Vincent Nobile beats teammate Jason Line at Joliet to earn first NHRA Pro Stock win in nearly a year

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JOLIET, Illinois – When Vincent Nobile moved to Ken Black Racing after last season, the goal was obviously to win races in Pro Stock.

It took him a bit longer to do so than he planned – going 12 starts in 2014 – but the 22-year-old Nobile finally earned his first win of both the season and with his new team, defeating two-time world champion and teammate Jason Line in Sunday’s final round of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

Nobile crossed the finish line first with a run of 6.655 seconds at 208.01 mph. Line was slightly quicker (6.637 seconds) and faster (209.26 mph), but Nobile won the race with a far quicker reaction time: .004 seconds to Line’s .031 effort.

It was Nobile’s ninth career win and his first since Seattle last summer.

“It’s a great win, kind of a long time coming,” Nobile said. “I know I’m young and I’ve won some races, but when you go a streak like I’ve done and not won one, you kind of forget what it feels like. But today definitely refreshed my memory.”

It was Nobile’s second straight final round appearance. He made a shifting error in last week’s race at Epping, New Hampshire and wound up with a runner-up finish.

He was bound and determined not to make another mistake Sunday.

“I kind of choked a little bit there short-shifting and it cost us the race,” Nobile said. “We would have sealed the deal there, I’m pretty confident about it, but I came back here confident and I think I redeemed myself.

“Nobody’s perfect and I’m the first to admit it. I had the car (last week) and it was just me. Today as a team, we all came together and got it done.”

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Final finishing order (1-16) at the 17th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway:

 

PRO STOCK:

1.  Vincent Nobile; 2.  Jason Line; 3.  Dave Connolly; 4.  Shane Tucker; 5.  Allen Johnson; 6.  Erica Enders-Stevens; 7.  Shane Gray; 8.  Jeg Coughlin; 9.  V. Gaines; 10.  Jonathan Gray; 11.  Greg Anderson; 12.  Larry Morgan; 13.  Mark Martino; 14.  Mark Hogan; 15.  Dave River; 16.  Chris McGaha.

 

 

Round-by-round results from the 17th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway:

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Dave Connolly, Chevy Camaro, 6.618, 209.43 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, foul; Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.639, 209.20 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, broke; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.619, 209.10 def. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.624, 208.81; Shane Gray, Camaro, 12.771, 68.13 def. V. Gaines, Dodge Dart, foul; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.601, 210.24 def. Mark Martino, Pontiac GXP, 6.696, 207.21; Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.606, 209.72 def. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.680, 207.27; Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.620, 208.71 def. Mark Hogan, GXP, 6.737, 205.35; Erica Enders-Stevens, Camaro, 6.658, 209.36 def. Dave River, Chevy Cobalt, 14.169, 49.29;

QUARTERFINALS — Tucker, 6.658, 208.71 def. Enders-Stevens, 6.647, 208.59; Connolly, 6.635, 209.23 def. Johnson, 6.625, 208.46; Nobile, 6.645, 208.36 def. Coughlin, foul; Line, 6.630, 209.75 def. S. Gray, 6.667, 208.26;

SEMIFINALS — Nobile, 6.638, 208.55 def. Tucker, 6.699, 208.62; Line, 6.628, 208.94 def. Connolly, 6.634, 208.78;

FINAL — Nobile, 6.655, 208.01 def. Line, 6.637, 209.26.

 

 

Point standings (top 10) following Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway:

Pro Stock

1.  Erica Enders-Stevens, 1,036; 2.  Jeg Coughlin, 846; 3.  Allen Johnson, 845; 4.  Jason Line, 830; 5.  Vincent Nobile, 785; 6.  Dave Connolly, 782; 7.  Shane Gray, 769; 8.  V. Gaines, 552; 9.  Chris McGaha, 525; 10.  Jonathan Gray, 432.

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.