Tristan Ralston

Team Aruba Goes to Back-to-Back Finals – IHRA President’s Cup Nationals

By Tristan Ralston on 25th June, 2016

President’s Cup Nationals Team Aruba

Back to back events generally make for a hectic few weeks under the best of circumstances. For Team Aruba, however, the week in between the IHRA President’s Cup Nationals and Canadian Nationals has turned into a major thrash. Highs and lows have marked their two-race quest, proving the determination of the team is not to be discounted.

At the President’s Cup Nationals, just outside of Baltimore, Maryland at Maryland International Raceway, the team ran into its first hurdle when their number one engine broke during qualifying. They switched to the back up motor and completed the swap just in time to make the final qualifying session on Saturday evening. While some of Pro Stock’s biggest names failed to make the tough field, the team from ‘The One Happy Island’ powered into the number 6 spot with a 6.319 effort. From there, driver Trevor Eman led the way with hole shot wins. His reaction time advantages, coupled with their Jon Kaase Racing Engines power, got the team all the way to the finals where Eman would face reigning champ, Cary Goforth. Once again, Eman was out of the gate first, an .011 light to Goforth’s slower .037. The Aruba.com Mustang was making it a tight race to the finish line before the weekend’s second hurdle presented itself.

The car kept pulling to the left,” Eman relayed. “I was trying to steer it back, but it just kept drifting to the wall. I thought to myself in the car, It will either come back to the groove or I am going to scrape the wall, but I wanted us to win so bad I wasn’t giving up. Unfortunately we did end up tagging the left retaining wall. Nothing major, but, as we all know, as soon as that happens you are disqualified.”

Eman and team would settle for a runner up finish at the President’s Cup Nationals, making it their second consecutive final round appearance. “From swapping engines and making it to our qualifying round by the skin of our teeth to then go to the finals was still satisfying, despite the incident,” Eman said, retaining his positive outlook. “It put us into the number two spot in the points chase and the damage to the car was easily repairable.”

Although damage to the Aruba.com Mustang was minimal the team was also short on time to make the necessary body and engine repairs. They would have to be in Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada the very next Thursday. Thanks to the help of friend, David Linder, and Team Aruba’s engine builder, Jon Kaase, all repairs were completed in just 48 hours.

“Jon Kaase took our broken primary motor straight from Maryland to his shop where the whole gang of guys at Jon Kaase Racing Engines jumped on it and got it repaired in two days time,” Eman added. “We had the motor back at our shop in South Carolina by Wednesday afternoon.

“On Monday morning when we made it back to our shop, a good friend of ours, David Linder, from Cowpens, South Carolina came to asses the damage to the Aruba.com Mustang and got right on it and had the car fixed within two days time.

“We are very grateful for these guys,” Eman thanked. “They put everything aside to help us get our equipment fixed in record time. Without their help we would have had a hard time making it to this weekend’s IHRA Canadian Nationals. These guys understand that we have two very important partners, Aruba Tourism Authority and Aruba Airport Authority N.V., whom we are fully committed to, along with promoting our island and its airport. We were determined to make it to the Canadian Nationals. Racing in Canada is a first for us and we can’t wait to get to know the fans and talk to them about Aruba.

“We are coming off of back to back final round appearances and plan on making the third time the charm!”

Watch Team Aruba as they go for their third straight final as every run is broadcast live on MotorManiaTV.com.

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For more information about Team Aruba and the IHRA President’s Cup Nationals click here!