David Harris Wins Pro 10 Clinching 2009 Championship for David Shen
by Edgar Perez
10/31/09 - Englishtown, NJ - In a nail biter final for the Cartek Performance Engineering Pro 10 Double Index presented by J & M Motorsports we came out with a first time winner in David Harris and our first two-time Champion, David Shen. I guess you had to be named David to come out a winner today. It was our fifth and final race of the year for this one of a kind Corvette-only points series that mixes two indexes, 10.00 and 10.50. One can say that today's turnout proves it was not poplar amongst the 10.0 confinement. The five entries meant that David Shen, who came in with the points lead would have to win one round to clinch the championship. If Edgar Perez lost round one it would clinch the title for Shen but if Shen lost round 1 and Perez won the race, he would win the Championship by less than one round.
It was a very impressive season where we had five different winners in this class of only five races. In the past couple of years for the class the class Champion has won a majority of the races with Wayne Keegan winning three in 2008 and David Shen winning 4 in 2007.
For today's Corvette Challenge bracket results click here.
As we always do, the 10.50 cars would hit the track first. With five entries, the number one qualifier would get a bye into round 2 which meant if it went to Shen, it would be an easy title. If it went to Perez, the pressure would fall on Shen as Perez would be 1/3 of his way to what he needed to do. It was Perez walking away in the top spot in the qualifier going 10.518 @ 128.65 mph, only .018 off his index to hold that top spot. Perez drives the Vette Doctors built 402 cid normally aspirated 1999 Torch Red Corvette. David Harris would hold the second spot with a 10.556 @ 133.61 followed by Shawn Cavanagh with a 10.728 @ 125.62, Paul Bogdan, the new entry, with a 10.784 @ 122.71 and finally David Shen who was well off his index of 10.00 with a 10.828 @ 131.99 mph. Three other drivers wheeled C5 Corvettes with Harris’s sporting the flamed paint job 2003 with ECS powered Paxton Supercharger similar to Shawn Cavanagh’s Gray 2003 entry also running and ECS supercharger under the hold. The final entry, Paul Bogdan was running all motor in 427 cid normally aspirated 1997 Silver coupe built by him. The only non-C5 entry was Shen's Red 1965 383 cid powered Corvette with just enough nitrous to cover the 10.0 index.
The cars came around for the second qualifier and the tension was building. With Perez holding the top spot by .018 and Shen looking to take it away as were the other three drivers. Perez, Harris and Bogdan were not able to improve their ET's but Cavanagh and Shen were. Cavanagh was able to go 10.627 which did not improve his number three qualifying position but Shen improved to 10.158 @ 132.13 to improve to the number 4 position, not enough to take the top spot.
So the Championship stage was set and the tension begins. To the line in the first paring are the two David's. David Harris (2) goes with the right lane and David Shen (4) goes with the left. Harris goes deep and then Shen goes to bump in to stage shallow. The tree flashes and we see something we have never seen before. David Shen lit the red light with a -.019 and this was the first time in Pro 10 competition that David Shen has lost in round 1. Now all he needed to do was win this round to capture the championship but instead he now had to sit at the sidelines and hope Perez cannot pull off the upset. Having seen the red light Harris slowed down his Corvette to not risk a penalty for going under his index and ran a 10.952 @ 86.09. Disgusted, Shen makes an 11.088 pass at 86.77. Shawn Cavanagh (3) now chasing second place in the standings would face Paul Bogdan. However, Bogdan running both the Pro 10 and the Corvette Challenge, opted to not race this race and stay with the Challenge. Good thing he did as he went on to win that. Cavanagh then only had to take the tree to advance to round 2 which he did going .233 green and then running a casual 14.829 to collect the points. Finally Edgar Perez (1) would get the bye and he only needed to take the tree which he did going 10.902 on a lazy pass with.
Now we were down to three Corvettes and there would be a battle for second place. Cavanagh and Perez are out first in a pivotal round. Cavanagh had his sites on ousting Perez from the number 2 spot. And Perez was attempting to oust Shen from the number one spot who was under the tower hoping he would not have to watch a championship-determining final round should Perez advance. Both drivers would leave green with Perez taking the advantage on the tree, .076 to .151. Cavanagh chased him down but could not catch him and Perez would advance to the final. Cavanagh ran under, 10.483 @ 123.80, incurring a penalty knocking him down to third place for the season. Perez fell off his number 1 qualifying pace with only a 10.578 @ 124.90. Harris (2) would get the bye run and would basically take the tree, .151 and coasted to the win with a 13.605. Again to protect against being assessed a penalty for running under the index.
