Thanks to some help from a rival team, Johnny Pluchino was able to make it to the finals of the Mountain Motor Pro Stock division at the National Hot Rod Association’s New England Nationals during the weekend of July 5-7.
“I have to give a big shout out to Team Aruba and their driver Trevor Eman or we would have not been able to make it out for the final round,” said Pluchino, second-generation driver of the Strutmasters.com entry.
During Pluchino’s second round victory over John Konigshofer, the hood scoop flew off the Strutmasters.com Ford Mustang. The hood flung around at over 220 miles an hour and completely destroyed.
“The Team Aruba guys loaned us one off their car and even came over to help us cut it and get it to work on our car,” Pluchino explained. “It just shows you the level of sportsmanship in our sport. I am very thankful for the Team Aruba guys and what they did for us.”
Moving on to the finals
In the finals, Pluchino faced the event’s fastest qualifier John DeFlorian Jr. of Saint Louis. DeFlorian got an easy victory when Pluchino took off too soon (by 0.010 seconds) and red-lighted at the starting line. DeFlorian’s winning pass was 6.297 seconds at a top speed of 224.28 miles an hour for machines with 800-plus cubic inch engines.
“I came to the line with an aggressive mindset,” said New York native Pluchino after the second event of his career in the big block machines. “This is our last NHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock event this season. I really wanted to win it for Strutmasters.com. We knew DeFlorian was a little faster than us. I figured I needed to beat him off the line to have a chance. The light just came up red and that ended our day.”
Pluchino’s next appearance for Strutmasters.com is July 18-20. The Professional Drag Racers Association event takes place at Dragway 42 in West Salem, Ohio.
“We feel pretty good about how things are going,” said Pluchino, “We’re hitting our stride and going to Ohio to bring back some trophies.”