NHRA : Pro Stock Motorcycle Results from Route 66

NHRA Mello Yellow drag racing series

 

Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters
Route 66 Raceway
July 6-9, 2017

SATURDAY

Points leader Tonglet secured his fourth Pro Stock Motorcycle victory in six events with a 6.835 at 195.99 on his Nitro Fish Racing Suzuki to defeat Hector Arana Jr. who ran a 6.878 at 193.29 on his Lucas Oil Buell in the finals. This is Tonglet’s first victory at Route 66 Raceway since he went back-to-back in 2010-11. He has now earned victories in all four of his final round appearances this season.

“We knew we had a good bike at the start of the season, but it was just a matter of getting tuned up as we learn more about the bike each week,” Tonglet said. “On Sunday our goal is to get win lights, so I’ve improved on being calm and staying focused to try and get the job done.”

Tonglet earned the No. 1 qualifier and defeated Cory Reed, Scotty Pollacheck and Karen Stoffer on his way to victory. Arana Jr. notched the second spot in qualifying, defeating Angelle Sampey, Angie Smith and Eddie Krawiec before earning his second runner-up finish of the season.

Krawiec remains in second following the semifinal appearance. Arana Jr. moves up to third with the runner-up, surpassing Pollacheck who fell to fourth.

The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway July 21-23.

ELIMINATIONS ROUND 1

WIN Jerry Savoie .071 1.050 2.831 4.354 160.50 5.683 6.819 197.05
Chip Ellis .046 1.056 2.879 4.427 157.83 5.784 6.946 193.10
1:17 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 88 degrees, relative humidity 38 percent, barometer 29.31 inches, adjusted altitude 3,226 feet, track temperature 124 degrees. Savoie is 3 – 1 against Ellis in prior events. Ellis gets out of the gate first, stays in front for about 300 feet, then Savoie is able to get around him and pull away for the win with his quickest pass of the weekend. Savoie has had problems getting the bike to stop all weekend and ends up with the front wheel in the sand.

 

WIN Karen Stoffer .010 1.073 2.899 4.438 158.99 5.785 6.943 193.16
Andrew Hines .039 1.089 2.886 4.423 158.82 5.770 6.922 194.60
Andrew Hines is the defending champion at this event. He also won here in 2007 & 2012. Stoffer gets out of the gate first and starts pulling away. Hines starts to make up ground but runs out of race track. Stoffer goes on through and takes the holeshot win. Karen Stoffer’s incremental margins: 60ft(0.045), 330 ft(0.016), 660ft(0.014), 1,000ft(0.014). MOV: 0.0082 seconds (approximately 2 feet). Savoie will have lane choice over Stoffer in the next round.

 

WIN LE Tonglet .005 1.056 2.837 4.357 160.73 5.689 6.830 196.36
Cory Reed -.009 1.077 2.905 4.457 157.10 5.822 6.996 190.24
LE Tonglet won here in consecutive years of 2010 & 2011. This is his second #1 spot of the year and the first time since 2011 he has qualified #1 more than once in a season. Tonglet is 3 – 2 against Reed in prior events. Reed leaves a little too soon and goes red giving Tonglet the win.

 

WIN Angie Smith .087 1.065 2.864 4.399 159.34 5.741 6.894 194.38
Melissa Surber .255 1.064 2.849 4.377 159.59 5.718 6.873 193.38
This is the first time Smith and Surber have faced each other in eliminations. Smith gets a big holeshot, Surber starts making up ground but can’t reel in Smith.

 

WIN Mike Berry .026 1.066 2.862 4.388 159.91 5.731 6.890 192.66
Steve Johnson .029 1.062 2.874 4.418 158.43 5.770 6.931 192.77
This is the 600th round for Steve Johnson who becomes just the second Pro Stock Motorcycle rider to reach 600 rounds. This is also his 400th NHRA race. Andrew Hines is the leaded with 618. Steve made the final round here in 1999 & 2010. Johnson is 5 – 2 against Berry in prior events. Berry gets a small advantage off the line, Johnson pulls even at the sixty foot mark, then Berry is able to pull away and take the win.

 

WIN Scott Pollacheck .026 1.055 2.847 4.371 160.71 5.704 6.851 194.72
Joey Gladstone .008 1.070 2.872 4.402 159.70 5.742 6.889 195.22
Pollacheck is 1 – 0 against Gladstone in prior events. Gladstone gets the advantage off the line, stays in front for the first sixty feet, then Pollacheck is able to reel him in and go around for the win.

