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Michael Conway Takes the Points Lead with Race 2 Win

by Edgar Perez

Qualifiers - American Racing Headers/a> Pro 8 Shootout
presented by Carroll's Rod & Racecraft
1  Michael Conway 8.538 162.33
2  Angelo Valla 8.691 159.72
3  Jay McCardle, Jr. 9.409 141.49
4  Chris Young 9.880 0
5  David Shen 10.159 135.67
05/09/09 - Englishtown, NJ - Today was not only Race 2 for the American Racing Headers presented by Carroll's Rod and Racecraft but there was also a special 8.50 index race running at the same time at Raceway Park in memory of Leo Barnaby, Neverlift Racecraft, who passed away last year. Leo was one of our sponsors for several years and big supporter of Corvette racing. This is important to note because two of our Pro 8 Shootout racers, Michael Conway and Angelo Valla, entered both races. Entering two classes is common amongst our 11.50 and Pro 10 racers but doubling-up in two 8.50 races is a much tougher task. In memory of Leo Barnaby, many racers had a decal on their Corvettes donated by Leo's brother Ken and race promoters Wayne Keegan and Keith Mittermann. Racers also teamed up to sponsor that race as a Corvette Challenge Racer team. Participants in this sponsorship were Dave Buddendorff, Bob Trieschmann, Shawn Cavanagh, Ralph Blauvelt, Paul Bogdan, Dave Harris, Edgar Perez, Joe Donnelly, Kimberly Turchyn and Ron Higgins. Sponsorship dollars will go to a fund for Leo's young daughter Jenna. Other racers had personal sponsorships as did several of our Corvette Challenge sponsors including Conway Racing, Angelo Valla Racing, Carroll's Rod and Racecraft, Paul Major Motorsports, Pro Torque Converters, Wayne Keegan & Family and Mike "Stealth Corvette" Romaine. You can visit for coverage of this special 8.50 Index race for Jenna Barnaby.

Now back to the coverage of our Pro 8 Shootout. We had 5 entries today for the Shootout. Conway and Valla were joined by Chris Young, David Shen and Race 1 winner, Jay McCardle.

For today's Corvette Challenge bracket results click here.


After making qualifying passes in the Jenna Barnaby race, Michael Conway and Angelo Valla came over to take the number 1 and 2 spots in qualifying. Conway took the 1 spot with a blistering 8.538 @ 162.33 MPH in the 1986 Corvette with 565 cid motor and nitrous. Valla came in at the 2 spot with the 1970 big cubic inch nitrous motor with an 8.891 at 159.72 MPH. Jay McCardle, the lone LSX entry in the bunch with a 1997 Corvette with 346 LS1 and Novi supercharger put together by East Coast Supercharging, was in the third spot. Jay qualified with a 9.409 @ 141.19 MPH. The next two drivers did not meet the 9.99 requirement this round of qualifying to make the field but they would have one more try to get in the field. Chris Young in the 1993 Corvette was closest with a 10.001 @ 135.67. He was followed by the all motor 1965 Corvette driven by David Shen to an elapsed time of 10.159 at 130.57 MPH.

The second round of qualifying had only three drivers make passes as Conway and Valla sat it out due to running two classes as I would have expected they would. Young and Shen paired to make their qualifying passes and it was good for one but not both. Chris Young was able to get in the field with a 9.92 @ 136 MPH in the number 4 qualifying position. Shen would not go quicker than his previous run so he would not make the field. McCardle came up next to try and improve his time but as the car left the line it sputtered and did not run well at all. Here is where the attrition begins on day when all but one Corvette would suffer some sort of issue. He went back to the pits and found he was having trouble getting one of the spark plugs out. He would try frantically to make it back for round 1. Later, Young, while running the Corvette Challenge came to find he had a flat tire when he returned to the pits. He'd try to get that fixed too.

Pro 8 Shootout Runner-up Pro 8 Group Pro 8 Shootout Winner
Conway with Leo Barnaby and Sponsor Decals on the back glass From L to R Johnny B., Winner Mike Conway, EJ and Gurt Winner Michael Conway

Photos by Edgar Perez

Round 1

The first pair due up was Angelo Valla (2) and Jay McCardle (3). McCardle did not get his car fixed and did not make the call so Valla would get a competition single. All he had to do was break the beams and he would advance to the final round. After completing his burnout and pulling up to stage the Corvette, the pass was waived off by the Raceway Park staff. The Corvette was dripping fluid, okay, gushing fluid on the starting line. He was pulled back never having staged the car or broken the beams so he would not get credit for the win. This means the winner of the next pair would get a competition single in the final. That pair was Michael Conway (1) and Chris Young (4). However, Young was unable to get this flattened slick repaired or replaced to make the call so Conway would take the competition single in this round and advance to the final. He would make that pass after the lengthy clean-up at that starting line. After he staged and got on the chip, the tree took forever to flash so he got off of it and left soft well after the tree was lit and went 9.865 on the lap.

Round 2 The Final

Now Michael Conway would again only have to break the beams to get the win and take over the points lead. He did his burnout and staged the car. The light flashed, with no issue this time, and he was gone. He makes a clean pass with no risk of breaking out and getting hit with a penalty. His pass was a great one this time with the tree functioning properly and the final ET of 8.623 for the win. Be sure and check out the video of this race on

Awards and Payouts Today

  • Winner Michael Conway earned a payout of $100 cash and a trophy
  • Number 1 Qualifier Michael Conway received a plaque for his 8.538 @ 162.33 qualifying run
  • Michael Conway received the Best Reaction Time plaque for the best winning reaction time in the first round at .473

2009 Points Standings

The points lead changed hands in our Pro 8 Shootout standings. Jay McCardle was not able to make the first round call, therefore not able to get the minimum 20 points for staging, therefore Michael Conway was able to take the points lead. He now holds a 4-point lead over McCardle with 78 total to Jay's 74. Angelo Valla, in his first race of the season, leaves in third place with his points for the day though he too did not earn staging points as he never completed his staging before having the run called off. There are still some drivers who have signed up for points yet to make a race. George Smith, Doug Ring and Alan Eckert have not made it to either of the two races. We hear the will; soon. You can still sign up for points before if you want to take a shot at the title for this class as there are three races left and still plenty of rounds to get you in the running for the title.

Rank Name R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Wins Rounds Avg Qual
1. Michael Conway 0 78 156 214   2 5 8.586
2. Jay McCardle, Jr. 58 74 108 145   1 1 9.242
3. Angelo Valla 0 17 114 114   1 3 8.675
4. Mark Shaw 0 0 56 56   0 1 8.881
5. Doug Ring 0 0 35 35   0 0 9.091

Next Race

The next Pro 8 Shootout race will be July 11, 2009 with gates opening at 9:30 AM.

Visit the Drag Schedule at to view Raceway Park's schedule for other events and days for test and tuning.

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

Corvette Challenge - East Coast Supercharging | Yank Racing Converters | Corvette Club of Delaware Valley - CCDV | Spectrum Equipment Service | Simple Man | QTP - Quick Time Performance | Carroll's Rod & Racecraft | Kooks Custom Headers | CFM Racing | Tortolani Racing | | | Zaino Bros | Pro Torque | Perez Web Design

Pro 8 Shootout - American Racing Headers | Carroll's Rod & Racecraft | PM Construction

Pro 10.0 Index - Cartek Performance Engineering | J&M Motorsports | Best Western, East Brunswick, NJ | M & B Performance

Pro 11.50 Index - Anger Management Racing | Russ DeLibero Emerald Financial Resources | Wild Rover Racing | DeFelice Chevrolet Parts .

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