• Team Aruba Finishes Up Another Successful Season


    With the IHRA World Finals in the books, Team Aruba puts the cap on another successful year with their 2011 Aruba.com Pro Stock Mustang. They finished seventh in national points standings overall, quite an accomplishment in the extremely tough Pro Stock division.
    As car counts continue to increase in IHRA Pro Stock, each race qualifying becomes more of a challenge. Team Aruba earned their spot in the World Finals with an impressive 6.358 elapsed time at over 222 miles per hour. “We had the privilege of qualifying and racing with the world’s best Pro Stock racers,” stated Trevor Eman, driver of the Aruba.com Mustang. “IHRA Pro Stock has a nice, diversified group of racers from the U.S. and Canada and also with us from Aruba in there. It means a great deal to us just to be able to compete with such a talented group. The racing competition was very tough this year, but it’s what racers have come to expect from each other. and we couldn’t be happier to do this anywhere other than on the IHRA quarter mile. At times certain races did not go as we would have wanted, but in between we had some races we were very happy with, including our final round appearance in Bradenton, Florida.”
    A major facet of the Team Aruba operation is promoting ‘The One Happy Island’ they call home. At each event Trevor and his team talk to fans and fellow racers about this paradise destination. Not only can they give first hand experience of Aruba, they help plan the perfect vacation through their travel partners.
    “We are extremely proud to have represented our country, Aruba and our partners, www.Aruba.com and the Aruba Airport Authority in another successful year of racing, a successful year of getting to know new fans, and a successful year of getting more racers and fans to visit Aruba,” Eman continued. “We are also extremely proud of the hard work and efforts put out by our crew members. We have a great team in place with great chemistry. Aside from the fun of racing a vehicle at 220 miles per hour, the most fun is the time and laughs you get to spend with your crewmembers. We are lucky to have a good team in place.
    “Jerry Haas built us a great car back into 2011, which is still going strong. Jerry has showed us pictures of the new model Mustang being built, but his shop built such a good car for us that it would be difficult to trade it in just yet. The power under the hood of the Aruba.com Mustang has been tremendous this year. Jon Kaase knows what he’s doing with these great big 820+ cubic inch motors when he builds them. We thank the entire gang at Jon Kaase Racing Engines for supplying us with a powerful engine. We look forward to them digging up some more HP’s for the 2016 season.”
    With tens of thousands of miles under their belt this year alone, Team Aruba has earned a well-deserved break from travel and toil. The Mustang will remain at the team’s stateside base in South Carolina, while the Aruban team members head home for the winter.
    “We’ll settle down now a little bit at the season ending, but plans are already falling into place for next season,” Eman expressed. “We are anxious to see what the 2016 IHRA race schedule is going to be like so we can start making our testing plans. On behalf of Team Aruba, we would like to congratulate the IHRA for a completed season, despite all the hardships with rain throughout the year and also all the 2015 champions.

    We look forward to doing this again and more in the upcoming 2016 race season.”

    Follow Team Aruba on Facebook and Twitter. Find race results, team updates, videos and photos. Also leave your comments to cheer on Team Aruba!
    For more on your Aruba vacation visit www.Aruba.com and www.Destination-Magazines.com.

  • Champions Crowned at the Summit Racing Equipment World Finals

    The 12th and final International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series race of the season took place at Memphis International Raceway. The Summit Racing Equipment World Finals featuring Nitro Jam set the stage to crown four Nitro Jam World Champions in AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car presented by Aeromotive, Nitro Harley, Pro Stock and Crower Pro Modified.

    The Pro Stock class was one of the tightest battles heading into the World Finals over the weekend. Cary Goforth and John Montecalvo were both seeking the title of IHRA World Champion heading into Memphis. Goforth and Montecalvo went up against each other in the semifinals and it was Montecalvo that secured the win. The championship came down to the final round when Montecalvo and JR Carr lined-up on the starting line. With a .027 second ET difference between them, Carr secured his first IHRA win and Goforth secured the World Championship. Goforth ended the season with two wins and two runner-up finishes.

