DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 22, 2017): The PDRA Spring Nationals at Darlington Dragway felt much more like summer, with air temperatures hovering around 90 degrees fahrenheit and track temps up to 150 degrees. Such conditions often makes it tricky to navigate the 660 feet of race track.
Trevor Eman and the Aruba.com team initially had trouble perfecting a hot weather setup that would get the Aruba.com Mustang down the surface that once gave birth to the first ever quarter-mile sanctioned run over 200 MPH by a doorslammer. What Bill Kuhlmann accomplished that day in 1987 in his Pro Stock machine seemed to fuel the Aruba.com team to push through the heat. They qualified fifth with a 4.099.
Being in the top half of the field certainly helped on race day, but Eman and team knew there were 15 heavy hitters in the field and no one would be an easy win. The team picked up the pace during eliminations, using a 4.092 to get past Dwayne Rice in round one, before slowing slightly to a 4.106 in round two. It was Eman’s reaction time advantage that would move the team into the semi finals. There he met Cary Goforth. These two met at the last event in the semi-finals. Goforth won that matchup, so in the Darlington heat Eman was ready for his revenge. Both drivers had incredible reaction times, but the Aruba.com team made all the right calls, picking up to a 4.085 to Goforth’s 4.109. Team Aruba would be going to their first final of the season.
In the finals they took on Buddy Perkinson, hired gun of Enoch Love. Perkinson got off the line first, but the Aruba.com Mustang was not to be outdone. Once again, the team improved upon their best time for the weekend, using a 4.079 to score their first victory of 2017.
“It was great to face the E Love team in the final,” said the Spring Nationals Champ. “We have a very good and close history with Enoch Love and it was great to see him at the race track and to meet them and the Perkinson family in the final. My hats off to Team Elove and Perkinson for their efforts this weekend.
“Every round is a hard round to win in the Pro Stock class,” continued Eman. “Every round is just as difficult if not more difficult round after round. This win wasn’t handed to the team; it was earned with hard work.
“It was a very long day, but the team worked as hard as I have ever seen us work together,” told Eman. Those efforts put us and our partners, Aruba.com and Aruba Airport Authority, in the winner’s circle. Not only does the entire team want to be winning rounds and races, but we have a great team dynamic in representing our partners. Aside from the effort on working on the race car in between rounds and getting it ready, we always make sure to take the time to talk to our fans about Aruba and the ease of traveling to our slice of paradise.
“As we went rounds yesterday, we had more and more people come by,” he continued. “It was great to have the fans follow us closely. Along with our fans at the track, plenty of our friends, fans, and followers were watching the live feed of the event, as well as our own live feeds on Facebook. It was nice to know how everybody was following us ‘til the late hours of the night when we ran the final.”
In addition to the heat and tricky track conditions, Team Aruba ran into a mechanical issue. “We were in a pinch with what we suspected to be a shock issue this weekend,” Eman explained, “and we had the opportunity of having Adam and Andy Lambert from Precision Racing Shocks come by and look at things and sort through some stuff with us. We were very grateful for their support on race day.”
With one win and one semi-final finish to their credit already this season, Team Aruba is in a great position to run for the 2017 World Championship.
“This weekend’s results were exactly what we were looking to achieve after not making it happen in GALOT. Now, it will be a matter of keeping up with more round wins. We’re looking forward for the next event in Budds Creek in just two weeks where we’ll be looking to continue our pursuits.”
The PDRA North-South Shootout will be held June 1-3 at Maryland International Raceway in Budds Creek, Maryland, an area known for its love of door-car racing.