NHRA : Pro Stock Motorcycle Results from Texas Motorplex

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NHRA Mello Yellow drag racing series
AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals
Texas Motorplex – Ennis, TX
Oct 12-15, 2017
Coverage by NHRA.com

Pro Stock Motorcycle

Eddie Krawiec rode his Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 9.336 pass at 92.62 which was enough due to a red-light start from defending world champion Jerry Savoie. It is Krawiec’s sixth win of the season, 42nd of his career and second consecutive and third total at Texas Motorplex. 

“This track really, leaving here kind of sets the tone for how that championship is going to shape up. I probably put more pressure on myself to do really good here,” Krawiec said. “You need to capitalize. For me, I had, I would say, a perfect weekend for how it worked out. I went out there got a lot of the little points in qualifying. I needed to capitalize, this was the opportunity for me to grab the ball and run with it. I think that was more of my drive for today. Lucky enough for me I had a great motorcycle under me.” 

Krawiec road to victory was lined with wins over David Hope, Karen Stoffer and Scotty Pollacheck. The win puts him 107 points ahead of LE Tonglet who remains in second. Savoie, Tonglet’s teammate, rode past Gunner Courtney, rookie Joey Gladstone and former champion Matt Smith. 

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Oct. 26-29, with the 17th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals. 

CURRENT POINTS

Eliminations Round 1

Reigning world champ Jerry Savoie put the bite on the field with a 6.855, low e.t. of the meet, in beating Gunner Courtney, but the news was not near as good for his White Alligator Racing teammate and championship contender L.E. Tonglet, who was upset by rookie Joey Gladstone. Points leader Eddie Krawiec moved on with a 6.885, the second best run of the round.

LANE DRIVER RT 60 FT 330 FT 660 FT 660 FT MPH 1000 FT ET MPH
WIN Jerry Savoie .088 1.043 2.834 4.362 160.25 5.704 6.855 194.16
Gunner Courtney .044 1.112 2.959 4.529 155.26 5.952 7.378 146.62

12:16 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 70 degrees, relative humidity 56 percent, barometer 29.67 inches, adjusted altitude 1,615 feet, track temperature 97 degrees. This is the first time Savoie and Courtney have faced each other in eliminations. Courtney gets out of the gate first but Savoie reels him in before they reach the sixty foot mark. He continues to pull away and makes the quickest pass of the weekend to take the win.

WIN Karen Stoffer .032 1.059 2.865 4.413 157.98 5.778 6.957 189.63
Hector Arana Jr .062 1.104 2.914 4.449 159.95 5.792 6.938 195.68

Arana Jr is 8 – 1 against Stoffer in prior events. Stoffer gets the holeshot but Arana starts reeling her in. Arana gains ground all the way through the run but runs out of race track. Karen Stoffer’s incremental margins: 60ft(0.075), 330 ft(0.079), 660ft(0.066), 1,000ft(0.044). MOV: 0.0118 seconds (approximately 3 feet).

WIN Angie Smith .070 1.051 2.822 4.348 159.40 5.709 6.889 189.66
Mike Berry .083 1.050 2.833 4.370 158.32 5.741 6.936 186.59

This (#5) is Angie Smith’s best starting spot since the Chicago race in 2013. Mike Berry is making his 169th start. Smith is 3 – 0 against Berry in prior events. Smith gets the advantage off the line and starts to pull away. She drifts toward the centerline all the way through the run and has to really lean on the bike to keep it in the lane. She goes on through with a decent pass to take the win.

WIN Scott Pollacheck .037 1.047 2.867 4.412 158.76 5.773 6.944 190.73
Steve Johnson .038 1.079 2.935 5.048 101.25 7.530 10.180 78.32

Pollacheck is 5 – 4 against Johnson in prior events. Steve Johnson was the runner-up in Dallas in 2014. This is the 160th round for Scotty Pollacheck. Johnson leaves the line, starts moving to the right, then gets close to the wall and has to back off the throttle. Pollacheck makes a decent pass and pulls away for the win. Angie Smith will have lane choice over Pollacheck in the next round.

