BRADENTON, Fl. April 21, 2015: Trevor Eman and Team Aruba took the Aruba.com Mustang to its first final of the 2015 IHRA season at this past weekend’s Nitro Jam Southern Nationals. The team proved that they are a force to be reckoned with on the quarter-mile, qualifying third in the eight car field with a time of 6.338 at 221.02 MPH, just five hundredths behind top qualifier, John Montecalvo.
In eliminations, Team Aruba was focused on staying consistent through each round and did just that. Eman took out Matt Bertsch in round one on a hole shot advantage. In round two, Eman faced number two qualifier, J.R. Carr. Despite Carr having the advantage on paper it was Team Aruba who would take the win and progress to their first final round of the season.
The finals paired Eman with good friend John Montecalvo. Unfortunately, the Aruba.com Mustang lost traction on the run, causing Eman to have to abort and hand Montecalvo the victory. Still, the team was pleased with the overall results from the weeken.
“It was a great weekend for us in Bradenton,” Eman stated after the event. “Although we only made it down the track for one of the qualifying rounds, it was good enough to place us third and give us a race day setup. All the eliminations rounds were very exciting. The first two simply because they were good side by side drag races, and the third one as it caught my attention after getting loose and causing us to abort the run.
“We had consistent runs in eliminations and were trying to keep it that way for the final round,” Eman continued, explaining the team’s strategy. “We weren’t putting any kind of tune up in it to try to break records. We were hoping to repeat our performance from the two previous runs, but John Montecalvo put down a very good run that I must honestly say I don’t think we had a tune up for even if we did make it down the track straight. John made some very good runs through both days of racing. He and his team earned this win.”
Once engines are fired, any racer will tell you it doesn’t matter who is in the next lane, but when the helmets come off, U.S. Bounty Hunters Pro Stock racers are more like a band of brothers than fierce professional competitors. This is very true for Eman and Montecalvo, as Eman explains:
“John Montecalvo and his entire team we consider very close friends. John and LA have visited us in Aruba a couple of times now, and Tommy Lee (Montecalvo’s Crew Chief) did an exhibition Pro Stock match race with me in Aruba several years ago. So I really appreciate these people very much, and it’s an honor to race against them. The great thing about IHRA Pro Stock racing is that you can line up at the starting line against your friends, not be friends for those six seconds, and after the race, win or lose, get out of the race car better friends than you were before stepping in.”
As always, Team Aruba not only strove for visibility through their on-track performance, but, perhaps even more importantly, worked to make their tiny island famous to the thousands of Southern Nationals attendees.
“I certainly hope we made Aruba proud. I know they were following the live feed and our Facebook posts. We loved connecting with all our fans on the west side of Florida and look forward to meeting new ones on Florida’s east coast as we continue on to Palm Beach International Raceway now this upcoming weekend. We know we have what it takes to compete with the best of the U.S. Bounty Hunters Pro Stock teams and hope to repeat and improve and make Aruba just a little prouder.”