Mark Shaw Repeats as Champion as Mike Conway Wins Pro 8 Shootout Race 5 Uncontested
by Edgar Perez
11/22/08 - Englishtown, NJ - The final American Racing Headers Pro 8 Shootout presented by Carroll's Rod and Racecraft of the season had to be contested on the 1/8th mile due to the cold and windy conditions on this final day of the season for Raceway Park. Winds were as high as 20 MPH and the temperature was barely above freezing mid-day with wind chills in the 20's. NHRA indexes were used to find what our 8.50 quarter mile translates to for the eighth mile and that was 5.45. That is a quick number and it felt like if you blinked, you would miss the race. The 1/8th mile racing presented a problem for us as we were attempting to complete the April 12th race today for which we had one qualifying round done already. However, having changed the distance of the track, we felt it would not be fair to our racers to complete that race since the first pass was not 1/8th mile and therefore decided call the April 12th race complete as it stood and start this race brand new as we also had another race we could make-up so we choose that one. This was an unpopular decision for one of our drivers who felt this decision took away his chances at a Championship. Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that participation in the class is what took away his chances. With only three entries today the maximum number of points difference for a clean race would have been 42 points and he came in 61 points behind. So quarter mile or eighth mile, there were just not enough cars for a change in the standings today.
This meant that Mark Shaw clinched the Championship before even one round of qualifying was had. Mark becomes our first back to back Champion in the Pro 8 or any of our Pro classes for that matter. Often looked at as the underdog as he has consistently competed in the Pro 8 Shootout often being out-qualified by a half-second or more and still managed to persevere to become a back-to-back Champion. The closest he has brought his nitrous breathing 511 cid C3 Corvette to the 8.50 is three-tenths away. 2008 has been a difficult one for Shaw and his crew-chief and son, Ben, as three different times he left the track with a hurt motor. At one point in the middle of the season, Shaw had decided to bag the season and as race week approached, the competitive juices flowed to force him back into the garage to rebuild the motor to come out and compete. Shaw's only top qualifier this season was the rain shortened race aforementioned with a 9.204. Shaw has been faithful to the Pro 8 Shootout having attended the most events (15) of any racer in the last four years while also competing in our Pro 10 Index races (7 of 15) over the past three years. A true competitor and a true Champion and we are happy to have Mark Shaw racing with us.
For today's Corvette Challenge bracket results click here.
Our last race had 7 competitors qualifying which shows a spark for this class. This one, with the frigid cold, only had 3 came out. With the eighth mile racing being the order of the day the numbers for qualifying would look a little off as drivers attempt to run as close to 5.45 without going under. In the first round of qualifying, Mike Conway would come away with the number 1 position with a 5.642 @ 120.29 MPH. He would be followed by Mark Shaw with a 5.915 @ 124.95 MPH. Wayne Keegan entered his second Pro 8 Shootout event, first since 2005. His Corvette is one of the biggest wheel standers on the circuit and when he launched the front wheels went up in the air. When it came down it went hard toward the wall. He slowed it down and came to rest against the wall, crossing the foul line discounting his qualifying run. He was okay and the car was not in bad shape but he decided to park it for the event and not make a second qualifying attempt.
Mike Conway gave his car to Wayne Keegan, to qualify in the Pro 10, where Keegan was just crowned Champion of that class, so he did not make the second qualifier. Only Mark Shaw came out to attempt to improve his qualifying number. That he did when he improved his time with a 5.712 @ 125.51 pass. The pass came at a price however. Our Pro 10 class followed and as I completed my pass and came around to get my time slip I noticed Shaw's C3 parked with no one around it. It looked like bad news and it was. Shaw had "popped" his motor for the third time this season and would not be able to compete in eliminations.
Round 1 and Final
The season would come to a close with one car making a single pass for the win. Mark Shaw's hurt motor kept him from even making it to the starting line for staging points. Mike Conway took the green light alone in his 1986 Corvette. He watched the light turn green to and then coasted to a 7.277 @ 67.38 on the eight mile 5.45 index.
Awards and Payouts Today
- Winner Mike Conway earned a payout of $100 cash and a trophy
- Runner-up payout of $50 cash and a trophy was not given out due to no competitor made it to the line
- Number 1 Qualifier Michael Conway received a plaque for his 5.642 qualifying run on the 5.45 1/8th mile pass
- Michael Conway received the Best Reaction Time plaque for the best winning reaction time in the first round at 19.827
2008 Points Standings
Mark Shaw captured his second consecutive Pro 8 Shootout Championship. Shaw accumulated 245 points while winning 2 events and 5 rounds. He won this season by a larger margin than in 2007 when he won the title by 7 points. This year he won the title by 28 points over Michael Conway. Mike accumulated 217 points and on the strength of 2 event wins and 3 round wins. Angelo Valla finished the season in third place despite attending only one event with 78 points. Bill Maloney attended two but only qualified for one and finishes in fourth place with 68 points. Edward Monari rounds out the top 5 and the class with 52 points accumulated over 2 entries.
As always, we couldn't enjoy our passion for racing without the tireless efforts of our coordinators - Edgar Perez, Bob Trieschmann and Dennis Kazimir. We'd be reduced to time shots only without our sponsors - many thanks for the continued support of
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Pro 8 Shootout - American Racing Headers | Carroll's Rod & Racecraft | PM Construction
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Pro 11.50 Index - The Vette Doctors | Russ DeLibero Emerald Financial Resources | Wild Rover Racing | DeFelice Chevrolet Parts
Leo Barnaby III Remembered
Recently one of our biggest supporters, Leo Barnaby III was tragically killed in an automobile accident near his home. His long time friend, Wayne Keegan and brother Ken Barnaby brought Leo's twin turbo Outlaw 10.5 Corvette out today for one final pass. Keegan drove the Corvette owned by the late Leo Barnaby III in memory of him. The final pass in Leo's Corvette was capped when Keegan pulled the parachute spraying Leo Barnaby III's ashes from the thousand foot mark to the finish line. Leo will now be watching out for us at the 1000'. May he rest in peace.
The American Racing Headers Pro 8 Shootout is scheduled to return in 2009 as drivers will again compete on an 8.50 index in the quarter mile. We look forward to a full season and some new entries to compete for the Championship in 2009.
modified: December 31, 1969 - 7:00 pm
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