img_9529_20130310_1362230552ROCKINGHAM, N.C. March 13, 2013: For a team that is familiar with struggle, Trevor Eman and Team Aruba were delighted to start the 2013 season off with a very respectable semi-final finish.

    “It was certainly great to start the season making it to the semi-finals with this Aruba.com/Alltel Wireless Team,” told Eman. “For the past two years the seasons never started the way we needed them to. Hopefully we keep the momentum going and win some races this year.

    “Our weekend started with a successful car display for Alltel Wireless in Rockingham on Wednesday. The great folks from Alltel Wireless also joined us on Saturday and Sunday at the track, setting up their customer service table to be able to attend to all the race fans and Alltel Wireless customers. We love having the Alltel team join us for these events.”

    Between weather conditions and traveling the distances between Aruba and the team’s shop in South Carolina, there was no time for off season testing until the days leading up to the ADRL Dragpalooza IX. The team was still working out the right combination during qualifying, but managed a 4.103 which put them in the number 10 spot. During eliminations, Eman was definitely on his driving game. Although taking on the higher qualified Richard Penland in round one, Eman’s .008 light and 4.05 elapsed time was no match for Penland’s .083 and 4.31. In round two, the Aruba.com laid down another 4.05, but it was Eman’s .013 that put him ahead of Pete Berner’s 4.04 at the finish line for a hole shot win. For the semi finals Eman was up against number one qualifier, John Deflorian. Knowing that they would have to pull out all the stops to win this round, Eman went for his best light and came up .001 red. Still, the Aruba.com Mustang ran another great number, 4.06. Deflorian proved to be tough to beat with a .005 light and 4.05 elapsed time.

    “We made some changes for this race and we certainly saw the results of that,” continued Eman. “We spent two days testing prior to the race and that didn’t go quite the way we wanted, but we got things turned around just in time to perform well in eliminations. The car and motor performed flawlessly during eliminations. We had a tough draw in the semi finals in the number one qualifier, but we still ran a very competitive race. Our team can be very proud of what we’ve accomplished here. Also, congratulations to John Deflorian on winning the event!

    “Beating my competitors off the starting line was what helped get us through rounds one and two. Unfortunately it also proved to be my nemesis in the semis. However, we still ran great numbers and had close races all day long to make a good show for the fans. John Deflorian laid down a run that would have been incredibly hard to beat no matter what. Hopefully, our motor program keeps coming around to the point where our combination of good lights and horsepower will be tough on all the competition.”

    Many racers were very pleased with the Dragpalooza crowd, which was impressive on both days of the event.

    “It was also very motivating to race in front of the big crowd that came out for the event,” told Eman. “Plenty of people came by our pit area to get autographs and take pictures of the car. It’s nice to have such great fan support.

    “The Traction Twins did a great job as well. It’s great to have them with the ADRL again this year,” Eman added, alluding to the changes in leadership that the ADRL underwent in the off season. “Our hats go off to everybody responsible for a great race weekend in Rockingham.

    “Our own team also did an awesome job this weekend. Everybody was on their game and determined to do well. As we keep this going, I think we can certainly expect to do even better in Valdosta!”


    dsa_4887_20130310_1467016732ROCKINGHAM, N.C. March 12, 2013:  The ADRL Dragpalooza IX was Pete Berner and the Summit Racing Equipment Team’s first race out with new Crew Chief, Tom Pierson, and new major associate sponsor, CarSafe. In addition to those changes, Berner also welcomed Jeff Perley of NHRA’s KB Racing Pro Stock Team on board for the weekend. With so many changes for the first event out one might expect a major adjustment period for the team. However, it was easy it tell that the team was a perfect fit and things couldn’t have gone more smoothly.

    “The team worked great together,” elaborated the former World Champ. “Tom had me laughing all weekend and I couldn’t ask for a better partners in Tom and Mark [Eckman, owner of CarSafe]. Mark and his son Sean jumped right into the team and were a perfect fit. Tom’s heart and passion kept all of us going throughout the weekend. It’s easy to see that he wants to do well. He’s an asset to racing in general, but to have him work with us in the role of Crew Chief was just what I was looking for. Eric [Fleming] and RV [Rick Varnold] have the continuity and hard work that keep this program going day in and day out. They did an awesome job in the pits, as usual. Everyone blended well together.

