Tommy Michalkowski Captures Pro 8 Shootout Race 4 Make-up and Angelo Captures Championship
by Edgar Perez
11/18/06 - We had 11 Corvettes make it out for the initial running of this race but only three made it back for the makeup race today. Several drivers were either in the vacation homes/states, nursing broken cars or sold their car mid-season. With closed qualifying, no new drivers could be brought into the race. We did have one driver, Bill Maloney who came out to do some test passes with his new single rear mounted turbo C5 Corvette. Angelo Valla came in with the Championship already clinched. With only three cars, the wrap-up will be short but not full of surprises. The underdog Michalkowski came in as an alternate with his mid 10-second C5, Valla who was knocking on the door of a 7-second pass, and Paul Major, who has gone mid 7-seconds several times, rounded out the field of 3 cars.
|Official Qualifiers (see 10/09/06 correction) - The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout presented by Neverlift Racecraft
|1||Paul Major ||8.146 || 176.27
|2||Angelo Valla ||8.262 || 172.19
|3||Paul Ziajski ||8.990 || 149.02
|4||Mark Shaw ||9.480 || 141.31
|5||Michael Mitchell ||9.738 || 143.19
|6||Michael Moore ||10.002 || 140.68
|7||Greg Kordis ||10.134 || 111.11
|8||John Carter ||10.421 || 136.61
|Did Not Qualify (Alternates)
|9||Alan Eckert||10.443 || 136.10
|10||Tommy Michalkowski||10.534 || 130.57
|11||6465||12.230 || 112.13 |
Time Trials - As mentioned, the field was set. However, the drivers were allowed to take two time trials in place of what would have been qualifiers. While the field was not open, we did allow other Pro 8 participants to bring their cars out and run with the Pro 8 cars to make "test" passes. Bill Maloney took advantage of the opportunity. He made a few passes and on his last pass of the day, set the quickest time ever seen by us in the stock rear independent suspension Corvette. Maloney ripped off an 8.60 @ 163.85 (video). This is a great way to finish the season with The Vette Doctors rear mounted turbo project car getting a record and long time participant Bill Maloney putting a big smile on his face. The pass breaks the mark previously set by Paul Major when he ran 8.903 @ 151.70 in his Vette Doctors Nitrous tuned Corvette (video). That was not all the excitement we would see in time trails. Angelo Valla has been chugging along inching toward the elusive 7-second time slip for a couple of years now. Each outing he would get closer. Today, the slip was his. He came out with the 1972 Targa Blue coupe and got it down the track, straight as an arrow and like the Champion he is, lit the boards to an amazing 7.931 @ 177.46 (video). Congratulate the Champ on www.corvetteforum.com. Paul Major was out chasing the LS motored record of 7.51 set by Ronnie Duke of Hardcore Racing in Michigan. He came awfully close with a 7.55 but not close enough. Michalkowski, figuring he was outgunned by his 7-second competitors, opted to not take any time trials.
|Runner-up Paul Major (from file photos)|
Photo by Mike Roberts
|Edgar Perez and Tommy Michalkowski|
Photo by Mike Roberts
|Winner Tommy Michalkowski|
Photo by Mike Roberts
Round 1 - Tommy Michalkowski would line up in the left lane with Angelo Valla in the right. On paper, this one should be no test of driver ability but they still went out to have a good time. What was about to happen next was a cold hard reminder of why we need to take every contest seriously. It only takes a small split second to make something go wrong, terribly wrong. Valla was out first and hard. The car went right. By then, Tommy, nearly a second later on the tree was underway. Valla lifted to the gather the car up. With the car about to resume control, Valla got back on the throttle. Again the car went right, and then just after the 330-foot mark, went left, way left. The C3 went across the track into the left lane, just as Tommy was reaching that very same 330-foot mark. The C3 went across the track into the left lane, just as Tommy was reaching that very same 330 foot mark. Tommy realized what was happening and took evasive maneuvers to brake and swing right, narrowly missing Valla's wheelie bars. Valla continues across headed dead on to the wall. He was able the swing the car back so it did not hit head-on. He tagged the wall with the left front causing some damage to the car but thankfully no damage to the driver. He banged his head against the roll bar and his head and face hurt him some but he is fine. Tommy, while surprised was not shaken. He was in the midst of a great pass with a personal best 60' of 1.42 but was happier not t-boning Angelo than completing the pass (video). After the delay Major made his pass as we all held our breath after seeing Valla hit the wall. He was off safely and cleanly on the way to a an 7.622 @ 186.95 (video).
Round 2 - The Final - One again the underdog Michalkowski would be in the left with Major in the right this time. Major was shooting for that 7.51 record. As the burnouts began, Major's was shorter than expected. As the tires turned and churned we heard a pop. Major stopped immediately and Carmen Melillo and Bill Maloney immediately called for Major to shut it down. The rear had snapped during the burnout (video) . There would be no record pass. However, there would be a fifth different event winner in The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout for 2006 as Tommy Michalkowski, the underdog, the dragon slayer, the survivor, the alternate, would be off to an event win. His pass was not clean at all, in fact he got loose and off the throttle and coasted to a 13-second win (video).
The day was done, the season was done and although we had a scare, we were all safe. As usual, a large group of racers headed out for dinner at The Olde Silver Tavern and we had a great time. Tommy was so happy with his trophy, we made him bring it in and set it at the center of the table. He was a good sport. Congratulate Tommy on www.corvetteforum.com.