 

WIN Hector Arana Jr .047 1.065 2.857 4.377 160.50 5.710 6.852 195.90
Angelle Sampey .081 1.079 2.889 4.433 157.91 5.795 6.972 188.73
Hector Arana Jr. won this race in 2014 & 2015. Angelle has 2 wins at this race, 2002 & 2003 and she was runner-up last year. Arana Jr and Sampey have each won 1 time against the other in prior events. Arana Jr. gets out of the gate first and extends his lead all the way through the run. Arana jr. will have lane choice over Angie Smith in the next round.

 

WIN Eddie Krawiec .002 1.090 2.882 4.421 158.11 5.777 6.940 192.52
Matt Smith -.007 1.059 2.842 4.356 161.21 5.683 6.820 196.85
This (#14) is the lowest starting spot for Eddie Krawiec since this race in 2013. Krawiec is 19 – 13 against Smith in prior events. Smith leaves a little too soon and goes red giving the win to Krawiec. Berry will have lane choice over Krawiec in the next round.

ELIMINATIONS ROUND 2

WIN Karen Stoffer .028 1.064 2.876 4.429 157.23 5.787 6.946 192.99
Jerry Savoie .045 1.043 2.849 4.402 156.72 5.812 7.212 151.14
2:37 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 88 degrees, relative humidity 39 percent, barometer 29.29 inches, adjusted altitude 3,335 feet, track temperature 126 degrees. Stoffer is 5 – 4 against Savoie in prior events. Stoffer gets the holeshot but Savoie reels her in and goes around her at the sixty foot mark. Savoie starts drifting to the right, gets close to the centerline, then has to back off the throttle. Stoffer is able to get back around Savoie and pull away for the win.

 

WIN Eddie Krawiec .024 1.075 2.881 4.431 158.19 5.781 6.938 193.46
Mike Berry .056 1.076 2.879 4.421 157.85 5.782 6.949 191.67
Krawiec is 12 – 2 against Berry in prior events. Krawiec gets the advantage off the line, Berry makes up a little ground early, then Krawiec is able to start pulling away and take the stripe for the win.

 

WIN LE Tonglet .035 1.051 2.839 4.365 160.29 5.699 6.843 195.65
Scott Pollacheck .056 1.057 2.855 4.384 160.02 5.727 6.881 193.29
Tonglet is 6 – 3 against Pollacheck in prior events. Tonglet gets out of the gate first, goes right down the groove and makes the quickest pass of the round to take the win. Tonglet will have lane choice over Stoffer in the next round.

 

DRIVER RT 60 FT 330 FT 660 FT 660 MPH 1000 FT ET MPH
WIN Hector Arana Jr .063 1.058 2.852 4.386 159.38 5.729 6.882 193.88
Angie Smith .040 1.066 2.877 4.419 157.85 5.780 6.946 192.25
Arana Jr is 6 – 3 against Smith in prior events. Smith gets the advantage off the line, stays in front to the 330 foot mark, then Arana is able to reel her in and go around for the win.

 

ELIMINATIONS ROUND 3

WIN Hector Arana Jr .044 1.052 2.844 4.367 160.77 5.699 6.844 195.03
Eddie Krawiec .052 1.083 2.900 4.449 158.15 5.804 6.963 193.07
3:45 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 90 degrees, relative humidity 40 percent, barometer 29.27 inches, adjusted altitude 3,481 feet, track temperature 118 degrees. Krawiec is 11 – 6 against Arana Jr in prior events. Arana gets the advantage off the line and extends his lead all the way through the run. He makes his quickest pass of the day to take the win.
DRIVER RT 60 FT 330 FT 660 FT 660 MPH 1000 FT ET MPH
WIN LE Tonglet .029 1.056 2.841 4.366 160.25 5.700 6.843 195.82
Karen Stoffer .029 1.066 2.873 4.405 159.89 5.746 6.904 192.82
They come off the line together, Tonglet starts pulling away and extends his lead all the way through the run. Tonglet will have lane choice over Arana jr. in the final round.

ELIMINATIONS – FINAL

DRIVER RT 60 FT 330 FT 660 FT 660 MPH 1000 FT ET MPH
WIN LE Tonglet .043 1.055 2.840 4.362 160.79 5.694 6.835 195.99
Hector Arana Jr .042 1.058 2.855 4.382 160.08 5.722 6.878 193.29

SATURDAY

On the last run of the day, LE Tonglet stole the top spot in Pro Stock Motorcycle from Hector Arana Jr. Tonglet wheeled his Nitro Fish Suzuki to a 6.806, 196.13 to earn the pole, holding off Arana’s 6.811. It was the fifth time in his career and second time this year that Tonglet will be the last rider introduced during pre-race ceremonies. Tonglet’s teammate, Jerry Savoie also made a very competitive pass with a 6.823 while Karen Stoffer was the surprise of the round with a 6.848 on her Suzuki. Mike Berry began the round outside of the 16-bike field but rallied with a 6.908 to secure a spot, bumping out Ryan Oehler, who had earlier run a 6.976 in his NHRA debut.