    Nitro Jam Season Finale  at Memphis International Raceway

    The eliminations for the Pro Stock class was one of the most anticipated races of the season. A tight championship battle and a stout field made the competition fierce. JR Carr in his 2015 Chevrolet Camaro became one of the most talked about story lines at the end of the day. Carr went up against John Montecalvo in the final round and Carr walked away victorious. This marked the first Ironman for Carr and the win helped Cary Goforth secure back-to-back Pro Stock World Championships. Carr ran a 6.254 at 224.21 mph against Montecalvo’s 6.281 at 223.32 mph run.

  • Team “O” Takes on Top Competition By JM Hallas


    San Antonio, TX.,(Sept 25th, 2015) Looking for a semi-local driver to cheer on in the IHRA Pro classes this weekend? Let me introduce Scott Benham(Magnolia), or ‘Sweet’ to his Jersey friends, who dives into the IHRA Pro Stock world with both feet. Making only his second attempt, Benham realizes he’s up against some stiff competition.

    “We plan on surprising them,” said Benham. “I’ve raced most of my life underfunded and on a budget. That hasn’t stopped us from winning in the past. We do realize this is a new level of competition and I have the utmost respect for them all.”

    “We have several goals. First is qualifying. You can’t win if you’re not in.”

    The 50-year old, second generation driver does come into the Pro Stock with some impressive credentials. Since beginning his racing at age 18, Benham has competed in Super Street, Super Stock, Modified Eliminator and Competition Eliminator before moving to Pro Stock.

    His trophy case includes three Competition Eliminator championships, in two divisions and a Division 4, 25K to win bonus race, plus winning the only two races in IHRA Modified Eliminator he’s ever entered, one here in San Antonio. He lists Texas Motorplex(Ennis) as his favorite track after winning two races in the same weekend, plus a national event.

    Benham, who owns Race Engine Development in Conroe, also comes from a good racing background with his father, Crawford Benham, a former US Nationals Champion in Modified Eliminator. His son, Chris, continues the family racing tradition taking two different Outlaw 330 Jr. Dragster series championships, the same year, in two divisions.

    Previous to beginning his own Pro Stock career, Benham helped defending IHRA Pro Stock Champ, Cary Goforth, who he now races against to two titles, as well as Mark Martino on the NHRA Pro Stock side.

    “I’m new as an IHRA Pro Stock driver, but come in with a lot of experience.” Benham continued. “We build our own motors and tune our own cars. We’re kind of old school like Bob Glidden and Rickie Smith. I’ve raced with Rodger Brogden, Richard Freeman and Chris McGaha in Competition Eliminator. It’s good to see them them having some success at the level they’re competing at.”

    “Long time friend Richard Otwell funds the car, without him we couldn’t do this, that’s where ‘Team O’ comes from. We’ve always had the tradition of not putting a drivers name above the door, just ‘Team O.’ We believe that it’s a team effort and the driver is just one part of it. The team is 100% volunteers, all have day jobs and a strong passion for racing.”

    Team O
    Car Owner/Sponsor; Richard Otwell
    Crew; Jeff Owen, Tim Ortiz, Chris Vang, Rick McConathy, Chris Benham


  • Goforth Wins the San Antonio Nationals and Takes Over the Points Lead

    The San Antonio Nationals Fueled by Sunoco did not disappoint as fans witnessed a points lead change in the Pro Stock class.

    John Montecalvo came into the San Antonio Nationals Fueled by Sunoco with the Pro Stock points lead but after a consistent performance by Cary Goforth, the lead changed. Goforth won his first Pro Stock race since the season-opener at Tucson in February. He was the top qualifier and followed it up with a holeshot win against Scott Hintz in the final round. The 6.36 at 221.13 mph placed the 2014 IHRA World Champion in the winner’s circle and gave him the points lead with one race remaining.


  • Eman Fourth in Points After Palm Beach Nationals

    Trevor Eman launchFresh off of their final round appearance at the Southern Nationals, Team Aruba was looking strong at the IHRA Nitro Jam Palm Beach Nationals. Although back-to-back weekends can be tough for a team whose driver resides in another country, it proved to be beneficial to Team Aruba. They carried the momentum from the runner up finish across the state of Florida Palm Beach International Raceway. They qualified third with a 6.343 elapsed time, setting themselves in the top half of the field for eliminations.

