In vaulting up from fourth place, Pat Stoken didn’t even realize he’d just made the third-quickest pass in Pro Nitrous (PN) history when he ran 3.769 seconds at 198.44 mph to seize the provisional number-one spot after the first day of qualifying for the ADRL World Finals VIII presented by CarSafe.
“I thought it said 3.86,” Stoken said of his quick glance at the scoreboard as he sailed his Rick Jones-built ’69 Camaro into the shutdown area of the Texas Motorplex. “It was so smooth and so straight that it didn’t feel especially fast. It didn’t feel any different than the pass before, so it wasn’t until I got down there to the top end that someone told me 3.76 and I realized what had happened.”
Stoken credited RJ Race Cars, Reher-Morrison Racing Engines and Switzer Dynamics for providing the tools he needed to post a career-best performance in Friday’s third round of qualifying.
“We’re getting there; it’s starting to do what we want it to do,” said the Eureka, MT-based logger. “But we’ve gotta’ have some luck, too, so hopefully it’ll be there when we have to go racing.”
Stoken also pointed out he has a secret weapon in his pit, or at least a lucky charm, as his six-year-old grandson, Jace, along with his daughter Caley, had joined him at the track for the first time in five years. He also singled out the efforts of his wife, Terrie, and sons Cory and Casey for all they do to keep him on track. “My boys, my team, they work really hard to make this happen. It’s a total family effort.”
Following Stoken on the PN qualifying list with a fourth and final session to go on Saturday were Jim Laurita, newly crowned class champion Bob Rahaim, Rickie Jones and Robert Mathis.
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