“We had made some mistakes in the third round of qualifying, but I knew I just had to calm down and run better numbers in these great conditions,” Tonglet said. “We’ve had a very good season so far and it feels similar to our previous successful years, so I know we can continue to build off of it.”

First round pairings (lane choice first): LE Tonglet vs. Cory Reed; Hector Arana Jr. vs. Angelle Sampey; Matt Smith vs. Eddie Krawiec; Jerry Savoie vs. Chip Ellis; Karen Stoffer vs. Andrew Hines; Steve Johnson vs. Mike Berry; Angie Smith vs. Melissa Surber; Scotty Pollacheck vs. Joey Gladstone

Eliminations at the 20th annual Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters begin 12:00 p.m. on Sunday at Route 66 Raceway.

QUALIFYING ORDER AFTER ROUND 4

POS DRIVER ET MPH
01 LE Tonglet 6.806 196.13
02 Hector Arana Jr 6.811 197.33
03 Matt Smith 6.823 196.62
04 Jerry Savoie 6.823 195.62
05 Karen Stoffer 6.848 194.32
06 Steve Johnson 6.864 194.74
07 Angie Smith 6.864 194.32
08 Scott Pollacheck 6.865 193.82
09 Joey Gladstone 6.874 194.58
10 Melissa Surber 6.887 194.21
11 Mike Berry 6.908 191.51
12 Andrew Hines 6.918 194.88
13 Chip Ellis 6.924 193.18
14 Eddie Krawiec 6.945 192.8
15 Angelle Sampey 6.949 190.62
16 Cory Reed 6.964 189.95
17 Ryan Oehler 6.978 192.33
18 David Hope 6.995 191.05
19 Kelly Clontz 7.06 193.46
20 Lance Bonham 7.112 187.44
21 Andie Rawlings 7.611 170.28

QUALIFYING ROUND 4

LANE DRIVER RT 60 FT 330 FT 660 FT 660 FT MPH 1000 FT ET MPH
Left Lance Bonham .431 1.112 2.953 4.534 154.69 5.920 7.112 187.44
Right Andie Rawlings .312 1.141 3.101 4.798 142.63 6.311 7.614 171.40
6:01 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 85 degrees, relative humidity 33 percent, barometer 29.30 inches, adjusted altitude 3,001 feet, track temperature 116 degrees. Bonham makes his quickest pass of the weekend but it isn’t enough to get him in the show. Rawlings doesn’t improve and will not make the field.

 

Left David Hope .042 1.055 2.897 4.457 156.84 5.823 6.995 191.05
Right Kelly Clontz .160 1.187 3.063 4.611 158.35 5.958 7.111 194.07
Hope makes his first run in the sixes but it isn’t enough to get him in the show. Clontz doesn’t improve and she will not make the field.

 

Left Cory Reed .073 1.080 2.899 4.454 156.86 5.823 7.004 189.20
Right Mike Berry .094 1.064 2.859 4.393 158.78 5.744 6.908 191.51
Reed slows from his earlier attempt and he drops a spot in the order. Berry goes right down the groove with his quickest pass of the weekend and he gets in the show in the tenth spot.

 

Left Angelle Sampey .016 1.080 2.877 4.417 158.28 5.779 6.959 189.20
Right Ryan Oehler .126 1.112 2.953 4.516 155.97 5.891 7.081 186.77
Sampey makes a decent pass but doesn’t improve. Oehler slows from his earlier attempt and he can’t get in the show.

 

Left Eddie Krawiec .099 1.071 2.870 4.401 159.68 5.746 7.010 167.84
Right Steve Johnson .117 1.053 2.845 4.378 159.70 5.717 6.864 194.74
Krawiec slows from his earlier attempt and drops a spot in the order. Johnson improves and moves up to the fifth spot.

 

Left Melissa Surber .040 1.112 2.926 4.457 159.29 5.801 6.956 193.16
Right Andrew Hines .060 1.094 2.895 4.429 159.48 5.771 6.918 194.88
Surber slows from her earlier attempt and stays in the tenth spot. Hines makes his quickest pass of the weekend and moves up to the 12th spot in the order.

