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Paul Ziajski captures 2006 Race 1 win on a Holeshot!

by Edgar Perez

Qualifiers - The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout presented by Neverlift Racecraft
1Paul Ziajski 8.797 157.21
2Angelo Valla 9.128 151.41
3John Carter10.029 138.51
4Alan Eckert10.154 135.18
5Doug Ring 10.670 120.27
6Rob Zona10.864 125.67
7Jason Anderson10.883 129.32
8Tommy Michalkowski10.993 115.76
9Paul Major 11.792 122.24
10Bill Maloney 13.193 111.19
03/18/06 - Englishtown, NJ - The era of the Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout presented by Neverlift Racecraft was underway with bitter cold and the harsh reality that it takes a mountain of time to move a Corvette this quick. New for 2006, The Pro 8 Shootout is now run as a individual class earning its separation from the Corvette Challenge (bracket races) while still running along side of it. You'd think that since their last race in November, everyone would be loaded for bear and ready to go having three months to get the cars ready. Notable names missing from the list of qualifiers were Mike and Dean Mitchell who placed second in points last year. The reliable nitrous motor is out of the car and totally new combination is waiting. Speaking of new combinations, Vette Doctors camp racers, Paul Major and Bill Maloney were not quite ready for this race as finishing touches are being applied to their new turbocharged entries. However, both drivers acquired valuable points by entering their "backup" Corvettes in Saturday's season opener. Major with the new 2006 Z06 qualified number 9 at 11.792 but made it into the field as an alternate as did Maloney in his 1990 ZR-1 Corvette with a 13.193 in the tenth spot. East Coast Supercharging also with a car in the build kept us in the waiting on Alan Eckert "Green" project but were able to make the field with Alan Eckert's "Blue" C5. Alan piloted the blue Vette in his debut Pro 8 appearance placing solidly in the 4th spot with a 10.154. Doug Ring took the reigns of another customer car and secured the number 5 position on the ladder with a 10.67.

Pro 8 Group
Runner up Angelo Valla
Photo by Chris Young
Runner up Angelo Valla with Paul Ziajski on his left and son Angelo and friends on his right
Photo by Chris Young
Race 1 Winner Paul Ziajski
Photo by Chris Young

Round 1

Defending Pro 8 Shootout Champion Paul Ziajski with his 346 cubic inch 2002 Z06 Corvette sporting twin turbos put together by Cartek Racing, was first on the track. His opponent, Bill Maloney, got into the field due to number 8 qualifier Tommy Michalkowski breaking his radiator and not being able to make the field. Maloney, driving a 1990 Turquoise ZR-1 Corvette was happy to get the spot though the outcome was fairly predictable as Ziajski had him covered by 4 seconds. Ziajski took this into account a left nothing to chance cutting a very conservative light and taking the win with a 9.357 @ 137.16 mph. The next pair out was Angelo Valla with the blue 555 cubic inch nitrous fed big block 1972 Corvette against Jason Anderson in a white self built 402 cubic inch small block naturally aspirated 1999 Corvette FRC. Anderson would have an uphill battle against Valla and did not help himself by handing Valla a .075 reaction time advantage on the .400 pro tree. Valla kept it close and finished ahead of Anderson with a 10.681 @ 114.61 to Anderson's 10.734 @ 130.02. Third pair out was Alan "Blue" Eckert hoping to light his first Pro 8 win light against Paul "so close to ten's 06 Z06" Major. Major was fortunate to make the field when Doug Ring crossed the finish line in a cloud of smoke hurting the block on his car and not making the call to first round. Eckert was faced with an issue and he did not get a clean burnout so would have to be careful leaving the line with his ECS-built 2001 Corvette packing 402 cubic inches of Paxton supercharged power. Eckert's launch was slow to compensate for lack of burnout but he had more than enough horsepower to overpower Major's GM built stock 427 in the 2006 Chevrolet Corvette, tweaked by the Vette Doctors. It was Eckert, 10.298 @ 133.90 over Major, 11.036 @ 126.88 mph capturing his first Pro 8 round win. The final pair was John Carter and Dr Rob Zona. Carter made it to Englishtown with just enough time to make the final qualifier with his 388 cubic inch 2000 Z06 Corvette. Carter was looking forward to making the first Pro 8 event and using this opportunity to make some shake-down passes as the black Z06 is sporting a fresh motor and new drive train. Rob Zona's 346 cubic inch head and cam car would face an uphill battle and took a .071 tree advantage and finished behind Carter's 9.857 @ 140.28 to his 10.881 @ 125.26 However, Carter did not pass post race inspection as his newly installed Neverlift roll cage had not completed NHRA certification process in order to run under 10.0 and he was disqualified moving Zona on to round 2.

Round 2

Coming off his first round win, Alan Eckert was eager to stage his supercharged entry and continue his winning streak. Alan led the field onto the track paired up against Paul Ziajski's twin turbo. Eckert was out of the shoot first but was reeled in by Ziajski who took the lead and did not give it up. Ziajski advanced to the final round on the strength of a 9.455 @ 138.66 pass to Blue's 10.189 @ 133.24. Next up was Valla and Zona. Big block nitrous vs. Small block head and cam. Dr Zona was out of the gate second was not his usual self on the track running a second slow at 11.698 @ 119.43. Valla ripped off his best run of the day at 9.084 @ 153.02

Final Round

The final was set as it should be with the number 1 and 2 qualifiers facing off in hopes of capturing the first win of the season. The feeling is that both drivers might have been holding a little during eliminations due to bigger advantages over their opponents. However, both drivers were playing for keeps in the finals and both cars would be pushed to their limits. Ziajski took a huge starting line advantage over Valla with a .040 reaction time. The photo of the final paints a very clear picture of the advantage. You can see Ziajski, wheels up, green light while Valla is still in the right lane, both staging lights still on, not moving. Valla was out of the hole with a .385 light. He motored down the track after Ziajsi's twin turbo car. Ziajski crossed the finish line nine hundredths of a second ahead of Valla with an 8.629 @ 157.72 mph to Valla's, quicker but losing, 8.379 at 165.40. A very close and exciting finish for sure. So it looks like Ziajski and Valla are in for dog fight for the championship of the 5-race series. However, don't count out the other big dog Corvettes that will be out at our next Pro 8 Shootout race on April 15. Those who have not done their taxes, could get "taxed on Tax Day"

The HoleShot

Congratulate the drivers and sponsors on the Corvette Forum

Awards and Payouts Today

  • Winner Paul Ziajski earned a payout of $100 cash and a trophy.
  • Runner-up Angelo Valla earned a payout of $50 cash and a trophy.
  • Number 1 Qualifier Paul Ziajski received a plaque for his 8.669 qualifying run.
  • Angelo Valla received the Best Reaction Time plaque for the best winning reaction time in the first round at .401

Points Standings

Click for points standings

Next Race

The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout will be back in action on April 15, 2006. See you there.

All Are Invited to Our 2005 Awards Banquet

Please join us in celebrating the season and awarding our drivers at our Awards Banquet to be held February 11, 2006 at 6 PM at the Holiday Inn in Monroe, NJ. Tickets are $35 per person, (must be purchased before the Banquet) and a block of rooms for $89 a night is being held. For tickets email Visit for updates on the banquet.

Pictures and Videos

To see video of Pro 8 and other races visit All runs captured including qualifications.

Picture gallery

280 Photos by Chris Young
230 Photos by Mike Roberts

Click here for Bracket Results

modified: December 31, 1969 - 7:00 pm

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