Despite winning his first ADRL Extreme Pro Stock (XPS) championship last year, Cary Goforth didn’t like the way his 2011 season ended. This time around he was determined to close out his second-straight series title run in style and finished with his car on fire and the win light on for the XPS final Oct. 20, at the ADRL World Finals VIII presented by CarSafe at the Texas Motorplex, near Dallas.
“Man, when it hit high gear just as I was reaching the finish line—BOOM!—I could see fire coming in around the bottom, but all I was thinking about was how cool it was to win this thing,” Goforth said immediately upon climbing from his still-smoking 2010 GXP after track workers extinguished a few remaining flickers of flame.
“Last year we came in here nursing a hurt motor and went out second round. I did not want to do that again. This time we came prepared to go the distance and show that we come to race no matter what the points say,” he continued. “Winning this race means an awful lot to me.”
After four rounds of qualifying, Goforth slotted into third place at 4.055 seconds and 177.32 mph, just ahead of his father and teammate, Dean, and behind only Pete Berner and John DeFlorian, who secured his fifth number-one start in the 10-race series this year with a 4.040 pass at 179.95 that also set a new speed record for the class.
In round one of racing, Goforth got an easy 4.095 win when DeFlorian’s teammate, Kevin Bealko, went red at the start, and then he led stripe-to-stripe against Richard Penland to post a 4.131 win at 173.83 in round two. Round three saw past class champ John Montecalvo fall to a 4.072 at 175.96 by Goforth—which also gave him lane choice for the final by just one-thousandth of a second over DeFlorian.
DeFlorian reached the XPS final with a series of 4.085 at 176.77 against Brian Gahm, 4.127 at 174.53 over Elijah Morton, and 4.073 at 177.09 in defeating rookie driver Matt Bertsch.
That left only the final and Goforth left nothing to chance, leaving with a .045 advantage off the start and running 4.096 at 175.57 at the expense of one motor, with DeFlorian fading a little to 4.102 at 176.26 mph. The win represented Goforth’s third in 2012 and the class-leading ninth of his ADRL career.
“I’m just so proud of my team and the work they put in to make this happen again,” the Holdenville, OK, racer said. “It’s so hard to let people know how much goes into something like this and I want to thank my dad, too, for giving me the opportunity to live a dream like this.”
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