 

Left Karen Stoffer .031 1.055 2.846 4.365 161.00 5.698 6.848 194.32
Right Chip Ellis -.014 1.055 2.872 4.415 158.39 5.765 6.924 193.18
Stoffer goes right down the groove with her quickest pass of the weekend and moves up to the fifth spot. Ellis improves a little but not enough to move up in the order.

 

Left Jerry Savoie .047 1.043 2.832 4.348 161.50 5.679 6.823 195.62
Right Joey Gladstone .020 1.058 2.854 4.383 160.16 5.723 6.874 194.58
Savoie makes his quickest pass of the weekend but stays in the third spot. Gladstone improves a little but not enough to move up in the order.

 

Left Matt Smith .019 1.099 2.919 4.449 160.02 5.784 6.928 195.59
Right Scott Pollacheck .116 1.073 2.886 4.416 160.23 5.753 6.901 194.55
Smith makes his worst run of the weekend and he stays in the second spot. Pollacheck slows and stays in the eighth spot.

 

Left Hector Arana Jr .018 1.057 2.839 4.353 161.59 5.676 6.811 197.33
Right LE Tonglet .036 1.052 2.826 4.339 161.38 5.666 6.806 196.13
Arana makes his quickest pass of the weekend but drops a spot in the order. Tonglet goes right down the groove with an impressive run to take the pole to end this session.

QUALIFYING ROUND 3

Given the significant improvement in conditions, it was no surprise to see most of the Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors improve upon yesterday’s best runs. Of the 21 riders who made runs, 16 of them made their best run of the weekend including Hector Arana Jr., who took over the top spot from Matt Smith with a 6.832, 196.96. Smith improved on yesterday’s run with a 6.832, but his speed was 196.62, slightly slower than Arana’s. There are now nine bikes in the 6.8s including Jerry Savoie, who had the third-best run of the round with a 6.830 and LE Tonglet, who was close behind at 6.832.

Left Kelly Clontz .143 1.113 2.985 4.544 157.06 5.902 7.060 193.46
3:12 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 83 degrees, relative humidity 34 percent, barometer 29.32 inches, adjusted altitude 2,797 feet, track temperature 128 degrees. Clontz makes his quickest pass of the weekend but he doesn’t make it into the field.

 

Left Andie Rawlings .264 1.132 3.087 4.789 142.52 6.304 7.611 170.28
Right Lance Bonham .017 1.110 2.960 4.542 154.62 5.928 7.122 186.85
Rawlings improves but still doesn’t make the field. Bonham makes his quickest pass of the weekend but still isn’t qualified.

 

Left Ryan Oehler .060 1.105 2.922 4.464 158.56 5.816 6.978 192.33
Right David Hope .041 1.064 2.924 4.493 155.83 5.871 7.058 188.04
Oehler makes his quickest pass of the weekend and gets in the field in the 14th spot for now. Hope improves but not enough to get in the show.

 

Left Mike Berry .047 1.067 2.874 4.571 140.18 6.047 7.279 182.72
Right Angelle Sampey .049 1.080 2.887 4.426 158.58 5.778 6.949 190.62
Berry gets out of the groove and has to fight to keep the bike off the wall. Sampey drifts to the left but is able to improve and get back in the field in the tenth spot. Steve Johnson is on the bump spot at 6.981.

 

Left Steve Johnson .090 1.107 2.925 4.461 159.57 5.802 6.954 193.96
Right Cory Reed .051 1.078 2.906 4.449 158.45 5.803 6.971 190.62
Johnson makes his quickest pass of the weekend and gets off the bump spot. Reed doesn’t improve but is already in the field.

 

Left Angie Smith .031 1.064 2.853 4.376 160.02 5.712 6.864 194.32
Right Melissa Surber .107 1.078 2.873 4.396 160.00 5.734 6.887 194.21
Smith makes a big improvement and moves all the way up to the second spot. Surber improves and moves up to the fifth spot for now.

 

Left Andrew Hines .053 1.116 2.945 4.485 159.10 5.829 6.986 193.10
Right Eddie KrawiecDQ .031 1.082 3.310
Hines makes a clean pass but slows from his earlier attempt. Krawiec spins the tires at the hit, the bike makes a move to the left, then he crosses the centerline into Hines’ lane.

 

Left Joey Gladstone .041 1.056 2.858 4.390 159.61 5.731 6.882 194.35
Right Karen Stoffer .022 1.058 2.852 4.378 159.97 5.718 6.875 192.82
Gladstone goes right down the groove with a good pass and moves up to the fourth spot for now. Stoffer makes her quickest pass of the weekend so far and moves up to the third spot for now.

