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Nobile Wins K&N Horsepower Challenge; Pro Fields Set for NHRA Norwalk

Vincent Nobile

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.

In other racing action at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Johnny Gray (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock), and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) raced to the No. 1 qualifying spots in their respective categories at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

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 and pick up the win and $50,000. Nobile also outran Johnson and Mike Edwards in the first two rounds of the Challenge.

“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 [Peggy Coleman of Joplin, Mo.]. 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.”

Steve Torrence

In Top Fuel, Torrence remained on top of the field in his Capco Contractors dragster. Torrence’s Friday performance of 3.829 at 319.98 gave him his second No. 1 qualifying position of the season.

“We tried to see what we could get away with today,” Torrence said. “It’s hard on the crew chief, driver, and team when it’s this hot. I was sitting in my firesuit soaking wet. It helped us work on our hot weather tune-up for the Western Swing. Tomorrow should cool off quite a bit and give us different conditions to race in.”

Gray took the top spot in Funny Car qualifying when he drove his Service Central Dodge Charger to a 4.094 run at 306.33.  It’s Gray’s second No. 1 qualifier of the season and third of his career.

“I hope tomorrow’s not like today because obviously we weren’t stellar today,” Gray said. “The Service Central/NTB car is a good race car. We’ve got a good tune-up for it.


Johnny Gray

“We tried to run too hard the first run this morning, and then this afternoon we had the thing lined up a little bit to the left, and it took off towards the center line, and when I tried to turn it to reel it back, it kind of upset it and knocked the tires loose. We’re good. We know what we did wrong, and we’ll go out tomorrow, and it should be a good day.”

Johnson held off a competitive class to take the top spot in Pro Stock. Johnson drove his Team Mopar Dodge Avenger to a 6.663 run at 207.34 to claim his sixth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 24th of his career. He has two wins this season.

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Allen Johnson

“We have a really good car, and we’re going to make better decisions,” said Johnson. “We stunk the place up today. We shot ourselves in the foot in the first round [of the K&N Horsepower Challenge special event]. My crew chief told me to go right when he meant for me to go left while I was backing up. After all these years, you find new ways to lose.”

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hines raced to the No. 1 qualifying position. Hines rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 6.961 second at 192.85 mph run to take his first No. 1 qualifier position of the year and the 31st of his career. Hines has won twice in Norwalk (2009, 2007) and two times this season.

“We just picked away at it all weekend long with our Screamin’ Eagle V-Rods,” Hines said. “It’s just a testament to how good our team is. We started out Chicago last week with a different mindset of how we’re going to come in and tune these races in the summer. Last year, we’d be behind the eight-ball and not have good performance on Sunday, so we’re doing a completely different strategy than we would normally do, and it’s showing in our performance. We’re just picking away at it and steadily improving every single qualifier.”

Eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m.

(Photos courtesy NHRA/National Dragster; Click to enlarge)


NORWALK, Ohio — Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the Sixth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, the 12th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.  Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed after pairings.

Top Fuel

1. Steve Torrence, 3.829 seconds, 319.98 mph  vs. 16. Brandon Bernstein, 4.040, 272.89; 2. Antron Brown, 3.832, 321.27  vs. 15. Morgan Lucas, 4.036, 286.38; 3. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.836, 316.67  vs. 14. David Grubnic, 4.022, 294.95; 4. Tony Schumacher, 3.841, 313.88  vs. 13. Bob Vandergriff, 3.981, 301.54; 5. Clay Millican, 3.868, 313.00  vs. 12. Hillary Will, 3.968, 298.40; 6. Cory McClenathan, 3.911, 301.87  vs. 11. T.J. Zizzo, 3.963, 301.67; 7. Spencer Massey, 3.923, 310.05  vs. 10. Shawn Langdon, 3.949, 309.56; 8. Doug Kalitta, 3.925, 296.31  vs. 9. Keith Murt, 3.939, 289.07. Did Not Qualify: 17. Brady Kalivoda, 4.291, 215.31; 18. Chris Karamesines, 4.837, 159.68; 19. Ike Maier, 5.261, 280.25; 20. Terry McMillen, 5.543, 135.59; 21. Pat Dakin, 6.528, 292.33.

