Heading into the ADRL Spring Drags, Team Aruba was looking to wrap up some unfinished business, and that’s exactly what they did. From start to finish, Trevor Eman and the gang from Aruba dominated Extreme Pro Stock the entire weekend. In their first qualifying pass, they laid down the number which would remain on top for the weekend, a 4.099 at 175.98 MPH. The Aruba.com / Alltel Wireless Mustang was again the fastest car in rounds two and three of qualifying. In round four, John Montecalvo and John Pluchino matched Eman’s 4.114, but no one was able to beat it.
The team’s impressive feats continued on race day. The Kaase Racing Engines powered machine muscled its way through the rounds. Brian Gahm’s 4.249 elapsed time was no match for Eman’s 4.148 in round one. In the semi finals Eman had the quickest elapsed time of the round, a 4.136 paired with an .024 reaction, time to take out John Pluchino who went .002 red on 4.149 run. Team Aruba would have lane choice in the finals against former World Champion Pete Berner. Although Eman and Berner had been running close numbers all day, Eman made it look easy in the finals, laying down an .003 light and pulling away by a car length, crossing the stripe first with another 4.136.
The team from the ‘happy island’ had one of their happiest moments ever, as they celebrated this long-awaited victory.
“We definitely finished our unfinished business from Valdosta,” relayed an elated Eman. “To come to the next race and qualify number one again was a very satisfying way to know we had that momentum. Then to maintain the fastest elapsed time out of each round was even better. We made it down the track each and every time from A to B making straight runs and good runs.
“After winning the first round against Brian Gahm, reality started to kick in that we could have a good chance of winning the race. And sure enough we were able to accomplish that. It was very emotional for the whole team. Everybody has been working real hard to accomplish this, and my gratitude and my hat goes off to the entire team.
“My father eats, sleeps and breathes Team Aruba. Bobby has dedicated himself to this team more than anything. John Peterson is one of the hardest working guys I’ve ever seen. Pat Norcia from RAM Clutches puts his mind totally into this program and is as precise of a person as there is. Doug Schriefer from Braswell Carburetors has some awesome carburetors on our motor and has this team better organized than ever. Greg Brown from Jon Kaase Racing Engines has our motor completely dominated in a way that has given us a motor that is performing better than we can ever hoped for.
“The emotion between all team members after winning our first race was extremely touching. It was a feeling I got to share with a great group of guys that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
“Norbert Dirksz who was at the race with us, along with Jeff Lopez and Nelson Winklaar who are back in Aruba keep everybody in Aruba and all of our followers on Facebook completely up to date on every move Team Aruba makes,” Eman continued. “Their efforts have helped create a following of Team Aruba that we could have never expected. So many people were back home watching the live feed and the congratulatory comments were coming in from the moment we qualified number one.
“Above all, we were surrounded by a lot family at this event- my uncle Mike, the Prime Minister of Aruba, with my aunt Doina; my uncle Braat together with his daughter Anouk who was accompanied by her synchronized swimming partner Rym; the Boushard family from Granite City, Ill; Claret Lopez and Greg Peterson who are die hard supporters of Team Aruba. All of these people accompanied us at this race because they knew history was going to be made.
“I wish Aruba in its entirety could have been with us, together with the Aruban drag racing community, who are just as passionate as, and possibly even more than, me about this sport. To all of our social media followers, I cannot thank everybody enough for the kind words they all shared with us. I am told that the crowd standing behind the Aruba.com/Alltel Wireless Mustang was unlike any other when racing the final round. I wish I could have been standing between them to see the reaction when the win light came on.
“Together with great sponsors, great things happen. We are very grateful to the Aruba Tourism Authority who support us and believe in what we are trying to accomplish by drag racing professionally in the United States. Alltel Wireless is a great group of people that are just wonderful to be associated with. Having a brand name as big and popular as Alltel Wireless on the hood of a race car makes us feel really good to put that name in the winner’s circle.
“The ADRL is doing a wonderful job putting on these races. They are giving us an exciting environment to race in, and they have our full commitment to participating in their events. They have a good group of people working for them that also want to see the ADRL grow bigger and better. The Traction Twins have a track prepared for us in a way that only spoils us more and more every race- we thank you for that.
“Last but not least, I want to thank all the racers in the Extreme Pro Stock category. I want to thank them for having made this such a difficult challenge. It makes our first win that much more special. These guys are some of the best people to call friends, but when we’re at the starting line against them, it doesn’t matter how good of friends they can be, they are going to race hard. This weekend we finally got to show that we don’t back down and we’ve got what it takes to stand up against such tough competition. They have beat up on us for a long time. They know this is something that needs to be earned.
“We cannot wait to get another chance to do this again!”
Keep up with Team Aruba at www.facebook.com/teamarubaracing and on Twitter @TeamArubaRacing.
Find race results, team updates, videos and photos. Also leave your comments to cheer on Team Aruba!
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