ENGLISHTOWN, NJ – June 7, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Vincent Nobile wasn’t shy in relaying his thoughts on how his 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season has gone this far. But the Pro Stock standout also expects his luck to change in his Mountain View Tire Chevrolet Camaro starting at this weekend’s 48th annual NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
“I would pretty much say the season has gone terrible so far,” said Nobile, who is currently eighth in points. “It’s definitely not what we expected to this point. But everyone has ups and downs, and I think we’ll be really good in Englishtown. In the past we’ve done well on this East Coast swing. We’ve haven’t been on the hot side yet, but it’s coming. It’s just a matter of time. We’re definitely looking forward to this weekend. I think it’s going to be a great race.”
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including finals coverage starting at 6:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday. It is the 10th of 24 events during a 2017 season that hasn’t yet gone as planned for the Melville, N.Y. native.
His lone semifinal appearance came in Topeka and Nobile, who has 10 career wins, hasn’t managed to put together the type of raceday consistency needed to win in a tough Pro Stock class. But seeing Elite Motorsports teammate Erica Enders win last weekend in Epping tells Nobile that things may be changing. She was the seventh different Pro Stock winner through nine events and Nobile is ready to become the eighth in Englishtown.
“With Erica doing well, I think the whole program is turning around for the better,” Nobile said. “We all have the same stuff. With a three-car team (that also includes five-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr.), we’re all able to try different things at different times to benefit the whole team. We’ve all been trying different things, but whatever is working with Erica’s car seems to be the direction we need to go. Hopefully that correlates into success for us. There’s no reason we can’t do that.”
Racing just two hours from home, Nobile expects a big crowd of family and friends in Englishtown. That’s been the case since Nobile made his Englishtown debut in 2011, and while that adds extra pressure, Nobile believes he’s handled that aspect better each year since.
The focus now is making moves in a Pro Stock class led by Bo Butner, the current points leader, and rookie Tanner Gray, who both have two wins apiece. In the midst of a stretch of four straight race weekends, Nobile knows the time is now to get things moving. While he may not be able to catch Butner before the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship begins, Nobile’s goal is to get on a hot streak and move up the standings as much as possible before September arrives.
“The Countdown will be here before you know it,” Nobile said. “We need to make sure we turn the program around before that comes. We don’t want to start the Countdown in 10th. The lower you are, the harder it is to gain points back. We need to jump up and we need to start this weekend. It will be a challenge to move up a few spots, but we’re going to do our best moving forward.”
Torrence won the Summernationals for the second time in Top Fuel last year and has two wins in 2017. Others to watch include eight-time world champ Tony Schumacher, points leader Leah Pritchett, back-to-back world champ Antron Brown and Brittany Force, who won last weekend.
Funny Car’s Matt Hagan won for the third time in 2017 last weekend in Epping, snapping a four-race win streak by defending event winner, reigning world champ and current points leader Capps.
Angelle Sampey’s first Pro Stock Motorcycle victory since 2007 came at last year’s race, but she’s chasing points leader Eddie Krawiec and L.E. Tonglet, who has won two straight events in 2017.
The NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series makes its sixth of 12 stops in the 2017 season in Englishtown. The event also features thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, showcasing the future stars of the sport. After Nitro qualifying on Friday, fans can watch the spectacular Larsen Motorsports jet dragsters sponsored by Florida Tech and Matrix System. Jet cars are thrust driven propelled by jet engines with exciting pre-run flame shows.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 3:45 and 6:15 p.m. on Friday, June 9 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, June 10, at 1:45 and 4:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 11.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call Old Bridge Township Raceway Park at (732) 446-7800. Tickets also are available online at www.racewaypark.com. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.
About National Hot Rod Association
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Source: National Hot Rod Association