 

Left Chip Ellis .052 1.042 2.843 4.377 159.23 5.740 6.929 187.50
Right Jerry Savoie .040 1.041 2.824 4.344 160.88 5.678 6.830 193.65
Ellis makes his quickest pass of the weekend but doesn’t improve enough to move up in the order. Savoie, drifts to the left all the way through the run but makes the quickest pass of the round so far and moves up to the second spot.

 

Left LE Tonglet .014 1.054 2.841 4.357 161.23 5.688 6.832 195.31
Right Hector Arana Jr .023 1.060 2.844 4.359 161.29 5.686 6.823 196.96
Tonglet makes his quickest pass of the weekend and moves up to the fourth spot. Arana Jr. makes an impressive pass, sets the track ET and speed record, and goes to the top of the order.
LANE DRIVER RT 60 FT 330 FT 660 FT 660 FT MPH 1000 FT ET MPH
Left Scott Pollacheck .038 1.054 2.845 4.371 160.18 5.713 6.865 193.82
Right Matt Smith .019 1.050 2.836 4.355 161.00 5.683 6.823 196.62
Pollacheck improves and moves up a couple of spots in the order. Smith equals Arana Jr.’s run but was a little slower and will not be able to re-take the top spot.

NHRA SATURDAY PRE-EVENT NOTEBOOK

Matt Smith described his Polaris Victory Magnum as “pretty mean” after his strong 6.829 qualifying effort last night but that doesn’t begin to tell the story for the two-time world champion. Smith debuted the new Polaris/Victory engine and body combination earlier this year and struggled at the first few races. Smith’s frustration culminated with an embarrassing DNQ last month in Englishtown. Smith went to work and addressed a lot of the mechanical issues that had been plaguing him and he was rewarded in Norwalk with a No. 1 qualifying effort and a runner-up finish.

“Even though we didn’t qualify in Englishtown, I knew we had very good power; we’ve had that all year,” said Smith. “I was so upset after that [DNQ] that I was ready to sell everything for pennies on the dollar. I was over it. Then, we started to take a look at it and we made a few changes and it turned the corner.

“The last two races have been awesome,” Smith said. “It was good to be No. 1 in Norwalk but I wanted to come here and prove that it wasn’t a fluke. I want people to know we’re here to stay.”

Smith’s first run in Chicago, a 6.836, was impressive and his second, the aforementioned 6.829 was off the charts. Heading into Saturday, he has the field covered by more than five-hundredths of a second. Smith cites several factors for his improved performance and at least one of them is a partnership with Elite Performance. The Elite team reportedly helped Smith built the bottom end of his V-twin engines in a manner that improved durability and performance.

“I was surprised that no one ran a 6.84 or .85 last night,” said Smith. “Junior [Hector Arana Jr.] ran almost 195-mph so I know he has good power. This track is very good. You can throw almost everything at it. The biggest challenge is keeping the bike from bogging. If you can get past that, you’re going to make some good runs. I’m in contract negotiations with Victory for our 2018 program and I need to show them what we’re capable of.

“We’re off to a good start this weekend but I also need to mention Terry Chandler,” said Smith, referring to the popular Funny Car team sponsor who passed away last week. “She was a fantastic person and we’re going to miss her a lot.”


In the third race with their new Harley-Davidson Street Rod bikes, teammates  Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines are still attempting to find the sweet spot for their combination. After Friday’s two runs, Krawiec is ranked No. 9 with a 6.945 and Hines is No. 10 with a 6.951 best.

“We’ve done a lot of work on these bikes since the last race in Norwalk,” said Krawiec. “My bike has some new chassis parts on it and we’re just trying to get a handle on them. We knew that it was going to be a different deal with these new bikes but I’m not sure we knew how different it would be.”

Krawiec and Hines have both noted that the new bikes are not only more aerodynamic than their predecessors but the chassis also produces more traction. The end result is the need for an entirely different clutch and chassis set-up.

“We know it’s not a power issue; we have the same power we’ve always had so I’m not worried about that,” said Krawiec. “We just need to get the chassis sorted out. It’s out there. Matt Smith ran a 6.82 and that proves it can be done. I think we can run right with him but we need to hit the set-up.


FRIDAY

Smith finished atop the Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying order with an elapsed time track record 6.829 at 195.19 in his second pass of the day. He is aiming for his 26th career No. 1 qualifier and his second consecutive this season.

