him on a holeshot inHouston, and that was huge, and to do it again is ‘ice cream’ on the cake.”

All Turbo Pro Mod Final

Don Walsh raced to his first career victory in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by ProCare Rx at Norwalk.

Don Walsh set low ET and top speed while winning the ProCare RX Pro Mod feature

In a final round battle that featured two turbocharged cars, Walsh’s Mustang held off the #1 qualifier and Ohio native Troy Coughlin in the final round.  That came after Walsh had defeated David Roemer, Mike Janis, and Kevin McCurdy in earlier rounds. 

In the final round,  Walsh powered his 2011 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 Jegs-sponsored  Chevy Camaro lost traction.   

With the victory, which also included low ET (5.887 secs) and top speed (253.85 mph), Walsh, who is from Michiganmoves up to 4th in the 2012 series points standings.

Event Essentials:  NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals (July 5-8th, 2012) Norwalk Ohio

TOP FUEL Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Spencer Massey 3.916 312.50 10th
R/UP: Steve Torrence 3.894 315.71  
Low ET: Steve Torrence 3.829    
Top Speed: Spencer Massey   322.73  
Bump Spot:   4.040    
FUNNY CAR Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Mike Neff 4.217 298.21 8th
R/UP: Tim Wilkerson 4.244 296.96  
Low ET: Johnny Gray 4.094    
Top Speed: Mike Neff   309.42  
Bump Spot:   4.445    
PRO STOCK Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Vincent Nobile 6.661 208.01 5th
R/UP: Jason Line 6.705 207.88  
Low ET: Allen Johnson 6.616    
Top Speed: Allen Johnson   208.59  
Bump Spot:   6.741    
Winner: Andrew Hines 6.929 193.43 28th
R/UP: Hector Arana Jr. 6.928 191.84  
Low ET: Hector Arana Jr. 6.928    
Top Speed: Andrew Hines   193.43  
Bump Spot:   7.107    
Pro Care RX PRO MOD Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Don Walsh 5.893 251.95 1st
R/UP: Troy Coughlin 11.77  92.65  
Low ET: Don Walsh 5.887    
Top Speed: Don Walsh   253.85  
Bump Spot:   6.233    
LUCAS OIL        
Sportsman Winners: Name ET MPH  
Top Alcohol Dragster Bill Reichert 5.334 264.70  
Top Alcohol Funny Car Paul Gill 5.639 255.92  
Competition David Rampy 7.303 178.85  
Top Dragster Mike Laws 6.729 197.80  
Top Sportsman Gary Wojnowski 6.909 202.36  
Super Stock Chad Taylor 10.41 124.80  
Stock Larry Hill 10.53 114.02  
Super Comp Alan Kenny 8.911 163.69  
Super Gas Nathan Vrooman 9.952 156.10  


Sportsman Summary: 

Bill Reichert and Paul Gill raced to titles in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car during the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.

Wily Canadian veteran racer Al Kenny scored in Super Comp

 Reichert, the 5-time Top Alcohol Dragster NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series National Champion, ran down Dan Page with a lap of 5.334 seconds at 264.70 mph for his fourth win of the year and his second national event win of 2012 bringing his career total to 26.  Page, in his first national event final round, clocked in at 5.436, 266.06.

 Gill faced off with Cassie Simonton in his Ford Mustang coving the quarter-mile in 5.639 seconds, 255.92 mph for his 3rd national event win and first of the season in three final round appearances.  Simonton, driving the car owned by Canadian Spiro Kontos had traction woes in the final round and Cassie could only watch as Gill pulled away.

 David Rampy surpasses the 80 win mark in beating Bo Bunter in Comp Eliminator going 178.85 mph his roadster. 

 Canada’s Al Kenny returned to the Summit Motorsports Park winner’s circle with a win over Brad Plourd in Super Comp.  Kenny went 8.911 on the 8.90 index as Plourd broke out with an 8.876.  Kenny won the 2008 event here inNorwalk. 

Four racers celebrated their first ever NHRA National event win led by Chad Taylor and his Chevy Camaro in Super Stock over Jeff Dona.  Nathan Vrooman used a perfect 0.00 second reaction time to take the win against Steve Theodor in Super Gas and second generation driver Mike Laws won in Top Dragster with a run of 6.729, 197.80 to Robert Mandell at 202.39 mph.  Gary Wojnowski took home his first NHRA Wally trophy beating Jeff Sexton in Top Sportsman.  

Rounding out the winners was Larry Hill in Stock Eliminator who won for the first time since 1995 in his Plymouth Barracuda over Randy Wilkes. 

Posted by:  NHRA Communications. 

All photos by:  Steve Embling and Dave DeAngelis 

To view DragRaceCanada’s event photo gallery from NHRA Norwalk click HERE