Angelo Valla Takes the Win in Race 3
by Edgar Perez
07/11/09 - Englishtown, NJ - Race 3 for the American Racing Headers presented by Carroll's Rod and Racecraft was held today and had its largest field of the season. Six entries in the class and all six qualified for the class meeting the minimum elapsed time requirement of 9.99. This is a positive step forward for the class.
For today's Corvette Challenge bracket results click here.
Two of our racers were out last night racing in the Englishtown 8.50 index. That class had 18 entries and both Michael Conway and Angelo Valla made that field. Fittingly, after one round of qualifying today, both were at the top in the Pro 8 Shootout with Conway holding the number one qualified spot with an 8.587 @ 165.17 MPH. Valla was just behind him with an 8.659 @ 162.33 despite having a little trouble hooking it out of the line. They were followed by Mark Shaw, in his first Pro 8 Shootout appearance of 2009. Shaw is a two-time Champion of the Pro 8 Shootout. He was in the third position with an 8.811 in his brand new combination. The first three qualifiers are all nitrous assisted. The fourth qualifier is the first that is not. Doug Ring, co-owner of East Coast Supercharging, had his 1998 convertible with 402 cid motor and Novi supercharger in the field at number 4 with a 9.091 @ 157.50. Ring, like Shaw, is slowly ramping into the full power capabilities at this point and we look to see more from each of them. In the fifth spot is Race 1 winner, Jay McCardle. His 1997 supercharged Corvette, also built by Ring and the ECS shop was in at 9.350 @ 144.97. One of the differences between Jay's and Doug's Corvettes is Jay runs with only 346 cid. Our sixth, but not least, qualifier is David Shen in his 1965 Corvette who ran most of the season naturally aspirated but now is sporting just enough nitrous to meet the minimum requirement for the class as well as keep his car capable of running 10.0 at any track any day. In fact, he two was out the night before but running in the 10.0 index which he won! His qualifying time was an impressive and new personal best for the setup, 9.751 @ 135.22.
When the second round of qualifying came around, none of the positions on the ladder were swapped though two divers were able to improve on their qualifying times. Number 1 seed, Michael Conway was able to get closer to the magic 8.50 index with an 8.554 pass at 154.51. Jay McCardle was also able to improve his time to 9.332 @ 145.09. The field was set and the boys were ready to go racing!
||From L to R
||Winner Angelo Valla
Photos by Artie Chin
The first pair out were Mike Conway (1) and David Shen (6). On paper Conway had the edge but we don't race on paper. Shen took the lead at the light with a .155 to Conway's .218. However, Conway was able to take the lead from Shen pretty quickly and motored through the finish line with an 8.957 @ 145.20. Shen followed behind him with a 9.795 @ 135.41. Big credit goes out to the father and son team of David Shen for continual support of the class failing to qualify at several of these races and going out to get the extra horsepower to run it in the nine's. Son David does the driving and father David does the lobbying for new rules. The next pair out was a pair of Blue Corvette's. Angelo Valla (2) with a 1970 Corvette would face Jay McCardle (5) 1997 Corvette. McCardle would get out first with a .087 light. Valla would follow with a .164 light. Like Conway, Valla quickly reeled in his opponent and took the win with an 8.724 @ 161.87. McCardle, with camera on roof, came across the line a little off his qualifying pace with a 9.534 @ 145.00. The final pair, Mark Shaw (3) and Doug Ring (4), were the closest of the pairings by their qualifying times. It would be a close race too. Shaw left first with a .105 light and Ring was out of the hole with a .121. Shaw got to the finish line first edging Ring with an 8.927 @ 156.94 to a 9.073 @ 154.90. Ring's Corvette, a throttle-by-wire powered car, is currently not set to run 100% throttle so there is more to come. He adds a little more percentage each pass. The car has been in the eight's and is sure to be again.
With three Corvettes left for round 2, the number one seed would get a bye run and there would only be one contested run. That would be Valla (2) and Shaw (3). Shaw has less than and a handful of nitrous passes on this new motor and is slowly ramping it up. Valla was out of the gate with a .063 and was trailing! Shaw was dead perfect .000 on the .400 pro tree. However, he slowed quickly and the car made some noise and he got out of it. Valla motored across the finish line with the win with an 8.724 @ 160.86. Meanwhile, back at the bottom end of the track, before Shaw could pull his ride over to the side flames shot up from the motor. It was not good. He got off the throttle and they went out only to come back before finally going out for good. The damage was quite a few melted components under the hood and a puzzle for Shaw to figure out what went wrong. After getting Shaw off the track, Mike Conway would come out for his bye-run to the final. He made a clean safe pass going .147 on the tree and running 9.114 @ 133.99 taking no chance at running under the index which carries a 20 point penalty, even if done on a bye run.
Round 3 The Final
The final was set for the two Friday night runners and the 1 and 2 qualifiers on the ladder. Before that could happen, however, Valla was not quite sure he had enough nitrous for the next pass. Since most of the Pro class drivers pit together, it was a quick visit to the Shaw pits for a loaner. Mark Shaw gave Angelo one of his bottles so he would be sure to make a full pass. As the drivers head under the tower, Conway would go to the right lane and Valla would go left. The cars staged, the light flashed and only Valla was making his way up the track while Conway sat at the line. Valla again would take the win with his opponent left behind. He would run 8.741 @ 161.29 to become the third different Pro 8 Shootout winner of the 2009 season and move into second place in the points standings. Meanwhile Conway made his way to the pits and he and his team with the help of others including the Shen team and Anger Management Racing's Tommy Michalkowski, went searching for the cause of his issues. It was found that there was an issue with his flywheel that caused him not to be able to make that last run. Mike's comment to me was "Sometimes your the windshield and sometimes the bug, today I was the bug" Not your typical racer saying but funny none-the-less. Today was a great day of Pro 8 Shootout racing. Thanks guys.
Awards and Payouts Today
- Winner Angelo Valla earned a payout of $100 cash and a trophy
- Runner-up Michael Conway earned a payout of $50 cash and a trophy
- Number 1 Qualifier Michael Conway received a plaque for his 8.554 @ 164.51 qualifying run
- Jay McCardle received the Best Reaction Time plaque for the best winning reaction time in the first round at .087
2009 Points Standings
The class nearly doubled its points racers today. Michael Conway came into today in the top position and with his runner-up performance leaves in the top position. He leaves with a total of 156 points. That is good for a 42 point lead on second place racer, Angelo Valla. Valla moved into second place today with his event win. These two drivers will be getting a phone call from Raceway Park inviting them to the 29th ANNUAL P.C. RICHARD & SON ALL AMERICAN JET CAR NATIONALS at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ. The event will be held on Wednesday night, August 5, 2009. Jay McCardle fell to third place with 108 points for the season thus far. Mark Shaw's semi-final appearance in his first Pro 8 Shootout of the 2009 puts him in fourth with 56 total points. Doug Ring, in his first appearance in 2009, is in the fifth spot with 35 points. There are only 2 Pro 8 Shootout races remaining for the season.
||Jay McCardle, Jr.
The next Pro 8 Shootout race will be August 22, 2009 with gates opening at 9:30 AM. This race will be followed by the Pro 8 Shootout season finale on October 24th.
Visit the Drag Schedule at www.racewaypark.com 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
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