“The last two races have been awesome for us, especially getting the No. 1 qualifier in Norwalk the last time out,” Smith said. “It’s good to come here and be No. 1 and prove that we could do it again, but I think we are here to stay this year and we will make a run at the championship.”

Scotty Pollacheck is in the No. 2 slot after a 6.883 at 193.65 in his Extended Protection Suzuki during his second pass of the day, while Hector Arana Jr. sits at third with a 6.884 at 194.97 in his Lucas Oil Buell.

Qualifying at the 20th annual Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters continues at 3:15 and 6:00 p.m. on Saturday at Route 66 Raceway.

QUALIFYING ORDER AFTER ROUND 2

POS DRIVER ET MPH
01 Matt Smith 6.829 195.19
02 Scott Pollacheck 6.883 193.65
03 Hector Arana Jr 6.884 194.97
04 LE Tonglet 6.889 193.68
05 Jerry Savoie 6.905 193.02
06 Chip Ellis 6.934 190.81
07 Joey Gladstone 6.936 192.03
08 Karen Stoffer 6.938 191.19
09 Eddie Krawiec 6.945 192.8
10 Andrew Hines 6.951 192.85
11 Melissa Surber 6.96 190
12 Angie Smith 6.963 190.89
13 Cory Reed 6.964 189.95
14 Steve Johnson 6.981 192
15 Mike Berry 6.986 190.73
16 Angelle Sampey 6.999 189.76
17 Ryan Oehler 7.072 187.23
18 Kelly Clontz 7.112 189.07
19 David Hope 7.129 185.54
20 Lance Bonham 7.212 184.25
21 Andie Rawlings 7.788 162.31

 


NHRA FRIDAY NOTEBOOK

When Steve Johnson stages his Suzuki for Q1 at Route 66 Raceway it will officially mark his 400th start in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class. Johnson, who made his Pro debut aboard a Kawasaki in 1987, is far and away the leader in among NHRA’s two wheel racers. In fact, the rider with the second-most appearances is Hector Arana Sr. who has appeared in 293 events. The only other active riders with more than 200 appearances are Andrew Hines (235), Mike Berry (226), Angelle Sampey (216), Matt Smith (216) and Karen Stoffer (203).

“Consistency; that’s what I think about when I think 400 races,” said Johnson. “I haven’t missed a race since the start of the 1989 season and that’s what I’m most proud of. I don’t think there is anyone who can say that. It took me 17 years to win my first race but I’m proud of that. That’s part of the message that I share with kids.”

Johnson’s journey began at the 1987 Englishtown race. Then a resident of California, he put his Kawasaki in a crate and had it shipped to the track. Johnson used the crate as his pit area for the weekend. For the record, Johnson qualified No. 16 at that event and defeated Rick Gero in the first round before losing to Frank Martorelli. Johnson didn’t win his first race until 2004 and now has six wins in 20 final rounds. His career round win record is 233-366 with 27 DNQ’s.


David Hope, who rides John Hammock’s Vroom Racing Buell, has to go to great lengths to get to the races. Working on a job site in Alaska, Hope usually takes three or four flights to get to each race and that travel can take a day or more.

“It’s not easy but it tells you how much I want to race,” said Hope. “I was off the bike for a couple of years and I really missed it.”

Hope has struggled to qualify so far this year but he feels like his team is on the verge of a major breakthrough. Teammate Mike Berry, who races out of the same trailer as Hammock, ran a 6.932 in Norwalk to qualify in the top half of the field.

“We know we have good power, but we’re not getting it down the track consistently,” said Hammock. “When you have to abort runs, you get no data and that makes it hard to fix whatever issues you have. It’s easy to get behind the curve. This year, we changed our ECU to a Magnetti Morelli and that has been a big help. Hopefully, we’re about to turn things around quickly.

During Friday’s Q1, Hope did not make the sort of run he was looking for with a 7.181, but he ended the session as the 16th quickest qualifier.


The Stoffer/Underdahl team trailer is normally a very busy place but it’s especially hectic this weekend with the team fielding five Suzuki entries. Top ten contenders Scotty Pollacheck, Karen Stoffer, and rookie Joey Gladstone are being joined by part-timers Kelly Clontz and Andie Rawlings. The team may soon expand to six bikes after Greg Underdahl recently purchased Joe DeSantis’ Suzuki. John Hall is expected to ride the sixth bike, possibly as soon as the next round in Denver.

“We have a good group assembled here and right now, we have enough people to make it work,” said Underdahl. “This is the first time that Andie and Kelly are racing at the same race but they both wanted to come here. In a perfect world, we’d be really busy on Sunday. I’d love to see all five bikes being worked on after the first round.”

