Eric Latino Racing

Driver of 1938 Chevy bests strong field of Pro Modifieds for his first victory

Eric Latino

Eric Latino ~ click to enlarge

CAYUGA, ONTARIO (May 23, 2010) – It was a close race, but Eric Latino won the opening round of the 2010 Pro Modified Racing Association season.

Held on the Cayuga Dragway of Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga, Ontario, Latino, of Port Perry, Ontario, won with a 6.47-second, 206-mph pass over Derek Hawker of Corbyville Ontario with a 6.51-second, 215 mph run.

The win was the first PMRA race for Latino and his 1938 Chevy Coupe.  For Hawker, driving his 1963 Corvette, it was his first race in PMRA competition.

Latino qualified fifth in the field, and Hawker qualified in sixth spot.

“We had a good day,” said Latino after the race, which opened the sixth season of PMRA racing. “We played it safe. We were consistent, and the car went down the track every single pass.”

In the semi-finals, Jeff Roth of New Dundee, Ontario, lost the combination with his 1941 Willys, losing traction and the round to Hawker. In the other semi, Dave Kulik Jr of East Aurora, New York with his 1967 Camaro lost to Latino.

Eric LatinoSeveral PMRA regulars failed to qualify for the season opener, including three-time and reigning champion Bruce Boland of Hamilton, Ontario, Mark Nielsen of Brantford, Ontario, and Mike Cusimano of Rochester, New York.

Boland was having problems getting his new 1963 Corvette set up, Nielsen had difficulties adjusting to the new Bruno automatic transmission in his 1968 Camaro, and the 1994 Corvette of Cusimano was having traction problems.

Last year’s Cayuga event winner, Ike Maier of Tottenham, Ontario, did qualifying number three in the eight-car field, but clipped the wall on his run and could not continue.

A record number of 21 entries were at Cayuga for the event.

While Roth took out Gary Mater of Petrolia, Ontario with his twin-turbo 1938 Chevy, other first round losers included multi-time PMRA event winner Mike Stawicki of Medina, New York, who led the qualifying, winning the Marydel Homes – Qualifying Bonus with a 6.175-second pass; Dave Earhart of Strathroy, Ontario; and Sam Andreacchi of Toronto, Ontario.

In the Quick 32 Sportsman Series event presented by NAPA Auto Parts of 2010, Paolo Giust bested a large field to win in his Top Dragster over the Top Sportsman car of Steve Corriveau.

For more information contact Bruce F. Mehlenbacher at

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