Vincent Nobile didn’t expect to finish with the No. 1 Pro Stock seed after qualifying at the NHRA O’Reilly Auto Parts Nationals at zMAX Dragway on Sept. 15.
Nobile’s Mountain View Tire Dodge Avenger made sure he bested his expectations.
The 20-year-old Nobile posted a 6.548-second elapsed time in qualifying to secure the first top seed of his career.
“It’s definitely a surprise, but it’s a pleasant surprise,” Nobile said.
Nobile’s best career start was far from a one-man effort.
“For my team it meant the world to them, just because they worked so hard on the car and it performed (the way they wanted),” Nobile said. “I owe it all to the team. They made the car go fast. I just drove it. But coming into the weekend I did not expect to be No. 1 qualifier.”
Nobile’s first-round opponent, Lewis Worden, hasn’t qualified for an event since 1997. Worden made his first attempt since 1999 at the MAC Tools U.S. Nationals at LucasOil Raceway at Indianapolis in early September. Nobile said he won’t take Worden for granted – even though Nobile was in eighth grade the last time Worden was on track before Indy.
“When you’re in the show it’s anyone’s game, so I’m going to go up there and do my own deal,” Nobile said. “Even though I’m No. 1 qualifier it doesn’t mean I’m not going to go up there and try my best. I’m sure Lewis is going to do the same thing and give me a run for my money.”
Nobile enters the first round at zMAX without any previous No. 1 qualifier experience to draw upon, but he knows what it takes to win. Nobile has two wins this season. He captured victories on April 29 at Royal Purple Raceway and on July 8 at Summit Motorsports Park.
Nobile said his drive for a third win of the season won’t be an easy one, but it’s definitely possible – especially considering his car’s speed.
“It’s nice to know that I have a car that can beat everyone out there,” Nobile said.
“Considering if I have the same reaction time as someone, I’ll have (an advantage) with the car, hopefully.”
Nobile's No. 1 seed snaps Jason Line’s four-race top-seed streak at zMAX dating back to the Four-Wide Nationals in 2010.
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