Another shovel-full of dirt fell into the grave of NHRA’s Pro Stock category less than a week after the Mello Yello season finale at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona.
Following the lead of Gray Motorsports’ newly-crowned Pro Stock champion Tanner Gray, departing next year to NASCAR pastures, Nick Mitsos, owner of the beautiful purple Mountain View Tire & Auto Service Chevrolet Camaro recently driven by Vincent Nobile, said his team will not field an entry in the 2019 Pro Stock class.
Instead, Mitsos intends to field a recently debuted 2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro in NHRA’s School of Automotive Machinists and Technology (SAM Tech) Factory Stock Showdown class. On debut the car was piloted by longtime NHRA sportsman racer and Mountain View crew member Ryan Priddy; the team continues its support of Paul MItsos in the Top Sportsman NHRA Lucas Oil Series class.
“We raced in the Pro Stock class for 11 years and it was challenging and often frustrating, but ultimately very rewarding,” Mitsos explained. “We were able to win 13 races and earn eight straight top-ten finishes against the toughest competition drag racing has to offer. We also made friendships and memories that will last forever. I felt the time was right to try something new and the [SAM Tech] Factory Stock Showdown seems like a perfect fit.”
It’s easy to see why SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown is one of the fastest growing classes in NHRA drag racing. Its head-to-head competition between supercharged 170-mph factory-built race cars from Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford is compelling to competitors and fans alike. Although not officially announced the series is expected to expand by one race, adding an eighth contest for the 2019 season.
The Mountain View team expects to be a leading contender for the eight-race series’ championship after debuting their COPO Camaro at NHRA’s Pacific Division Lucas Oil Series event in Las Vegas, held the week after the NHRA Toyota Nationals. Mitsos said they recorded several competitive elapsed times in a class where a sub-eight-second quarter-mile result is considered the goal.
The Mountain View team began its affiliation with Vincent Nobile at the start of the 2011 season, earning the coveted Auto Club Road to the Future rookie title that first season. They’ve earned 13 Pro Stock victories in 25 final rounds and boast a perfect qualifying record of 185 consecutive events. Nobile also won the K&N Horsepower Challenge race within a race in 2012.
“On behalf of my wife, Irene, and the entire Mountain View team, I’d like to thank, first and foremost, the Nobile family. It’s been a pleasure to race with Vincent and his parents, John and Sue, for the last eight seasons,” Mitsos said. “We shared many laughs, hugs, tears, celebrations and disappointments together. Our entire crew, including Kenny Sevier, Matt Sevier, Ryan Priddy and AJ Barge were the real heroes of the Mountain View team and we could not have done it without them.
“Thanks also to the Freeman family and Elite Motorsports, Ken and Judy Black and the KB Racing team, and Allen and Roy Johnson for the support they have each given us over the years, that helped contribute greatly to our success. We will certainly miss competing against all the great teams that have raced in Pro Stock over the years and we look forward to competing against Factory Stock and Top Sportsman teams in the years to come.”
Mountain View Racing finished sixth in this year’s Countdown to the Championship and won three races in the 24-race season.