BAYTOWN, Texas — For Vincent Nobile entering an event where he is the two-time defending champion and where he recorded his first Mello Yello Drag Racing Series victory will give him an extra boost of confidence at the upcoming O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals presented by Super Start Batteries, April 26-28.
In 2011, Nobile was in his first full season in the Pro Stock category and had raced to one final round appearance at the third race of the season in Las Vegas. When the series entered Houston for the fifth race of season, Nobile and his father, who serves as crew chief, once again found themselves in the finals at the end of the day. Nobile was able to defeat local favorite Rodger Brogdon and hoisted an NHRA Wally trophy for the first time in his career.
“That was a pretty emotional day,” Nobile said. “The best memory of it all was seeing my dad at the top end after we had won. I instantly broke down into tears because it has been a goal of my father’s to win an NHRA race for 20 years, and we finally accomplished it together.”
When the series returned to Royal Purple Raceway in 2012 it was under similar circumstances as he again was the runner-up at Las Vegas earlier in the season. Nobile again powered to the finals and defeated Dave Connolly to claim his fourth career victory. While he has had success at the venue he by no means thinks he has complete mastery of the track.
“It honestly has been just coincidence and a little bit of luck,” he continued. “We never qualified in the top three there so it’s not as if we have a performance advantage at that track, but for whatever reason Royal Purple Raceway treats my team well.”
Nobile and his Mountain View Tire Dodge Avenger team have joined forces with J & J Racing with Allen Johnson and Jeg Coughlin as teammates for the 2013 season and are currently fifth in points. They won the season-opening event in Pomona and while they have tasted success they are confident the best is yet to come.
“I have a hard working team who doesn’t give up,” Nobile said. “I definitely think we have a shot at the championship. We are currently not running up to our par, but I know we will get it straightened out by the time it really counts, the Countdown to the Championship.”