Mike Mitchell wins Race 5
10/29/05 - Englishtown, NJ -
2004 Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout presented by Neverlift Racecraft Champion, Mike Mitchell, has not made a full schedule this season but with today's win has put himself within striking distance to repeat in 2005. In fact, Mitchell traded his car for boat and he was to be out of competition the remainder of the season. Dean Mitchell, Mike's younger brother by seven years, was upset with the trade and worked out a deal with the car's new owner to buy the car back. He just couldn't to be out of the racing scene himself. The plan is for Mike to finish the the remainder of the Pro 8 season behind the wheel and then Dean will work his way into the driver's seat.
In qualifying, Mitchell led the field taking the qualifying spot at 8.368 with the C4, followed by Paul Ziajski at 8.76 and Angelo Valla at 8.821 156.88. They were followed in the field by John Carter in the 4 spot and Doug Ring, Mike Conway and Jason Anderson in the tens and Tom Sabolevsky looking for tens.
Just before first round, Raceway Park did a little heating and gluing of the starting line to help the cars with traction which was hard to keep as the track was quite cold today (video). The first pair out was Paul Ziajski and Jason Anderson. This race on paper was to be easily Ziajski's as he qualified almost two seconds quicker than Anderson. However, the long wait between Ziajskiís last qualifying run and first round run left the car too cold and he had difficulty doing the burnout. So with very little heat in the tire and a cold track, Ziajski was sure to be traction challenged. When he left the line the car did some wicked sliding and bouncing . Ziajski battled the car and got it to finish the quarter mile with a slower but winning 11.113 @ 152.73 to Anderson's impressive naturally aspirated 10.771 @ 129.55. Ziajski much better light helped him to the win and a hold of first place for the moment, (video). Next out was Angelo Valla and Mike Conway. Conway had to keep the car running to help keep the nitrous bottle warm. It did not come all together for him however as he can only muster a 10.857 @ 123.55 in the car that has seen a 9.99. Valla on the other side was dead on and loaded for bear. Valla clicked off a round best ET of 8.395 @ 165.60 MPH for the sure win and kept pace in the points (1 behind) with Ziajski,(video). Next out was the 4 v.5 race which is always a close one. Doug Ring was out with Alan Eckert's "Blue" car sporting a "glide" for the first time. East Coast Supercharging completed the conversion and Ring's been driving it daily for a couple weeks and was making its first quarter mile passes. As they lined up, Ring's ride was lined up slightly out of the grove so it we hoped for the best. The car got loose at launch but Ring reeled it back into the grove and was off to a 10.524 pass. Carter dead hooked and clocked a 9.894 @ 139.01 beating Ring to the finish line. However, Carter was subsequently disqualified for not meeting all the NHRA safety rules for a 9-second car and Ring was officially awarded the win, (video). Final pair in was Mike Mitchell and Tom Sabolevsky. The 1 v. 8 race would seem like a formality but given the track conditions, one could not tell what would happen. Filling the 8th spot was a little tough as drivers were reluctant, and reasonable so, to make the pass against Mitchell and upsetting their bracket racing program so Sabolevsky jumped in to take the spot. He gave it his best shot getting and was happy to take another shot at a 10 second pass but came a little short clocking an 11.299 @ 122.71. Mitchell on the other side got the easy win but not so easy ET as he had to lift and brake at the top end as the car got loose. He managed to click off an 8.675 at only 128.14 and thankfully no issue, (video).
I want to thank driver Eric Fischer who was willing to step in and take that 8th spot until we found Tom. Thankfully we did find Tom as Fischer went on to win the bracket race. So thanks and congratulations Eric. Bracket Results
So the stage was set for a first place battler with Ziajski and Valla. A win for Ziajski would open up a two point lead for him and a win for Valla would put them in a tie with one round to go today and a full race next week. The two and three qualifiers put on a great show. Ziajski clocked an 8.560 at 156.75 and Valla an almost identical 8.579 but at a lower 142.15 MPH as there was a trail of smoke following him to the finish. Unfortunatly for Ziajski, he left too early on the Pro .400 tree by .011 making the, almost side-by-side runs (Valla was way late) moot. And know they were tied, (video). Mike Mitchell looking to get into that points chase, needs every win, literally. He was on the money with a .035 light and big win at 9.319 @ 119.10 over Doug Ring's new record in "Blue" at 10.041 @ 126.68 despite blowing the head gasket on the run, (video). We expect big things for "Blue" but it is still the little brother of "Green" which should be on the track next year.
As we waited for the final round, Mike Mitchell came to report to me that there had been a mishap in the pits and Valla would not be making the final call. The Valla Racing team worked feverishly to ready the car for the final round, as was mentioned the smoke at the finish of the prior round. It was apparent that while working the car, something had gone array as when they went the start the car, a huge nitrous explosion occurred. The hood blew off, the valve covers and oil pan were bent and the intake was blown into pieces according to Mitchellís account of the explosion. Thankfully no one in the pit area was hurt. Valla was done. Mitchell only needed to take the start and did so with an easy 17.205 win, (video).
Mike Mitchell was thankful brother Dean went and got the car back and kept it in the family. He also thanked his engine builder, Bobby Bammann of Bammann Racing for the building such a great motor.
The win, however, puts Mitchell in position to challenge for the top points spot next week. Ziajski and Valla are tied with 12 pts. Mitchell has 10. The Pro 8 is worth 4 pts total for a win. If all three make the first round call, they each get a point but 1 point for each round win mean Mitchell wins the championship with an event win or a few other combinations. Ziajski takes the championship by if he ends tied with Valla by virtue of the event win tie breaker. Again, way to many scenarios to list and at this point, we don't know if Valla can recover from the explosion. Best of luck to you guys next week.
To congratulate the drivers on the Corvette Forum, click here
Awards and Payouts Today
- Winner Mike Mitchell earned a payout of $100 Cash courtesy of The Vette Doctors and Neverlift Racecraft.
- Runner-up Angelo Valla earned a payout of $50 from The Vette Doctors and Neverlift Racecraft
- Number 1 Qualifier Michael Mitchell received a plaque for his 8.368 qualifying run.
- Mike Mitchell received the Best Reaction Time plaque for the best winning reaction time in the first round at .135
Congratulate the drivers on The Corvette Forum
Points Standings - Ziajski and Valla Tied with Mitchell in Striking Distance
When Angelo Valla defeated Ziajski in the second round he tied him in the points championship at 12. Then when Valla could not make the final round, Mitchell got the win and brought himself up to 10 points. There will be 3 rounds and 4 pts up for grabs at the next race so either of these three men can take the championship. Valla will have a job ahead of him before the race to try to put the motor back as both Ziajski and Mitchell will not have that issue and will be bringing their best for The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout finale.
|2005 Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout Points Standings
|2005 || R1
|2005 || R4
The final Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown NJ on Saturday, November 5, 2005 with the gates opening at 9 AM. The racing action between the top three promises to be fierce and many will be looking to play the upset or blocker role so you have to check it out. Remember this series is open to any Corvette who signs up for points and meets all the Saturday bracket rules and Pro 8 rules. Entry is free with a bracket race entry. Come on out to race or watch.
Pictures and Videos
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Click here for Bracket Results from the previous day.
modified: December 31, 1969 - 7:00 pm
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