RICHMOND, Va. June 12, 2013: After qualifying on top of the past two events in a row and capitalizing on their position for their first ever XPS win at the Spring Drags, Team Aruba had high hopes for the ADRL U.S. Drags. As is often the case in drag racing, however, things didn’t go as planned. Rain plagued the event, costing teams Friday’s test session and a final qualifying shot on Saturday. The Aruba.com/Alltel Wireless Mustang made an impressive pass in their first shot down the track with a 4.114. Conditions for the night session would prove to be tricky forcing Trevor Eman to lift and the team to rely on the 4.11 pass as their only information for race day. Still, the initial qualifying shot was good enough to keep Eman in fifth. This would pit him against the always-tough John Deflorian Jr. for round one of eliminations.
Like many XPS teams, Deflorian had struggled throughout qualifying, his best attempt only a 4.65. Deflorian must have known he would need not only a good pass, but a great light as well, in order to get past Eman, and that’s exactly what he did. It is rare for Eman to have a late reaction time, and he is often first out of the gate. However, Deflorian whipped out a .004 reaction time and would cross the finish line first for a holeshot victory. Despite his early exit, Eman will maintain the Extreme Pro Stock points lead.
“It was a very disappointing race weekend for us,” told Eman. “Above that it was also very depressing with all the rain that slammed down on us all day Friday, washing away our testing opportunities and on Saturday causing the ADRL to eliminate the third round of qualifying.
“Until recently, we have usually always been an average team performance wise. Qualifying in the top half of the field wasn’t something we used to accomplish very much in the past, so I made sure that I always tried to leave the starting line first, before our opponent. There have been a couple of times that in doing so, we have won rounds on holeshots. When you take so much pride in usually being the first one to react at the Christmas tree, losing on a holeshot is very hard to accept.
“When I saw the numbers on the scoreboard as soon as I crossed the finish line I thought for sure there was a mistake. I almost felt sick inside the racecar when I saw that we got beat on a holeshot.
“The important thing is that despite the results of that round, we still have the points lead. The even greater thing is that I have a team that stands behind me 100%, even when I screw up as a driver. We will leave the Virginia race behind us and go forward from here.
“On a positive note, our teammate Nelson Winklaar, who was battling some health issues, is feeling much better and recuperating and is ready to return home from his hospital visit. By the sound of his voice and his attitude, it seems he is ready to join us for a race this year after all.
“I’d like to congratulate the entire ADRL staff on doing a great job completing the race after all the downpour of rain combined with what I believe was the largest car count in the history of the ADRL. I also want to congratulate Lester Cooper on reaching the finals and John and Lois Anne Montecalvo and team on returning to the winner’s circle. I believe that was Lester’s first ADRL final, so both teams deserve big congratulations. I wish I could have stayed to watch them race the final, as they stayed in Cordova to watch me race the final, but unfortunately I had to hit the road to be at the shop in time to make our flight home the next morning. However, I was able to watch it live on bangshift.com on our ride home in the motorhome, so in a way, I was there.
“With the points lead intact, it’s on to US 131!”