Nitto Tire and John Urist clinch fifth consecutive NMRA SSO Championship
Nitto Tire U.S.A. and sponsored driver, John Urist, entered the 2010 NMRA drag racing season with four consecutive wins to their credit. Despite having the most wins in Super Street Outlaw class history, the team entered the season finale as an underdog, trailing first-place leader John MacDonald by 160 points.
Through John’s good fortune, he finished his last race victorious, making him the 2010 champion in one of the closest points races in class history.
In commemoration of his victory, Urist will be awarded the coveted Nitto Champion Diamond Tree Ring. With this win, Urist becomes the only driver in NMRA history to win five consecutive championships. This is his sixth career win.
“It was an exciting and competitive season,” said Stephen Leu, a representative of Nitto’s marketing department. “MacDonald had been a strong opponent all season, and it was anyone’s game going into the season finale. John ran a great race and emerged with the win. We are proud of John and his performance.”
Going into the finale, Urist had one first-place and three second-place finishes. Despite this, he trailed MacDonald by 160 points. The points field widened when Macdonald took the top spot in qualifying. Unfortunately for MacDonald, this qualifying run torched a cylinder head and set off a chain of events that would lead Urist to victory.
In Rounds 1 and 2, Urist breezed past Chris Burleson and Travis Franklin, putting down a fast 7.389 seconds at 189.5 mph and 7.389 seconds at 184.77 mp respectively. In Round 3, Urist had a bye, which would send him into the finals. It looked like Urist would face MacDonald in the finals, but MacDonald ended his day early with engine problems in the quarterfinal.
With his number one opponent down, Urist instead squared off against Chip Havemann in the finals. Urist put down another consistent and fast run with a 7.419 seconds at 191.97 mph against Havemann slower 9.044 seconds at 114.61 mph to take the podium and the championship. When the dust settled, Urist had clenched the championship by a mere 10 points.
“It’s been an exciting season,” said Urist. “This was a competitive season, and it makes this championship that much more special and rewarding. I’m glad I could share this win with my sponsors and Nitto, who has supported me from the beginning.”
The series will recognize Urist at the NMRA awards ceremony held during the PRI show in Orlando, Fla., in mid-December. Here he will be presented with Nitto’s signature Diamond Tree ring. Each year, Nitto partners with the NMRA and NMCA to officially recognize each class champion with a coveted championship ring.
For more information about Nitto or its products, visit the company’s Web site at www.nittotire.com.