Budds Creek, MD – The Professional Drag Racers Association had a short break in between the Southern Extreme Nationals in South Carolina and the North South Shootout in Maryland. Team Aruba certainly hasn’t skipped a beat between the events, going to the pole at Maryland International Raceway after winning in Darlington. While there will still be one final qualifying session today, Trevor Eman’s 4.022 at 178.80, recorded in the cool of Friday evening, will be hard to top.
“We struggled a little bit earlier in the day,” Eman said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make any test runs yesterday, so we felt a little behind compared to everyone else. You get data to work off of whether you make a good run or bad run, so we had data to look at from Q1 and made the changes we thought were necessary to get down the track. I must admit I didn’t expect it to run a 4.02, but hey, we’ll take it.”
DARLINGTON, SC – 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.
DARLINGTON, SC – The Professional Drag Racers Association hosts its third event of the season this weekend at The Legendary Darlington Dragway. Team Aruba and the Aruba.com Pro Stock Mustang are already on site at the event, utilizing the Thursday test session and gain more familiarity with the track.
While Trevor Eman has wheeled the Mustang down the Darlington eighth-mile, he’s only done so in test sessions thus far. This weekend’s PDRA Spring Nationals will be his first event at the historic facility.
“It’s been awhile since we’ve been to Darlington,” explained Eman. “We’ve tested here a couple of times back in 2008. It was a great place to test back then, but now with the improvements they’ve done to the facility, it seems like it has become a great place to race, as well.”
ATLANTA, GA – Recently, Summit Racing Equipment held its annual Atlanta Motorama. Team Aruba had the privilege of making the short trip from their stateside base of Union, S.C. to be on display for the mega car show.
The event, held at Atlanta Motor Speedway, welcomed 15,000 attendees and 2,500 participants. Dubbed a “massive celebration of anything with an engine” the event features hot rods, motorcycles, monster trucks and more.
“We were very honored to be a part of this,” Trevor Eman stated on behalf of his team. “I consider it a huge milestone for Team Aruba to be able to stand together with such a huge brand name as Summit Racing Equipment. We’ve created a recognizable name for this team and events like this help us to market it to all auto enthusiasts, beyond the scope of drag racing. To be able to be part of an event together with Summit, on display next to other major motorsports brands, such as Bigfoot 4×4, is truly a great achievement for us, especially as a team coming from the small Happy Island of Aruba.
BENSON, NC – Trevor Eman and the Extreme Pro Stock team from Aruba showed they mean business this season at the recent PDRA East Coast Nationals, the team’s first race of the season. The Aruba Airport Authority backed team qualified at the top of the Extreme Pro Stock pack, their 4.04 effort flying past the other 13 cars present. The Aruba.com Mustang had the top MPH, too, at 178.24.
The team moved into eliminations with lane choice, which proved to be helpful with the uncertain weather conditions of the weekend. Eman used an incredible .009 reaction time and driving prowess to get down the track ahead of his opponent, Rocky Watford, in round one. In round two, Eman had the bye thanks to his top qualifying spot. He had another amazing reaction time, .005, and was set to meet multi-time world champion Cary Goforth in the semi-finals. Although Eman put together a strong run with a 4.046 elapsed time, Goforth would get to the finish line first. Although Eman and the team had hoped for a win, beginning the year with a number one qualifying award and a semi-final finish provided a strong base for the season.
MARTIN, MI – With schedule changes to the International Hot Rod Association’s 2016 tour, this weekend’s Northern Nationals has become the final event of the season. Three rounds of qualifying and three rounds of eliminations are all that’s left to determine the 2016 Champions. In Pro Stock, Team Aruba sits a mere three points out of first, making their first ever IHRA Pro Stock World Championship a serious possibility.
Team Aruba has had a standout year, with three back-to-back finals earning them their hard fought points position. Points leader and reigning world champion Cary Goforth is a worthy opponent and will not be easily overcome. However, Team Aruba, led by team owner Ven Eman and driver Trevor Eman, have found their stride this season and are primed to secure their first ever IHRA Pro Stock World Championship.
GRAND BEND, ON – The last three events have equated to three final rounds for Team Aruba. While the team came heartwrenchingly close to its first ever IHRA Pro Stock win in its last two outings, it was the IHRA Canadian Nationals and Team Aruba’s third trip to the final round that would give the team, led by team owner, Ven Eman, and Aruba.com Mustang pilot, Trevor Eman, their first victory. An elated Eman was thrilled to get the win for his hard working team and the country he represents:
“It’s very relieving to win an IHRA race finally. We’ve been after a win for a long time, and we have gotten close several times, but when the win doesn’t come, you feel as if your determination and patience is being tested. All the time traveling away from home and on the road to make it to a final round and not win, blow up engines, tear up a race car only makes the perseverance in continuing the stride and achieving the win so much more satisfying and finally relieving. As they say; ‘the monkey is now off our back.’”