Nobile reflects on unforgettable rookie seasonNovember 16, 2011 · 0 Comments
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (Nov. 14) – Nothing, not even a rare opening round loss, could wipe the smile off of Vincent Nobile’s face as he exited the NAPA/Mountain View Racing Pro Stock Dodge for the final time in 2011. Nobile plans to quickly forget the red-light start that cost him his opening round race against Dodge teammate and engine builder Allen Johnson at last weekend’s Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, but he will forever remember just about everything else that happened this season.
“A year ago, I was just a kid with a dream and now, almost every dream I’ve ever had has come true,” said the 19-year old college student. “This year I got the opportunity to follow my father [John] and race an NHRA Pro Stock car and I had an absolute blast. To be honest, I don’t want it to end. I’d love to keep racing right on through the winter.”
Nobile’s enthusiasm is understandable when one considers that he enjoyed one of the most successful rookie seasons of any driver in the history of professional drag racing. Although he lacked experience, Nobile was hired by team owner Nick Mitsos to drive the 211-mph Mountain View Dodge, and he quickly validated that decision by reaching the final round in his fourth event in Las Vegas, and winning at his fifth two weeks later in Houston, Texas. Nobile went on to win two more races in Norwalk, Ohio and Phoenix, Ariz., to go along with runner-up finishes in Las Vegas and Englishtown, N.J., He also finished the season as NHRA’s fifth-ranked Pro Stock driver, and was named as a finalist for the prestigious Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future award.
“Everything that happened to me this season was so much more than I could have expected,” said Nobile. “I owe it all to my parents, John and Susan, and to the Mitsos family. They took a tremendous chance when they hired me to drive their car and I’m so happy that I was able to win three races for them. Every time I won a race, the best feeling in the world was seeing the look on their faces when we got to the winner’s circle.”
With the 2011 season now completed, Nobile plans to devote more time to his studies at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y., although his thoughts are already beginning to drift towards the 2012 season, which will also begin at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Feb. 9-12.
“If I’ve done my math right, we have 87 days until we start racing again,” said Nobile. “That doesn’t seem like a long time but I’m sure it’s going to feel like an eternity. As good as we were this year I think we’ll be even better in 2012. When I first got in this car last February, I had no idea what to expect. Sure, I made some mistakes but I tried to learn from them. Next year, I plan to be more prepared and hopefully that will show in our results.”