In Q1, Pollacheck was the quickest of the Stoffer/Underdahl Suzuki entires with a third-quickest 6.892. After a horrible 2016 season on Matt Smith’s Buell, Pollacheck is thrilled to have a motorcycle that is capable of contending for victories.

“I look at the points and see that I’m third but it doesn’t really feel like is,” said Pollacheck. “We’re doing well; we’re qualifying really solidly and we’re winning rounds. I just need to concentrate on getting to final rounds and not give myself a false sense of security. My bike goal is to make the Countdown. We need to be sure of that.”


 

QUALIFYING ROUND 2

As if his earlier 6.836 run wasn’t impressive enough, Matt Smith lowered the boom again with a 6.829 to lead the Pro Stock Motorcycle field. Smith’s Polaris Magnum has been the quickest bike in the last six sessions dating back to the Norwalk race two weeks ago. The second-quickest run of the round was Scotty Pollacheck’s 6.883 and Hector Arana Jr. was third-best at 6.884. It took just a few pairs for the bump spot in Pro Stock Motorcycle to dip into the six-second zone as conditions improved for Q2. After two runs, Angelle Sampey is the No. 16 qualifier with a 6.999.

 

Left Andie Rawlings .141 1.125 3.116 4.844 139.53 6.410 7.788 162.31
8:03 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 83 degrees, relative humidity 51 percent, barometer 29.18 inches, adjusted altitude 3,220 feet, track temperature 102 degrees. Rawlings makes a clean pass but still doesn’t get in the show.

 

Left Mike Berry .200 1.095 2.910 4.457 157.89 5.816 6.986 190.73
Right Melissa Surber .063 1.050 2.871 4.422 157.04 5.784 6.960 190.00
Berry goes right down the groove with a clean pass and gets in the show in the 11th spot. Surber improves and moves up to the sixth spot for now.

 

Left Ryan Oehler .046 1.095 2.928 4.498 155.52 5.879 7.072 187.23
Right Karen Stoffer .033 1.060 2.871 4.415 158.30 5.771 6.938 191.19
Oehler improves but not enough to get in the field. Stoffer makes a clean, straight pass and gets in the field in the sixth spot.

 

Left Kelly Clontz
Right Lance Bonham .024 1.106 2.984 4.590 152.21 5.999 7.212 184.25
Clontz had problems and did not make a pass. Bonham improves a little but doesn’t get in the show.

 

Left Joey Gladstone .045 1.058 2.866 4.413 158.00 5.770 6.936 192.03
Right David Hope .040 1.066 2.928 4.522 153.26 5.923 7.129 185.54
Gladstone makes a good pass and moves from the bump spot all the way to the sixth spot. Hope improves but is still on the outside.

 

Left Angie Smith .048 1.062 2.873 4.426 156.95 5.791 6.963 190.89
Right Eddie Krawiec .001 1.090 2.910 4.444 159.44 5.788 6.945 192.80
Smith goes right down the groove with a good pass and moves up to the tenth spot. Krawiec improves and gets off the bump spot.

 

Left Andrew Hines .057 1.089 2.895 4.440 158.13 5.793 6.951 192.85
Right Angelle Sampey .000 1.102 2.912 4.460 157.43 5.823 6.999 189.76
Hines makes a good pass and improves to the ninth spot. Sampey spins the tire a little off the line, improves a little, but stays on the bump spot.

 

Left Steve Johnson .051 1.099 2.918 4.463 158.15 5.818 6.981 192.00
Right Cory Reed .031 1.054 2.855 4.404 157.04 5.779 6.977 185.21
Johnson equals his earlier attempt and stays in the 14th spot. Reed slows from his earlier attempt.

 

Left Chip Ellis .053 1.040 2.842 4.396 157.15 5.760 6.934 190.81
Right Jerry Savoie -.003 1.044 2.858 4.396 158.91 5.746 6.905 193.02
Ellis makes a clean pass and moves up to the sixth spot. Savoie makes the quickest pass of the round so far but stays in the fifth spot.

 

Left LE Tonglet .024 1.056 2.858 4.391 159.55 5.734 6.889 193.68
Right Hector Arana Jr .048 1.072 2.870 4.399 159.82 5.737 6.884 194.97
A good side-by-side, they were glued together all the way through the run. Tonglet improves and moves up a spot to third. Arana Jr. improves but can’t take the top spot.

