Among the drivers with high-revving naturally aspirated combinations and hard-launching cars who dove into NMCA Dart Pro Stock when it debuted last year was Nino Cavallo.
He was fresh off of earning the Australian National Drag Racing Association’s 2016 Pro Stock championship when he traveled from his home in Melbourne, Australia to test the waters in the newly-formed class at the 11th Annual Nitto NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing last summer at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois.
There, he flew to a 7.11 in his Jerry Haas-built 2012 Avenger to qualify in the second spot, and picked up to a 7.01 on his way to a runner-up finish. Now, he’s readying for more at the 16th Annual Quick Fuel Technology Bluegrass Nationals, May 18-21, 2017 at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky.
Up for the task is his 400ci Bob Book-built bullet, and while Cavallo says “Pro Stock racers have always got some secrets” and declines to share which pistons, rods and crank he uses, he will share that his engine is topped with an HRE intake and two Bob Book-massaged Holley carburetors.
He relies on a Liberty’s 5-speed and Ace clutch to help lay down the power in the car which rolls on Goodyear tires. Helping him along the way are his crew chief, Adam Drzayich, wife, Amanda, daughter, Laura, son, Dion, and Allan Hutchinson. And joining him at the race in the Bluegrass State will be his brother, Bruno, who has run Pro Stock in Australia, and Bruno’s wife, Lynda.
“We are all excited and can’t wait to get there and have some fun,” said Cavallo. “If the conditions are good for racing, there is no reason why this car should not go low 6.9s and 198-plus. It’s been a while so hopefully we can get some test runs in before the Bluegrass Nationals, have a few cars turn up to this great-looking track and have some good racing. I would like to say a big thank you to Adam and Danielle Drzayich. Without their help, this would not happen.”