    “Having Jeff Perley help out this weekend was also a perfect fit. He was a great asset and his personality worked well with the rest of the team.

    “Even though we made some really nice runs throughout testing and the weekend, they were nowhere near as good as they will be. We are constantly learning more and more about our combination and setup. With new sets of eyes on the car this weekend, we were able to make some more strides in the right direction. Jeff could see the potential in our program. He quickly became invested in the team. Jeff is committed to KB Racing and stays busy with that demanding schedule, but we’ll certainly welcome his help and insights whenever he’s available. Tom and Mark took it upon themselves to get Jeff to come help our team and I can’t thank them enough for going out of their way to make that happen.”

    The Summit Racing Equipment Team’s efforts landed them a number four qualifying spot with a 4.039, just .014 off the number one spot. In round one, Berner faced Doug Kirk, who posted an incredible perfect light. However, it wasn’t enough for Berner’s powerhouse 4.08. In round two, however, reaction times would prove to be Berner’s nemesis, as Trevor Eman’s .013 reaction time and 4.05 elapsed time was enough to eclipse Berner’s .047 and 4.04.

    “Congratulations to Trevor on running some of his best numbers ever and on doing a heck of a driving job,” Berner said of his opponent. “He got the better end of us and did what he had to do to beat us. With Doug putting that triple ‘0’ light on us in the first round, I knew no one was going to be giving it to us easy on race day. The tight races and side by side action are what make Extreme Pro Stock a fan favorite. Congratulations, also, to John Deflorian. He’s the new guy setting the performance benchmark for the rest of us. We’re not going to let him rest easy up there, though. We’re hot on his heels.

    With the ADRL back under the former leadership of Kenny Nowling for 2013 many racers were curious as to what the season would hold. Packed stands and a well-run event quickly subdued any doubts.

    “It was a great weekend for racing,” added Berner. “I want to congratulate Kenny and Jack [Switzer, owners] as well as Steve Earwood [Rockingham Dragway owner] on a fantastic event. They had a great crowd. The stands were packed. The racing was great. The ‘Traction Twins’ did a wonderful job preparing the racing surface. The only downside to the weekend was John Decerbo’s and Shannon Jenkin’s wrecks. Unfortunately, that’s something we face in racing, and I’m just thankful they walked away. I know the fans had to enjoy the show and all the racers certainly enjoyed racing in front of a packed house. I’m looking forward to where the season will go from here.

    “We’re running fast, but we know we have more left. We’ll test again before Tulsa and hopefully the results will come sooner rather than later.”


    PeteBernerSROCKINGHAM, N.C. March 9, 2013:  Pete Berner and the Summit Racing Equipment Extreme Pro Stock team took advantage of the Rockingham Dragway testing opportunities in preparation for the Saturday/Sunday ADRL Drapalooza IX. Berner quickly let the competition know that he meant business this year, laying down a string of 4.0 numbers. A surprise team member was also on hand to help Berner and team make the most of their stellar combination.

    “We are thrilled with our test session results,” told Berner. “The track was actually cold, which means this car has a lot left in it. I’m very thankful to Mark [Eckman] and Tom [Pierce] for bringing Jeff Perley on board to help us this weekend. Jeff is one of the best, if not the best, in the business in chassis science. It’s great to have his knowledge and insight. He suggested some changes that proved to be instrumental. I can’t thank Mark and Tom enough for not only getting Perley here this weekend, but also for their overall input into the team and bringing new life and focus to my racing. We’ve got a great team with RV and Eric always working hard to keep this hotrod rubbing fast. We’re not only running better, we’re having a great time doing it.

    “Much of the credit for the numbers we posted during testing goes to Jerry [Janota] and Mike [Slaviero] in the engine shop. The engine we’re running is the same one we hurt on the dyno two weeks ago. They worked day and night to get this engine ready again. I appreciate them and their dedication to this program. It shows. This motor is bad-to-the-bone fast.

    “Today’s focus for the Dragpalooza qualifying is to better what we did in testing,” Berner added. “The weather is beautiful and the conditions are great here in Rockingham. No matter where or who we’re racing, we’ve got to be good at it, so our focus never waivers from constantly improving our game.”