NITRO THUNDER REPORT: Cavallo with an emotional Pro Stock victory

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“This is all for my wife” were words from Nino Cavallo following his emotional win over Rob Dekert in Pro Stock at Nitro Thunder.

Pro Stock fielded the highest compliment of racers of all the professional classes with thirteen factory hot rods on site. Only twelve featured in racing after the rain out prevented Rick Chilton licensing the former Wayne Daley Dodge in time for the All Run Format and was restricted to some test passes.

Racing opened with Nino Cavallo and Bruce Leake, the Victorian Cavallo hammering out his first win 7.073 to a 7.141. Rob Dekert all but emulated Cavallo’s ET with a 7.079 as he took the win against Chris Soldatos, whos Pontiac just hopped and skipped off the line at the drop of the clutch going nowhere.

“We just wanted to make decent wanted to make a decent lap, and we did, and hope we get pick it up from here and go a bit quicker next round,” said Dekert Crew Chief Paul Drady.

Clint George and Aaron Tremayne pedalled through shake in their duel next, the GXP of George recovered to take his first Pro Stock round win in an upset over the most decorated Pro Stock racer of all time. Newcomer Mario Polito has stepped up his Chevy Cobalt to Pro Stock and would face championship contender Jason Hedges in the first round, despite a big holeshot to the rookie, Polito aborted the run at half track allowing Hedges to take an important round win with a 7.118.

Darryl Stephen, another rookie making his Pro Stock debut had the unenvious task of trying to stop Tyronne Tremayne who is second in the points. Tremayne drove through some decent shake but still took a win with a 7.07, with Stephen solid on his first Pro Stock race with a 7.15.

Championship leader Wayne Daley was debuting his Dodge Dart, the team came to Sydney earlier for testing but damaged a motor and were running their untested back up bullet, taking him on was yet another debutant in Tony Polito, driving the second of the Darryl Stephen owned Mustangs. Polito pushed the clutch in early during the run and Daley was off the pace with a 7.17, but importantly still took the win light and they now have some data to run in and step up the new engine.

Going into round two and Leake stepped up the GXP to the tune of a 7.05 to take care of George’s 7.12. Daley snuck past Stephen as both cars moved way over to the left of their respective lanes hurting their ETs, 7.22 to a 7.27 – Daley potentially giving up valuable championship points in the process. Mario Polito’s Cobalt shut down on the line presenting Hedges with a gift win, as the GXP punched out a 7.03 and would jump Daley in the championship in the process. Aaron Tremayne’s event didn’t improve with a red light over Rob Dekert, who did indeed stepped it up with a great 7.01 would put him in contention for a final.

An ugly win from Tyronne Tremayne as the Camaro headed for the centreline over Tony Polito who had driven through the clutch in the Mustang, 8.88 to a 10.99. The slow ET from Tremayne would mean he misses the final with Dekert and Hedges holding down the final spots at this point in racing. Cavallo would be able to oust one of them with a win and quick ET, he was against Soldatos looking to redemption from round one. Cavallo lead at the tree with a .024 to .083 and stopped the clocks with a 6.970 defeating Soldatos’ 6.952 on a holeshot in the best Pro Stock race of the event. The win and ET will see the Cavallo Avenger in the final against fellow Victorian Dekert.

The third and final round started with a solo from Mario Polito with the Darryl Stephen Mustang missing from this round, Polito clutched the Cobalt early in the run and rolled to the stripe. Aaron Tremayne’s woes continued with his GXP glancing the wall against Tony Polito, throwing the win back to the Mustang. Soldatos dropped low ET of the event with a monster 6.907/198 from the Ridgeway powered GTO, the quickest pass in the unleaded era against George’s trailing 7.33. Daley’s event didn’t improve, as a clutch malfunction pulled the Dart through the beams against Leake, and he would continue to fall in the championship standings. Leake capped off the win with a nice 7.03. The Tyronne Tremayne Camaro was clearly wounded as he just rolled into the stage with no burnout against Hedges, the winner of this race would take the championship lead. Hedges launched unopposed and clocked off a 7.01 to leave Sydney Dragway with the Pro Stock points lead.

Final time and Dekert took a massive .025 to .080 holeshot, unfortunately the GXP was heading towards the centreline and Dekert had to roll out of the throttle allowing Cavallo to drive around for an emotional 6.92 to 7.30 win.

A few weeks earlier Nino Cavallo’s wife Amanda was diagnosed with breast cancer and the team were not prepared to contest the event, but did so on Amanda’s wishes.

Speaking on receiving the Gold Christmas Tree trophy, a teary Cavallo said, “This is the best one I’ve have got, this is all about my wife, it’s all about her this weekend.”

“We weren’t going to come this weekend, because we have had a couple of rough weeks – it’s all about her.”

Hedges heads into the Winternationals with the Pro Stock points lead not even a round ahead of Tyronne Tremayne who is just a shy two point ahead of Daley. Dekert and Aaron Tremayne are also ready to pounce should the others falter.

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