    In round one the Aruba.com Mustang took on JR Carr. Eman had over five hundredths of an advantage on reaction time alone, but wouldn’t need it as he bested Carr on both ends of the track with a 6.38 elapsed time to Carr’s 6.45. The semi final round would be a repeat of the Southern Nationals final round, in which Eman had to run competitor and good friend John Montecalvo. Unfortunately, the result would also be the same with Montecalvo getting the win and then going on to capture his second victory in as many weeks. Still, Team Aruba’s showing at the last two events was enough to move them to fourth in Pro Stock points.

    “This is a result of a combination of a great team, a great Jerry Haas built car and great Jon Kaase power in our Ford Hemi engine,” told Eman. “My father, Ven and I cannot be more proud and happier with the team we have. Our guys, John Peterson, Bruce Morgan, Shawn Scruggs and Doug Schriefer, all have the same desire to do good and win just like my father and I have. Not only do they want to do good on the race track, but they also understand the importance of Team Aruba’s additional goals, which is to promote our native island Aruba as the tourist destination that it is most known for.

    “The past weekend in West Palm Beach was a nice weekend for me, especially, as I had the company of my wife Nicole,” continued Eman. “She does not get to go to all the races now that we reside back in Aruba after finishing college. Not only was I happy to have her at the race track, but all the friends that she has made at the race track were also happy to see her again. My cousin Nelson was also in West Palm Beach with us. Nelson is a ‘distant’ crew member of Team Aruba. He used to always travel with us to the races in the States as an active crew member, but due to work obligations cannot make it to all the races as before.
    This sort of company is nice for us, due to the fact that when we head out to a race we fly over from Aruba and leave our family behind for the duration of the race. In this case it was three weeks total from the time we left Aruba to the time we returned.”

    Although it was a great event for Team Aruba, with friends, family and a semi-final finish, an on-track accident in Pro Stock cast a shadow over the entire race.

    “Our thoughts go out to Cale Aronson as he recovers from his crash,” Eman added. “This accident happened right before I had to make my run, so I saw the accident as we were still sitting in front of the burnout box. I know he hit the wall pretty hard and unfortunately that put him in the hospital. I know he is undergoing procedures to correct the fractures he has suffered. I hope he recuperates quickly and comes racing back soon. The Mountain Motor Pro Stock category is a tight group and there are not many of these cars in the country. The class has been recently building up with new competitors, I hope this setback does not put Cale on the sidelines for too long. We wish him, his wife Tinzy and his father Chuck well and hope to see him and the race car recover soon.”

    Follow Team Aruba on Facebook and Twitter. Find race results, team updates, videos and photos. Also leave your comments to cheer on Team Aruba!

    For more on your Aruba vacation visit www.Aruba.com and www.Destination-Magazines.com.

  • HRA Nitro Jam Palm Beach Nationals Presented By Sunoco Race Fuels


    1. John Montecalvo (Speonk, New York) 2013 Camaro 6.252 sec./223.99 mph
    2. Cary Goforth (Holdenville, Oklahoma) 2013 Camaro 6.3008 sec./222.29 mph
    3. Dean Goforth (Holdenville, Oklahoma) 2014 Camaro 6.342 sec./212.56 mph
    4. Trevor Eman (Pos Chiquito, Aruba) 2011 Mustang 6.343 sec.//221.27 mph
    5. R. Carr (Pasco, Washington) 2015 Camaro 6.352 sec./219.04 mph
    6. Cale Aronson (Chillicothe, Missouri) 2010 Mustang 6.356 sec./221.20 mph
    7. Matt Bertsch (Tecumseh, Michigan) 2007 Mustang 6.388 sec./219.90 mph
    8. Kevin Bealko (Bridgeport, West Virginia) 2013 Camaro 395 sec./221.23 mph.

    Did not qualify:

    John Konigshofer (Otterville, Ontario, Canada) 2013 Mustang 6.399 sec./220.73 mph

    John Pluchino (Commack, New York) 2006 Escort 6.401 sec./219.12 mph

    John DeFlorian Jr. (Arnold, Missouri) 2015 Camaro 6.404 sec./214.01 mph

    Scott Hintz (Odessa, Texas) 2013 Mustang 10.118 sec./110.80 mph


    Winner: John Montecalvo (Center Moriches, New York) 2014 Camaro  .038  6.317 sec./222.91 mph

    Runner-up: Matt Bertsch (Tecumseh, Michigan) 2007 Mustang  .043  6.366 sec./220.30 mph



    First round:

    John Montecalvo defeated John DeFlorian Jr., 6.356 sec./222.82 mph to 6.477 sec./212.61 mph.

