Michigan’s own Bob Rahaim earned his breakthrough first Pro Nitrous title July 14, in the ADRL Summer Drags VIII at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, MI, and promptly dedicated the win to ailing crew chief Kevin Bowen, who recently was hospitalized for cancer treatment.
“I want to thank Kevin especially,” Rahaim said after beating Pat Stoken in the final round. “He’s not here today; he’s pretty sick right now and had some surgery, but I know he’s watching what’s going on and without him none of this would’ve happened. He really pulled our whole program together and this win is a tribute to him.”
Rahaim qualified third behind Jim Laurita and Doug Riesterer in the number-one slot. He caught a break in round one when Blake Housley’s red-light start allowed a troubled seven-second pass to advance, then defeated Ed Burnley and John Vergotz to meet Stoken, who beat Jason Harris, Riesterer and Rickie Jones on his side of the ladder.
A career-best 3.797 at 197.10 mph delivered the race win to Rahaim, while Stoken posted a game, but losing 3.936 at 188.55 pass.
“This car just checked out,” Rahaim said of his Reher-Morrison 855-equipped ’69 Camaro in the final. “As soon as I got through the gear change I knew it was just flying, man, as straight as an arrow.”
The win came in Rahaim’s third ADRL final-round appearance.
“It’s amazing. It’s been a life-long dream to compete at this level and I couldn’t be happier with the way things have turned out. We’ve been close a couple of times before, but to finally get our first win is something special,” the Grosse Point resident said. “Everyone did just a fabulous job all day long and I want to thank everybody for their help.”
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