NHRA drivers Vincent Nobile, Antron Brown and Ed Krawiec head “home” as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series visits the northeast for the first time this season for this weekend’s Toyota NHRA Summernationals, Thursday through Sunday, May 30th through June 2nd at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Elnglishtown, New Jersey. All four Mello Yello categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – will be competing at Englishtown.
Pro Stock driver Nobile, a resident of Melville, New York, considers Old Bridge Township Raceway Park his home track, located just over 70 miles from his home. Nobile raced Jr. Dragsters there, winning the first race he entered as an NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League competitor.
“It is a lot of fun, my whole family comes out,” said Nobile, currently sixth in Pro Stock standings. “My dad and my mom usually come to every race. My extended family, my aunts, my uncles, and friends all come out to support me when we race at Englishtown, so it is really fun to go there.”
2012 Top Fuel champ Brown, a native of Chesterfield, New Jersey, has been to victory lane at Raceway Park in the past, in both 2002 and 2005 in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class, but has yet to win there in the Top Fuel ranks.
“I’ve never won in Top Fuel at Englishtown,” said Brown currently third in points. “That would be an awesome feeling to take home that Wally from Raceway Park with all my family and friends there to celebrate. There is so much drag racing history at that place. When you consider all of the records that have been set there over the years, the great night racing, and it was the place where you could always go out and see all of the greats in the sport. Today I am that same kid at heart heading out to Raceway Park with the same love and passion for the sport.”
Three-time PSM champ Krawiec has spent more time at Raceway Park than most – Krawiec grew up in Englishtown and worked as the track manager at Raceway Park before beginning his professional racing career in 2004. He didn’t pick up his first win at his home track until last year.
“To finally win at Englishtown was a huge pressure off my back,” said Krawiec, tied for fourth in points. “Back in 2009, I made it to the final there against Craig Treble and I played it a little too safe on the tree. I came up (with a reaction time of .061) and Treble came up (.007) and ended up taking the win by just a few (thousandths of a second). That killed me, because it would have been my first career win and to have happened at my home track would have been huge. I thought maybe I let that win get away from me, but luckily enough in 2012 I had an awesome motorcycle going into the race. Qualifying went killer for me and I pretty much had my way in eliminations. Hector (Arana) Sr. went red to me in the final and I took the win. I told people, ‘Now that I’ve sealed the deal here I can move forward in my career.’ Even to this day it puts a smile on my face.”
Qualifying for the Toyota NHRA Summernationals takes place Friday at 4 and 6:15 p.m. ET, and continues on Saturday at noon and 2:15 p.m. ET. Final eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m. ET. Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.
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