 

LANE DRIVER RT 60 FT 330 FT 660 FT 660 FT MPH 1000 FT ET MPH
Left Scott Pollacheck .064 1.057 2.860 4.391 159.93 5.729 6.883 193.65
Right Matt Smith -.002 1.052 2.831 4.351 160.33 5.684 6.829 195.19
Pollacheck makes a decent pass and moves up to the second spot. Smith makes another impressive pass and sets the track record.

Matt Smith

QUALIFYING ROUND 1

After running the table during qualifying in Norwalk, Matt Smith picked up where he left off with a strong first qualifying effort at the Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals. Smith rode to a 6.836 for the top spot, and he is well ahead of second-ranked Hector Arana Jr., who posted a 6.891 on his Lucas Oil Buell. Scotty Pollacheck also picked up a qualifying bonus point with a 6.892 on his Suzuki Extended Protection bike. The current bump after one session is David Hope with a 7.181 on John Hammock’s Buell.

Left
Right Ryan Oehler .121 1.121 2.981 4.551 155.67 5.927 7.117 187.52

5:17 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 92 degrees, relative humidity 49 percent, barometer 29.16 inches, adjusted altitude 3,945 feet, track temperature 116 degrees. Oehler is making his debut in this class. He makes a clean pass to start the session.

Left Lance Bonham .041 1.126 3.002 4.613 151.70 6.025 7.241 183.59
Right Andie Rawlings .227 1.192 3.435 5.268 133.53 6.990 8.822 113.97

Bonham makes a clean pass to get in the second spot for now. Rawlings has problems and is off the throttle early.

Left David Hope .055 1.071 2.955 4.555 152.09 5.968 7.181 184.83
Right Kelly Clontz .155 1.113 2.975 4.549 155.44 5.927 7.112 189.07

Clontz goes right down the groove with a decent pass to take the early pole. Hope was out in front early but slowed near the end of the run.

Left Melissa Surber .065 1.077 2.884 4.753 113.07 6.972 9.305 89.23
Right Mike Berry .104 1.150 3.001 4.609 143.58 6.097 7.460 155.15

Surber leaves the line and starts drifting to the right. She gets close to the centerline around half track and backs off the throttle. Berry started drifting to the right late in the run and backed off the throttle.

Left Cory Reed .050 1.073 2.880 4.427 157.80 5.788 6.964 189.95
Right Chip Ellis .055 1.056 2.875 4.436 156.61 5.802 6.976 190.54

Reed goes right down the groove with the first run in the sixes to take the pole for now. Ellis makes a clean pass and gets in the second spot for now.

Left Angelle Sampey .023 1.095 2.915 4.464 157.61 5.829 7.011 188.89
Right Angie Smith .049 1.068 2.902 4.454 156.90 5.820 6.996 189.92

Smith makes a decent pass and gets in the third spot for now. Sampey makes a clean run but was falling behind all the way through the run.

Left Karen Stoffer -.015 1.075 2.916 4.674 126.14 6.691 8.911 94.06
Right Steve Johnson .055 1.073 2.896 4.451 157.17 5.813 6.981 191.38

This is Johnson’s 400th event. He goes right down the groove with a good pass to get in the third spot for now. Stoffer had problems and was off the throttle early.

Left Matt Smith .070 1.050 2.830 4.353 160.27 5.689 6.836 194.91
Right Joey Gladstone .074 1.097 2.932 4.491 156.44 5.862 7.042 189.76

Smith makes an impressive pass here and takes the pole. Gladstone makes a clean pass but was falling behind all the way through the run.

Left Hector Arana Jr .033 1.058 2.863 4.396 159.44 5.738 6.891 193.93
Right Andrew Hines .119 1.101 2.912 4.460 157.87 5.817 6.984 191.62

Arana Jr. makes a good pass to get in the second spot for now. Hines makes a clean, straight pass and gets in the sixth spot for now.

Left Jerry Savoie .012 1.054 2.875 4.414 159.23 5.762 6.923 192.80
Right Scott Pollacheck .079 1.062 2.864 4.396 159.64 5.738 6.892 193.74

Savoie makes a decent pass and gets in the fourth spot for now. Pollacheck makes a good pass and gets in the third spot for now.

LANE DRIVER RT 60 FT 330 FT 660 FT 660 FT MPH 1000 FT ET MPH
Left Eddie Krawiec .204 1.086 2.907 4.462 156.37 5.838 7.022 189.52
Right LE Tonglet .038 1.056 2.855 4.392 158.91 5.741 6.899 193.27

Krawiec drifted to the right, got very close to the centerline, but hung on and made a decent pass. Tonglet goes right down the groove with a good pass to get in the fourth spot.

 


Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com

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