Visit the web site for the latest news regarding The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout for 2007
10/09/06 - Today we are announcing a correction in this article affecting qualifying for today's race and its make/completion on November 18, 2006. The decision to throw out today's qualifying has been overturned by Raceway Park track manager Ed Krawiec. When the article and announcement on the Corvette Forum were written, I was under the impression that we can re-qualify a field for the make-up. This is not how a qualified field is handled when the race is made up. Customary with NHRA and how Raceway Park has always handled Pro type racing with qualified fields, qualifying for today will stand. Each driver who attends the make up must complete the event in the same car that was qualified much like if the race was completed on that day. We apologize for the confusion.
08/19/06 - Englishtown, NJ -
The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout presented by Neverlift Racecraft was running strong today with 11 Corvettes vying for the 8 spots. The action was fierce as many of our regulars returned including Paul Major with a new custom with a 422 cubic inch LS6 stroker, C5R Heads, Kinsler manifold with a custom plenum, Custom rear mount turbo system 106mm. The stock IRS has been replaced with a 12 bolt solid axle and power glide. It has a complete NHRA certified cage (good to 7.50), safety equipment, parachute, Halon system. Mike Mitchell was out with a new big block setup with lots of Nitrous. Also returning was John Carter with his two Corvettes, the convertible and the Z06 both sporting big cubed LS based motors with nitrous oxide injection. Carter drove the convertible why Michael Moore drove the Z. Angelo Valla was back after missing a race and put down some stellar numbers in what has become the chase for the first 7-second pass in the series. Paul Ziajski was out with his twin-turbo marvel that has been on the sale block all season and may finally have a buy so he was looking to make a final voyage. Mark Shaw was back and stepped up his program a little running a new personal best in qualifying. We also saw a new driver, the New Englander; Greg Kordis making his first Pro 8 race with the Lingenfelter turbo Z06. Regular's Alan Eckert with the Blue Coupe with the supercharged ECS motor and Tommy Michalkowski with his ole' reliable coupe were out too.
As the show got underway with the bracket cars making their first round of eliminations and the Pro 8 Shootout drivers waiting to make theirs, the rains came down. A review of the forecast contained enough threat of continued rain that Raceway Park officials decided to call the event. This meant that the entire Pro 8 Shootout would be made up at a later date (later determined to be November 18, 2006). Qualifying for today will stand for the November 18 make-up (updated 10.09/06 per correction above). This did not take away the smile on the face of Paul Major who clocked a new personal best and overall best pass seen in the Pro 8 Shootout with an 8.146 @ an astounding 176.27. Congratulations to Paul Major and the shop that have a hand in building the Z06 including the series title sponsor, The Vette Doctors and presenting sponsor, Neverlift Racecraft.
For today's Corvette Challenge bracket results click here.
First round of qualifying saw five of the competitors attempting to get in the field. When the passes were complete, Angelo Valla in the 72 Corvette was on tome with his 555 cubic inches assisted with nitrous sat on top as the only single digit ET producer with an 8.262 @ 172.19 MPH. He was followed by Michael Moore running the Carter Racing Black Z06 Corvette in at 10.02 @ 140.68. He was followed in the third position by new VDP 8 Shootout driver, Greg Kordis from New England in a Silver Z06 with a turbo charged configuration at 10.134 @ 111.11 on a pass that was not quite clean. Alan Eckert was in the fourth position with the Blue entry at 10.443 @ 136.10 and car number 6465 in at 12.230 @ 112.13.
We were up to 11 Corvettes after the 2nd qualifying session. Car number 6465 did not improve on his 12.230 and did not make the field. Tommy Michalkowski, Anger Management Racing, was left out in the 10th spot with a 10.534 @ 130.57. The final driver would have not made the field was Alan Eckert who also did not improve on his qualifying time. All three drivers breathed a sigh of relief as the rains came down and cancelled the event including qualifying.
John Carter brought his Blue convertible Corvette in at the bump spot and held it with a 10.421 @ 136.61 qualifying pass. In the seventh spot was Kordis who failed to improve on his first pass 10.134. Moore also did not improve but was bumped down to the sixth spot on the ladder. Michael Mitchell, yet to make a full pass, grabbed the number five position with a pass of 9.738 @ 143.19. Mark Shaw placed his big block nitrous assisted Corvette in to the fourth spot with a personal best 9.480 @ 141.31. Paul Ziajski, in his final twin turbo Z06 appeared took the third spot (one of three cars in the 8's) with an 8.990 pass at 149.02. The Z06 was soon to be sold and shipped to Russia...we will miss the car Paul. Valla's 8.262 qualifying pass was not able to hold the number one position when he was bumped to number two by Paul Major. With just a few test passes on the new turbo combination for Major Spray, who should be looking for a new forum name, he placed it in (updated 10/09/06 per correction above) the number 1 qualifying position with a blistering 8.146 at 175.27 MPH. Major was hoping to become the first Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout driver dip into the 7's.
No change in the points standings as no rounds were run. Click for points standings
The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout will be back in action on Saturday, October 7, 2006 with gates opening at high-noon. In addition to this race, the series will also make up their June 24 rainout on November 4, 2006. Today's race will be made up on November 18, 2006.
modified: December 31, 1969 - 7:00 pm
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