Hoyos' Ecotec-Powered Chevrolet
Runs Quickest E.T. In Pro FWD
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., Oct. 2, 2004
- Nelson Hoyos' Ecotec-powered Chevy Cavalier posted the quickest elapsed time in the history of the NHRA Pro FWD category today during the final qualifying session for the K & N Sport Compact Fall Nationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Hoyos' Chevrolet bolted to its fifth pole position of the season and laid the groundwork for a possible national record after running 7.549 seconds at 185.21 mph.
"This Ecotec-powered Chevy Cavalier is absolutely awesome," said Hoyos. "You can see that this car is getting faster and faster every single round we go. We came here with a brand-new motor knowing that the car would be faster. We had a little bit of an issue in the first round because of the transmission, but we got that solved. We went out in the second round, and overpowered the racetrack, but we still got a nice baseline to work from. We plugged in the right numbers, and wow, a 7.54! Just a phenomenal pass.
"That Chevrolet was a rocket ship. As soon as I shifted into second gear, I said, 'oh boy, here we go.' When I got into third, it was gone, absolutely screaming on the other end. I knew we had run fast, I didn't know how fast, but I knew it was fast. We have a bye in the first round and that could give us the opportunity to go and back it up for the record. The sun is supposed to be out tomorrow, and if the track warms up a little bit, we could run even faster than we did today."
The title in Pro FWD is still up for grabs with Saturn Ion driver Lisa Kubo (qualified fifth) holding a slight 42-point lead in the standings over Chevrolet's Hoyos. Hoyos is the defending champion of the series, has won three of the last four races contested and has earned five of the last six low-qualifying awards. On Sunday, if Hoyos can run within one percent of today's electrifying pass to set the national record, it will mean an additional, and very valuable 20 points in the race for the 2004 Summit Racing Sport Compact title.
"We ran a 4.92 second e.t. to the eighth mile and that's rear-wheel-drive type numbers," said Hoyos. "This team has really come a long way since the last time we were here in May. We all knew at the beginning of the year that we would be in this position, with an opportunity to win the championship, at this point of the season. We were down on power at the start of the year, we were hunting for the right setup, and unfortunately we lost four final-round heartbreakers to Lisa (Kubo) that put us behind the eight-ball. It was still close enough though that we stayed determined, didn't give up and here we are with a truckload of momentum heading into tomorrow.
"Denver turned our season around and fueled our desire to win another championship. I know the guys on this GM Racing team are all championship caliber, and I have complete faith and confidence that we'll get the job done."
Ron Lummus' Ecotec-powered Pontiac Sunfire posted the quickest and fastest lap in the history of the NHRA HOT ROD category today with a run of 7.916 seconds at 184.57 during qualifying for the K & N Filters Sport Compact Fall Nationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Lummus' speed was also a new national record for the category and led to his first No. 1 qualifying effort of the season.
Marty Ladwig's Pontiac Sunfire is qualified in the No. 2 spot after the San Antonio, Tex., resident ran a career-best 7.950 seconds at 181.69 mph. Ladwig, who clinched the 2004 NHRA Summit Sport Compact championship at the series' last event in St. Louis, will be looking for his second victory of the year at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
"The Sunfire is running as fast as it ever has," said Ladwig. "We still need to see if we can step it up a little bit and put this car in the winner's circle again tomorrow. With the championship already wrapped up, this weekend has been a lot of fun - the pressure's off so to speak. Now we can really put the hammer down, go out and try to win the race while putting up some good numbers in the process. On the 7.95 run, the Pontiac definitely wasn't up to full power so there's quite a bit left."
In Pro RWD, Matt Harftford drove his twin-turbo GM Global 3.5L V6-powered Chevy Cavalier to a career-best elapsed time of 6.593 seconds at 211.16 mph. Hartford is qualified in the No. 2 spot behind Stephan Papadakis who took the No. 1 qualifying position and set both ends of a national record with a run of 6.541 seconds at 211.73 mph. Hartford and Papadakis teamed up for the quickest side-by-side pass in NHRA Summit Sport Compact racing history.
"When we were here in May, we were struggling," said Hartford. "The car was a fireball going through the lights, so you can understand what a tremendous feeling it is to come back here five months later and be a part of the quickest side-by-side pass in history. We've been gunning all year to find a winning consistency to our setup. I told Mylon (Keasler) as we were sitting up there that the track was good enough to run a 6.50. We were supposed to run Carlos Montano, and when he didn't show up and I motioned for Steph (Papadakis) to pull in. Our Summit Racing Chevrolet ran the 6.59, he ran the 6.54, and I don't care who crossed the finish line first. For this sport, to have engines at 200 cubic inches running 6.50s, that says a lot about GM and production parts that can run that fast."
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