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Keith Valone takes the Pro 8 win and Mike Mitchell wins the Pro 8 Championship

The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Qualifiers
1.Keith Valone8.460160.16
2.Bill Maloney8.772158.22
3.Angelo Valla9.095150.70
4.Doug Ring9.891141.79
5.Kenny Sforza9.938142.64
6.Mike Romain10.056137.78
7.Brian Miller10.134135.80
8.Brent Grigsby10.197135.04
9.Corky Heisler10.275131.51
10.Mike Conway10.311130.34
11.Jesse Azzato10.335131.60
12.Mike Koletas10.353129.90
10/23/04 - Englishtown, NJ Some drivers went to great lengths to run and compete in the The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout but none greater than today's winner, Keith Valone. Valone traveled over 1500 miles from Fort Myers, Florida to compete with his Valone Motorsports 1996 Torch Red Corvette. Valone's low 8-second Corvette is a work of art and backed by the Corvette Connections team including Matt Roadcap, Miguel DelValle, Norman and Charles and his son. Returning two-time winner Mike Mitchell and Valone came in as leading candidates for Pro 8 Final on paper. However, much like we here at many sporting events, we don't run them on paper, but on the track. And we were in for some awesome surprises and scary moments featuring the quickest and fastest Corvettes in the nation.


The Vette Doctors Pro 8 had its quickest outing today with three new cars making the event today. Along with Valone, Angelo Valla brought out his beautiful Blue C3 for the first time this year as did ECS co-owner Doug Ring in his new Black C5 and Calvin Baltimore also brought out his parachute wearing Black C5. John Gormanís Vette Doctor's C5 with the big hood scoop was out again with Bill Maloney behind the wheel making the maiden voyage on nitrous for the car. Speaking of nitrous, the biggest surprise of our event was that our two points leaders, Paul "Major Spray" Major and Mike Mitchell, did NOT make the fastest field ever for the Pro 8. Mitchell, who was running 8s at the last event, missed first qualifier, then made a wild wheel standing launch having to lift followed by a big pop and fire squeezing out the hood when he suffered a nitrous backfire at the line in his third qualifier. But it would not be the last we here of him so we will be back on that. Paul Major did not have a good couple weeks leading up to the event and he also missed the first qualifier and did not get it all together to make the 10.19 bump spot held by Brent Grigsby in the ghost-flamed C5. The field featured two cars clicking off 8-second passes as Keith Valone and Bill Maloney took the top two spots in the eights. Newcomer, Angelo Valla just missed an eight in his C3 during qualifying. Doug Ring unveiled his 9.8 second C5 followed by Kenny Sforza, running his Vette Doctor's nitrous stroker motor into the nines for the first time. Rounding out the field was Mike Romain in the Cartek Racing C5 at 10.05 and Brian Miller on for the first time on a supercharged engine running 10.13 ahead of Grigsby's 10.19 bump spot.

Winner Mike Mitchell Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout group shot race 4 of 2004 Runner-up Joe Valla saddles up for first round
Winner Keith Valone Group photo front, Winner Keith Valone, runner-up Angelo Valla, rear l-r, Norman, Dennis Hemmerly, Matt Roadcap, Miguel DelValle, Carmen Melillo, Joey, Paul Major Runner-up Joe Valla saddles up for first round