    Cary Goforth defeated Cale Aronson, 10.621 sec./84.19 mph to 13.693 sec./80.55 mph.

    J.R. Carr defeated John Konigshofer, 6.411 sec./221.89 mph to 6.441 sec./220.64 mph.

    Trevor Eman defeated Matt Bertsch, 6.417 sec./219.56 mph to 6.398 sec./220.15 mph.

    Second round:

    Montecalvo defeated Aronson, 6.357 sec./218.65 mph to 6.398 sec./220.31 mph.

    Carr defeated Eman, 6.383 sec./222.66 mph to 6.377 sec./220.21 mph.


    Montecalvo defeated Eman, 6.318 sec./222.77 mph to 6.969 sec./154.47 mph.

  • Team Aruba Feels Right at Home with IHRA

    After a long off season, Team Aruba was anxious to get back on the track and tackle the 1320 feet of an IHRA Nitro Jam racing surface. State Capitol Raceway in Port Allen, La. played host to the IHRA Mardi Gras Nationals this past weekend and was the stage for Team Aruba’s return to the restructured and renewed racing organization.

    “It was great to personally meet all the new members of the IHRA ownership and staff,” told Trevor Eman, pilot of the Aruba.com Mustang. “We could not feel more welcome in a racing sanctioning body than we did from them. The race was really fantastic all around. It was great to be back with the IHRA.”

    Despite Mother Nature cancelling Friday’s test session, Team Aruba qualified for the elite eight car field with a 6.39 elapsed time at 222 MPH. Eman and team were then set to take on number one qualifier and former World Champion, John Montecalvo, in round one. Although Montecalvo was a very formidable opponent, the Aruba.com Mustang made easy work of Montecalvo’s bowtie entry, when Montecalvo was forced to abort the run. Eman posted his best elapsed time of the weekend, a 6.326.

    Rainy weather on Friday made for tricky track conditions on race day and in round two, this would prove to be Team Aruba’s nemesis. Eman encountered tire shake that forced him to let off the throttle, giving opponent J.R. Carr the semi final victory.

    “Rain took its toll on the racetrack and affected the schedule in such a way that we could not test nor qualify on Friday,” Eman explained. “However, the IHRA staff did a phenomenal job on the racetrack getting it ready for Saturday. We were certainly impressed in their accomplishment of getting not only the track ready for racing, but certainly even the entire event in the books with all the added difficulties they faced. It has been several years since we have raced quarter mile so pre race testing and additional qualifying runs would have been helpful, but we were able to get the Aruba.com Mustang qualified and past round one, which was a great accomplishment for our first race back on the quarter-mile.

    “Regardless of the rainy weather conditions that hindered our testing and qualifying, this was truly a great event,” Eman added. “Besides being able to race quarter mile again, the greatest aspect of the entire weekend was the treatment we received by the people. The people from State Capitol Raceway and all of the New Orleans area fans treated us especially well.

    “I think you can comfortably say that New Orleans has somewhat of a different culture compared to the rest of the entire United States. And in our case, as we are from a different country and thus also differently cultured, we automatically create a connection with people that have different customs and traditions. We immediately felt connected to the people of New Orleans and appreciated their unique flavors, sights and sounds.”

    The Mardi Gras-themed Nitro Jam brought much of that culture right to the track, providing great entertainment for fans and racers alike. In recent years the IHRA has placed greater emphasis on the fan experience at their events, a move that has proven beneficial to fans, racers and sponsors alike.

    “We can’t wait to get to Bradenton to continue our effort in accumulating points,” Eman said, speaking of the next IHRA Nitro Jam to be held April 17-19 at Bradenton Motorsports Park. “We have a very good working race car, an engine producing a tremendous amount of power and above all, a very good team in place who all work together very well. This combination, together with a great group of people in the IHRA will make for great racing this season.”