Funny Car

1. Johnny Gray, Dodge Charger, 4.094, 306.33  vs. 16. Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.445, 271.24; 2. Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.112, 309.42  vs. 15. Bob Bode, Chevy Impala, 4.433, 248.25; 3. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.123, 306.67  vs. 14. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.368, 288.95; 4. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.133, 307.02  vs. 13. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.310, 293.73; 5. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.139, 306.88  vs. 12. Blake Alexander, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.230, 290.01; 6. Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.140, 301.81  vs. 11. Todd Lesenko, Impala, 4.203, 295.66; 7. Daniel Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.152, 303.16  vs. 10. Jeff Arend, Camry, 4.198, 302.08; 8. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.172, 300.73  vs. 9. John Force, Mustang, 4.196, 300.40. Did Not Qualify: 17. Tony Pedregon, 4.613, 232.03; 18. Alexis DeJoria, 8.869, 181.03; 19. Jim Head, 10.479, 182.65; 20. Terry Haddock, broke.

Pro Stock

1. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.663, 207.43  vs. 16. Ronnie Humphrey, Pontiac GXP, 6.741, 205.85; 2. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.697, 206.10  vs. 15. Rodger Brogdon, GXP, 6.741, 205.16; 3. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.698, 206.32  vs. 14. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.739, 205.04; 4. V. Gaines, Avenger, 6.702, 206.73  vs. 13. Greg Stanfield, Camaro, 6.731, 205.57; 5. Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.706, 206.64  vs. 12. Warren Johnson, GXP, 6.719, 205.94; 6. Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.708, 206.39  vs. 11. Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.719, 206.48; 7. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.708, 205.44  vs. 10. Jeg Coughlin, Avenger, 6.718, 206.89; 8. Kurt Johnson, GXP, 6.715, 205.98  vs. 9. JR Carr, Ford Mustang, 6.716, 205.19. Did Not Qualify: 17. Larry Morgan, 6.763, 205.60; 18. Chris McGaha, 6.774, 204.79; 19. Grace Howell, 6.851, 202.42; 20. Steve Kent, 6.880, 204.14; 21. John Gaydosh Jr, 7.074, 197.59.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.961, 192.85  vs. 16. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.107, 188.94; 2. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.962, 191.38  vs. 15. Angie Smith, Buell, 7.102, 188.83; 3. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.984, 192.69  vs. 14. Shawn Gann, Buell, 7.093, 189.12; 4. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.992, 192.52  vs. 13. Matt Smith, Buell, 7.086, 190.75; 5. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 7.005, 192.08  vs. 12. Michael Ray, Buell, 7.084, 187.11; 6. John Hall, Buell, 7.016, 189.47  vs. 11. Jerry Savoie, Buell, 7.061, 189.60; 7. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.019, 190.32  vs. 10. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 7.057, 189.79; 8. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.037, 189.55  vs. 9. Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.051, 188.36. Did Not Qualify: 17. Matt Guidera, 7.133, 186.36; 18. Wesley Wells, 7.170, 186.20; 19. Michael Phillips, 7.269, 188.10.
* * *

NORWALK, Ohio — Final round-by-round results from the 28th annual K&N Pro Stock Horsepower Challenge at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, the 12th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series:

ROUND ONE — Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.733, 204.54 def. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.724, 204.98; Vincent Nobile, Dodge Avenger, 6.714, 205.54 def. Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.731, 206.83; Mike Edwards, Pontiac GXP, 6.742, 205.51 def. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.741, 204.45; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.705, 204.91 def. Jeg Coughlin, Avenger, 6.746, 205.38; SEMIFINALS — Nobile, 6.733, 206.61 def. Edwards, 6.733, 206.48; Line, 6.718, 206.10 def. Anderson, 6.728, 206.32; FINAL — Nobile, 6.750, 205.94 def. Line, 6.732, 205.66.


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