Round 1

Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout
Keith Valone, far lane, leaves on Brent Grigsby in a qualifying run
We start the round with newcomer Angelo Valla against series veteran Mike Romain. This race was the 3 vs. 6 pair. Valla cut the second best light of the round at .299 leaving Romain by a tenth and half. Valla roared through the finish line with his first round win at an astounding 8.573 @ 163.16 MPH and well ahead of Romain who must have experienced some sort of problem only running a low 12 (video). they were followed to the line by another newcomer, Keith Valone and veteran Brent Grigsby. Valone cut the best light of the round, earning him the John Panuzzo Jr. Memorial Award and $50, at .237. After qualifying in the eights, Valone took a little off easily defeating Grigsby's ghost-flamed Blue C5 with a 9.120 @ 149.68 to Grigsby's 10.700 @ 126.00 (video). They were followed by the 4 vs. 5 race, on paper, the closest race of the round. Kenny Sforza took the tree advantage over Doug Ring. Sforza then went on a wild ride when the car went left toward the centerline nearly crossing it and which would have disqualified him. It was ruled he did not cross the line and his 10.927 @ 95.65 MPH (coming from the lift) was more than enough to defeat East Coast Supercharging co-owner Doug Ring who seized the supercharger and crossed the line in just over 14 seconds (video) . The final pair was the 2 vs. 7 battle with Bill Maloney wheeling John Gorman's Vette Doctors solid rear C5 with the big stacks and hood scoop. Maloney ran his second eight second pass of the day at 8.890 @ 148.90 handing Brian Miller the loss with a 10.621 @ 131.52 (video).

Mike Mitchell did not qualify for the Pro 8 because he could not make a clean pass. However, he was allowed to make an exhibition pass after the first round of Pro 8. This time he got it all together lighting up the board with the quickest pass of the round with a 8.39 @ 166 MPH (video). That was a tremendous effort by Mitchell.
Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout
Kenny Sforza sees air

Round 2

Keith Valone would take on Kenny Sforza in the second round. Valone improved on this tree from the first round with a .212 and of course had the horsepower to handle Sforza. Valone clicked it off with an 8.540 at 159.32 to Sforza's 10.494 @ 131.47 (video). Angelo Valla and Bill Maloney promised to be quite the battle with both driver's in the eight's earlier today. Valla fired it and did his burnout but Maloney struggled to get his car started. No matter how hard they tried it would not fire. Unfortunately the day was done for Maloney as they rolled him off (video) the track as Valla was let loose. During the competition single pass, Valla heard something he did not like so he coasted to 13 second pass and went on to the pits to check it out. The ill for the Maloney/Gorman entry was not known until Monday when the simplest of issues was found to be the cause. It was a poor battery terminal connection that ended the day for the eight-second ride.
Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout
Maloney wheels the "Next Level"

Round 3 - The Final

When the call came for the final, Valone was set and ready to go. Unfortunately the noise that Valla had heard was bad news. The engine had spun a bearing and would not make the final round. Keith Valone then lined it up and took the competition single and his first Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout win running yet another 8-second pass at 8.588 @ 159.36 with his best light of the day, a .058 light.
Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout
Romain vs. Valla

Final Points Standings - Mike Mitchell wins the Championship

The one and two points racers came in with a points tie and separated by only their number of event wins. Oddly, neither points leader Mike Mitchell, nor runner-up Paul Major qualified for today's race. Bill Maloney had a chance to catch them but did not accomplish it. So the first ever The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout champion is Mike Mitchell by virtue of the tie breaker. The tie breaker for racers is the number of event wins. With Mitchell wining two events (he won events 2 and 3) and Paul Major winning one (he won event 1) Mitchell is crowned the Pro 8 Champion. Mitchell will receive a $500 gift certificate from The certificate will be awarded at the East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge Banquet to be held on Saturday January 22, 2005 at the Ramada in East Brunswick. You can purchase tickets by contacting Edgar Perez. Tickets are $35 per person and include a buffet meal and cash bar. Discounted rooms are available for those who wish to spend the night.

2004 Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout Points Standings
2004 Race 1
2004 Race 2
2004 Race 3
2004 Race 4

Wait until next year!!

The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout, in its first full season with an eight car field, was a huge success!. Today's field was the quickest field ever present with 8 Corvettes qualified at 10.197 or better with the number one qualifier at 8.460 being Keith Valone. With the competition getting faster and several project cars out there still in progress, this class is sure to get better and better. We look forward to hosting the series again in 2005 and hope to bring you even closer, competitive and exiting racing that our Corvettes are capable of. Please frequent the home page at for future announcements regarding the Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout Series for 2005.

Pictures and Videos

To see video of Pro 8 and other races click here and go to Oct 23, 2004
To congratulate the drivers click here
Click here for Bracket Results from today.

modified: December 31, 1969 - 7:00 pm

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