K&N's Bruno Massel Nails His First NHRA National Event of Season in Comp Eliminator

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Bruno Massel WINS NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway
Bruno Massel WINS NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway
Woodridge, Illinois resident, Bruno Massel put together quite an impressive weekend at his first NHRA National Event of the 2011 season during the NHRA Southern Nationals held at Atlanta Dragway.
Bruno Massel'S 2008 Chevy Cobalt
Bruno Massel'S 2008 Chevy Cobalt

With a weather shortened amount of qualifying sessions, Massel had already easily placed himself at the top of the sheet in Competition Eliminator during the very first of what would only be two sessions in his 2008 Chevy Cobalt when he ran an enormous .726 under his DD/AT class index. Thanks to an uneven amount of entries, that number one spot netted Massel a bye in round one where he made smart pass under full power to only the thousand foot mark to get all the info he needed and not hurt his index for round two.

"It was a pretty big deal," noted Massel of the bye. "Conditions had changed a ton and it was at night so some people had lost some index to get out of that round. It was huge for us to start the weekend clean going into Sunday."
Bruno Massel put together quite an impressive weekend at his first NHRA National Event of the 2011 race season.
Bruno Massel put together quite an impressive weekend at his first NHRA National Event of the 2011 race season.

One would have never guessed that Massel entered the event with a brand new motor and not a drop of testing, let alone any time on a dyno. "There is so much that goes into these motors," he said of his turbo entry. "We made some tweaks over the winter and kinda took a shot on something and well, it paid off. It was really even a better outcome than I anticipated."

While Massel had enjoyed earning the first round bye, by doing so had aligned himself with a pretty tough list of customers on his side of the ladder and right off the bat on Sunday, he met up with Vinny Barone in round two. "He's a tough competitor all day long," he said of Barone. "He's just a total class act. I caught him early in the run and rather than him wearing me out and trying to hurt my index, he shut off and let us get by the round clean. A lot of guys won't do that for you, but we've become pretty good friends and he's just a stand up guy."

It helped, of course, that Massel had a monstrous six hundredths of a second starting line advantage over Barone to move on to round three.

"We were running a guy named Lonnie Johnson who had been hitting the tree pretty good," Massel said of his third round opponent. "He was in a situation where he could have used us up, but he has some problems on the starting line and had to shut it down. So things were really just starting to fall our way."

"You just really have to take advantage of those situations and when you look at the semi-finals, it myself, Arnie Martel, Sal Biondo and David Rampy and that's a pretty fearsome four, I would like to think, of racers so there were no slouches there," he added.

Out of the four remaining cars, Massel was set to square off with Arnie Martel. Martel was running a little behind getting to the lanes and appeared to be a little down on power. That added with Massel still not having to carry any CIC made Martel go for it on the line and just missed the tree, going .006 red and sending Massel to the final.

Over on the other side of the semifinal matchups, K&N powerhouse David Rampy continued his trek and made his way to his 127th NHRA National Event final the final after Biondo put up the .008 redlight.

"So now in the final I have the winningest driver I sportsman history," smiled Massel. "David is as good as it gets and we are actually pretty good friends. We make a conscience effort to try and stay on the opposite sides of the ladder or at least away from each other."

"David was down six hundredths [CIC], so he was like fighting with one arm," he explained. "I'll take any advantage I can get all day long against David Rampy. The breaks or luck we had been having all day, went away in the final. I figured he would be twenty or better on the tree and two [hundredths] left in performance and he did exactly what I thought. The problem was, I let go of the transbrake button and the car didn't move. And I thought, 'Oh dear Lord this is not the time for this to happen'."

"We had a situation last year where it cost me two races, where I was having a mechanical malfunction that caused me to go from twenty and thirty on the tree to one-twenty and it was something erratic, so it didn't happen every time," he pointed out. "Realistically, I should have been able to drive the finish line blind and still make it out of the final clean, just because of the handicap that David had. When I got to halftrack, I thought about shutting it off, but then I thought the only thing worse that losing index would be losing this race."

That thought to keep his foot in it wasn't necessarily from the little voice in his head, but the little voice he spoke to on the phone just prior to the final round.

"Daddy, you have to beat Rampy," Massel smiled as he repeated the words of his four year old son. "See, he knows everybody and who they are. I told him I was going to try and he said again, 'No Daddy, you have to beat Rampy'."

Even though Massel took a three hundredths hit on his permanent index, he did the best he could to not take any more stripe than needed to seal the deal in an all K&N Comp Eliminator final for his fifth NHRA National Event victory and made it 2-0 against Rampy in NHRA finals.

Massel utilizes several K&N products not only on his championship race car, but speaks highly of the new HD K&N air filter on his tow rig. "The new K&N air filter for large diesel trucks and RV's that we have started using has helped us pick up not only fuel mileage but I really feel we have picked up some more horsepower, as well."

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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