Holbrook's Ford Shatters Records En Route to Clean Sweep in ADRL Supercar Showdown!
By Bret Kepner
Chris Holbrook, already a finalist at four events during the 2012 season, wheeled his familiar silver "Instant Action" 2012 Ford Mustang to its second victory of the year in American Drag Racing League's popular new SuperCar Showdown category during the Summit Racing Equipment Ohio Drags VI presented by Mickey Thompson Tire and Wheels. The Michigan veteran managed a clean sweep of the race after leading the qualified field, clocking the quickest and fastest runs of eliminations and blasting his Mustang Cobra Jet to new World Records for Elapsed Time and Speed. Most important, the amazing performance came at the racing facility at which Holbrook earned his first major title seventeen years earlier, the magnificent Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, at the ADRL event closest to his Redford, Michigan, home.
The victory celebration included Holbrook's wife, children, family and dozens of friends who traveled from the metropolitan Detroit area for the rare opportunity to watch Chris compete locally in national competition. Moreover, Holbrook met and defeated fellow Varsity Ford dealership team member Jimmy Ronzello, (also sponsored by the huge Livonia, Michigan, Ford Motorsports outlet), in the championship round. It was nothing short of the perfect outing for Chris Holbrook.
In a spectacular display of power, all but one of Holbrook's seven runs during the race eclipsed the World Elapsed Time and Speed records for the eighth-mile of 5.706 seconds, (set by Drew Skillman), and 121.31 miles per hour, (set by Bo Butner). His first qualifying effort shattered the 5.7-second barrier with a brilliant 5.67 at the fastest speed yet recorded in SuperCar Showdown competition, 121.43 mph. In the second qualifying period, Holbrook clocked an even quicker 5.667 seconds at 121.34 mph to officially set the new records.
|Chris Holbrook in the Winners Circle|
Although he recorded a 5.69-second pass on his fourth qualifier, a slight miscalculation caused Holbrook's only miscue during the weekend. "The third qualifying session is held at night in really optimum conditions," recalled Holbrook, "and we got really aggressive with the air/fuel mapping in the car's electronic tuning program. We felt we could run even quicker than the 5.66. However, because these cars are required by the ADRL to remain exactly as they are delivered from the factory, we have to walk a fine line trying to apply one thousand horsepower to the ground through rear tires which are only nine-inches wide. The track temperature got just a bit cooler than we expected and our supercharged Cobra Jet lost traction for just a fraction of second off the starting line. We slowed to a 5.76 but we reset our own new World Speed Record on the run at 121.88 miles per hour!"
Holbrook earned his fifth low qualifying award of the inaugural season for the SuperCar Showdown over the quickest field ever assembled and the first in which all qualifiers clocked under six seconds in the eighth-mile. During eliminations, Holbrook recorded quickest victories of every round. Holbrook first dispatched Cobra Jet racer Rick Rodgers, 5.69/121.79 to Rodgers' 5.90/119.81, and then stopped Blaine Ramey in yet another Varsity Ford-backed 2012 Mustang, 5.67/121.79 to 6.07/116.38.
Ronzello, whose crowd-favorite supercharged black 2012 Cobra Jet features a manual transmission and a convertible top, reached his first SuperCar Showdown final round by eliminating the brand-new 2013 Super Cobra Jet of Pennsylvanian Michael Harris, 5.91/121.25 to a 6.07/117.42, and outrunning Ohioan Ron Matcham in yet another all-Varsity Ford 2012 Mustang match, 5.90/119.22 to 6.02/119.40. In the championship bout, Ronzello's Rockwood, Michigan, "ragtop" gained a sizeable reaction time advantage off the starting line and clocked a career-best 5.87 at 119.44 mph but Holbrook's automatic-equipped Cobra Jet caught and passed the "stick shift" Ford halfway down the track to win at 5.67 seconds and another booming 121.88 mph speed.
The site of his first national triumph in 1995, Holbrook was ecstatic in his return to the winner's circle at the same Norwalk, Ohio, racetrack where his late father, racer Carl Holbrook, made headlines and gained customers for his Holbrook Racing Engines business which Chris operates to this day. "I have memories here from when I was a little kid," said Holbrook as he accepted his first ADRL trophy since winning the Northeast Drags II in Maple Grove, Pennsylvania, in May. "To win here in front of my family and almost everybody I know is just amazing. Jimmy (Ronzello) is a good friend and a customer; I was thrilled to see him make the final round. We had a bunch of Holbrook Racing Engines customers in the program and that was just as rewarding because the was the largest and quickest field we've had yet in the SuperCar Showdown series."
The fact Holbrook helped continue the perfect win record of the Ford Motor Company in the SuperCar Showdown was not lost on Holbrook in the winner's circle, either. Said the jubilant Holbrook, "I really want to thank Jesse Kershaw and Brian Wolfe of Ford Motorsports for pushing us Cobra Jet racers hard in this series. It's really the only racing program where production cars race "all out" in factory trim and to keep the streak alive for eight consecutive races now is pretty incredible. We submitted the first official entry for this SuperCar Showdown series and to win this race here at Norwalk for Varsity Ford and all of our sponsors is just a dream come true."
The next event on the 2012 American Drag Racing League tour will be the season-ending World Finals VIII presented by CarSafe Automotive Repair Protection at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, on October 19-20.