Round 3 - The Final
This is the first time that the Pro 10 season comes to the last race of the season. Edgar Perez will be the 2009 Champion if he can get past David Harris. David Harris, however, is looking for his first Pro 10 Race win and was going to try and make this the one. After all, this was a tough week for Dave and his wife Vivian. They had just laid Vivian's father to rest after he passed away earlier in the week. It was tough call for them to come racing today but they felt it was where they needed to be and so they came. David's dad came along for the race as well and was pulling for his son. The tension was high in the staging lanes and Perez was showing signs of stress. Shen under the tower with his dad awaited the final pair around the wall. Perez goes to the right lane which was odd as he normally favors the left. The cars stage and then in just a moment, fate would be decided. Perez gets the tree advantage leaving .081 to Harris' .122. Holding the lead up the track Perez' heart stops as he watches Harris with the big mph supercharged Corvette close the gap. An analysis of the time slip shows Perez ahead at all the increments but one, the only one that mattered. Ahead by .041 at the tree, .208 at the 60', .172 at the 330' where the supercharged boost begins to reel him in, .112 at the 1/8th and only .046 at the 1000'. The last 320 feet would be both ecstasy and torture as Harris completes the pass, takes the win light for his first Pro 10 win! The win came by only .028. A number sure to be burned in Perez's head and repeated in his dreams (or should I say nightmares). Per my calculations, that is about 5 feet! That is how close Perez came to winning the title. That is what Harris takes his first win by. And that is about as high as David Shen jumped in the air seeing Harris successfully block Perez's last second championship steal. Congratulations are certainly due to David Harris on taking his first win in only his sixth entry into the Pro 10 class. After the race Harris stated in a post on the internet "As many of you may know, this came at the end of a very tough week for Vivian and me and I want to dedicate that final, and winning, pass to two loved fathers who probably had the best seats in the house: Vivian's dad who just passed away this past week and my dad who left us many years ago after a long struggle with MS. I know they were both watching and cheering, maybe almost as loud as Dave Shen when I took the stripe!"
Awards and Payouts Today
- Winner David Harris earned a payout of $160 in addition to the winner trophy
- Runner-up Edgar Perez earned a payout of $80 in addition to the runner-up trophy
- Semi-finalist Shawn Cavanagh earned a payout of $40
- Number 1 Qualifier Edgar Perez received a plaque for his 10.518 qualifying run
- David Harris received the Best Reaction Time plaque for the best winning reaction time in the first round at .097
2009 Points Standings
What a thrilling end to the 2009 points season. There could only be one Champion and that is David Shen. Our 2009 champion is also the first driver in the history of the class to win two championships. He does so on the strength of 376 points resulting from one event win and 10 round wins and an average qualifying position of 3.8. The title was clinched by less than one round of competition, a mere 12 points. Shen is one of only three drivers to win titles in the Pro 10 class having won in 2007 in addition to 2009 and shares honor with Wayne Keegan (2008) and David Outten (2006) as the only drivers to be crowned Champions in this class. Our Corvette Challenge Coordinator finished in second for the season with 364 total points on with event wins but with 9 round wins and an average qualifying position of 2.2, best overall for the class. Shawn Cavanagh finishes in third place with a total of 283 points coming from 1 event win and 7 round wins and a 2.6 average qualifying position. Race 5 winner David Harris finishes fourth overall for the season with 273 points with 1 event win and 6 round wins. His average qualifying position was 5.4. Our fifth place points finisher was Chris Young who was only able to make two events but finished with 204 points, 1 event win and 5 round wins. A total of 13 points driers made it out to at least one race despite a total of 15 signing up for the class. You can view the drivers at www.corvettechallenge.info/2009drivers.php. A total of 18 different drivers attended at least one of the races meaning 5 did not sign up for points. We do hope that those and other join us in the next season of the class.
||Jay McCardle, Jr.
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Our fourth season of the Pro 10 comes to a close with an exciting Championship finish though a bit disappointing as far as the turnout for the class both in the last race and overall for the season. Attempting to try and increase the count of cars for the class we experimented with split index. This was met with much resistance by some of our drivers, some who chose not to participate at all. In retrospect perhaps it was not the best thing for the class as a whole and perhaps a new or familiar direction should be taken for 2010. With this said, we have some big decisions ahead of us for the class as whole and of course your participation is the most important thing. Please keep an eye out on our home page, www.corvettechallenge.info, the Drag Racing section of The Corvette Forum and your email for news, updates and polls.
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