Wise men long ago decreed that Karma is negotiable and that we ultimately create our own destiny. Science has established that every molecule in our anatomy originated from a distant star somewhere in the universe, so that everything is invariably connected to everything else. Yet, wrapping our common sense around these concepts can be elusive at best, so we generally don't, opting rather to stay within the borders of the more graspable. Still, even the most cynical of us must admit to those moments of being awestruck and flabbergasted by the unexplainable – those luminous flashes of insight that suggest that something big is happening, and although we aren't expected to understand, for just that little bit of time it all makes sense.
Vincent Noble and Peggy Coleman hold up the official K&N Horsepower Challenge Trophy
Vincent Nobile, the first-time Horsepower Challenge qualifier and the youngest driver in the field wasn't supposed to win the 2012 K&N Horsepower Challenge. Not when that field included defending champion Greg Anderson, third place qualifier and 2008 winner Allen Johnson and the Fan Vote winner, and three-time K&N HPC winner, Jeg Coughlin. The smart money was riding on two-time runner-up Jason Line and K&N's own Mike Edwards, who had reached the final in his four previous attempts.
Peggy Coleman was extremely grateful to win the custom Toyota Tundra and could not have been more happy
Nobile is a sophomore at Adelphi University on New York's, Long Island, where he's a Business Management Major and 2011 was only his first full year of racing. With qualifying points starting in the middle of the season, Nobile and his Mountain View Tire 2012 Dodge Avenger couldn't get in enough races and qualifying points to even make it to the event last year. That Nobile would then win the HPC event this year, and follow that up by winning the NHRA Pro Stock main event the following day during the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, is the stuff of Hollywood movies regarding such matters as improbable fate. Nevertheless, that's only the first part of this meeting point between the impossible and the implausible.
Peggy Coleman was born and raised in Joplin, Missouri, where tornados and hardship can too often define life. Coleman recalls two particularly rude spiraling-demons that touched down on Joplin in the early 70's, but nothing prepared her for the multiple-vortex EF5 that devastated her hometown last year. It was the deadliest tornado in America since 1947. Coleman and her fiancée, Gary Garde survived, while their house, and pretty much everything else they owned, didn't.
Coleman is all too intimate with loss – unjustly so most would feel. Four years ago she unexpectedly became "Mom of an Angel." Angel Moms is a group of mothers who have lost children and have bonded together to offer each other love, support and understanding. Coleman lost her 12-year-old daughter.
Coleman only just remembers entering online for the K&N Horsepower Challenge Sweepstakes at the beginning of the year, and when she was selected as one of eight lucky finalists to attend the event on
K&N's dime, she had to be persuaded to go. But, when she was randomly paired with Nobile before the start of the race, meaning that if he won, she would win a custom, one-of-a-kind special edition 2012 Toyota Tundra Double Cab created by Toyota Racing Development (TRD) and K&N Engineering – the rumblings of destiny distinctly began to touch both their lives.
"I had this strange feeling that I was going to win the K&N shoot out when I was paired with Peggy and then heard her story," reflected Nobile, "It's just funny how things like this work out sometimes. Never in a million years did I think I would double-up though, but when it's your day to win it's simply your day to win! Just the fact that we were paired last, it was almost as it happened for a reason, I mean that no one had picked my number out of the hat before her. All I could think about is the saying ‘they save the best for last' and both Peggy and me thought the same thing at the same time."
Despite record breaking heat and humidity so thick you could lean against it, Nobile embraced his fate as Coleman inspired him to believe in himself and his talent all the way to the winner's circle. Nobile won the $25,000 HPC check, plus the $25,000 double-up bonus for winning the main NHRA Pro Stock event. Coleman won the much needed truck.
Vincent Noble and Peggy Coleman were last to be paired up for the Horsepower Challenge
"It means a great deal to me to have won the truck," said Coleman, "Especially since I had no expectations of winning it at all. That's just not how my luck goes, or so I thought anyway. Gary's truck was nearly totaled during the tornado and he still drives it, but it has issues," she laughs.
"I think once we get the new truck it will relieve some of the stress of having to deal with his truck. And I believe that crossing paths with Vincent was a plan that the good Lord above had for the both of us. Everything just fell into place all weekend long. It was just meant to be. Thank You Lord. I want to say a big thank you to Vincent and all his crew, K&N Filters, and Toyota."
"I'm a huge believer in destiny," adds Nobile. "This story is extremely inspirational to me; there was nothing more gratifying that weekend than being able to give back to Peggy and her family. I truly believe once I got paired with Peggy it was just destined for me to win the shootout. As for the race, my team supplied me with an awesome racecar and we simply all did our jobs and put the car in the winner's circle."
"This was a weekend that my team and I will never forget. Only a select few people have doubled-up and now we can say we did it. We're going to carry this winning momentum into the western swing and hopefully sweep the west coast. Now that would be the icing on the cake!"
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