WIN Andrew Hines .066 1.114 2.910 4.435 160.27 5.777 6.935 193.21
Mark Paquette .052 1.073 2.880 4.499 138.17 6.315 8.227 110.04

Andrew Hines won here in 2014. Andrew set top seed in St. Louis and that was the 48th time he had the fastest bike in the class and that is tops among all motorcycle riders. Second best is his brother, Matt, with 45. This is just the third start for Mark Paquette and he is the 64th rider to square off against Andrew in eliminations. Paquette gets out of the gate first, stays in front past the 330 foot mark, then Hines goes around him and pulls away for the win. Andrew Hines’ incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.055), 330 ft(-0.044), 660ft(0.050), 1,000ft(0.524). MOV: 1.2786 seconds (more than 100 feet).

WIN Matt Smith .062 1.092 2.886 4.408 160.77 5.746 6.900 193.43
Melissa Surber .034 1.072 3.907 7.837 54.12 12.588 19.300 27.53

Smith is 1 – 0 against Surber in prior events. Surber gets out of the gate first, stays in front to the sixty foot mark, then she has problems and her bike noses over. Smith goes right down the groove and pulls away for the win. Matt Smith’s incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.048), 330 ft(0.993), 660ft(3.401), 1,000ft(6.814). MOV: 2.3724 seconds (approximately 96 feet). Smith will have lane choice over Hines in the next round.

WIN Eddie Krawiec .032 1.108 2.890 4.398 161.05 5.735 6.885 194.44
David Hope .101 1.082 2.993 4.821 122.49 6.934 9.212 91.40

In the 12 times that the motorcycles have competed at this race the #1 qualifier has only won the race one time. Eddie Krawiec has been to the final round here four times and has two wins. He is the defending event champion. In the 12 years that the bikes have competed at this event no rider has ever won it in consecutive years. David Hope is making his 41st start. Krawiec is 8 – 1 against Hope in prior events. Krawiec gets a big holeshot and starts to pull away. Hope drifts to the right, gets close to the wall and has to back off the throttle. Krawiec will have lane choice over Stoffer in the next round.

WIN Joey Gladstone .028 1.072 2.862 4.395 159.06 5.750 6.916 192.28
LE Tonglet .087 1.113 2.947 4.478 160.19 5.821 6.971 194.46

L.E. Tonglet was the 2010 winner here. His win in St. Louis was the 16th of his career and that ties him with Antron Brown for 8th best the class. L.E. won his in 114 races while it took Antron 146 races to get his wins..This is a rematch of the first round match at St. Louis, a match that Tonglet won. Tonglet is 3 – 1 against Gladstone in prior events. Gladstone gets a big holeshot and starts to pull away. Tonglet spins the tires at the hit and lost time early. He starts making up ground but quickly runs out of room. Joey Gladstone’s incremental margins: 60ft(0.100), 330 ft(0.144), 660ft(0.142), 1,000ft(0.130). MOV: 0.1146 seconds (approximately 33 feet). Savoie will have lane choice over Gladstone in the next round.

Eliminations Round 2

Eddie Krawiec raced to a stunning 6.785, low e.t. by more than half a tenth, to defeat Karen Stoffer. Matt Smith and Andrew Hines engaged in a protracted starting-line burndown, then Smith beat the former world champ on a 6.84 to 6.84 holeshot to reach the semifinals. Smith will take on Jerry Savoie, who ran 6.84 against Joey Gladstone’s red-light.

LANE DRIVER RT 60 FT 330 FT 660 FT 660 FT MPH 1000 FT ET MPH
WIN Jerry Savoie .018 1.041 2.827 4.356 159.97 5.697 6.845 194.52
Joey Gladstone -.008 1.043 2.816 4.347 159.16 5.703 6.875 191.00

1:54 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 75 degrees, relative humidity 40 percent, barometer 29.64 inches, adjusted altitude 1,907 feet, track temperature 107 degrees. This is the first time Savoie and Gladstone have faced each other in eliminations. Gladstone leaves a little too soon and goes red giving the win to Savoie. Savoie goes down the groove with the quickest pass of the weekend to take the win.

WIN Scott Pollacheck .040 1.042 2.822 4.354 159.08 5.717 6.895 189.50
Angie Smith .033 1.065 2.843 4.380 158.76 5.780 7.213 146.19

Pollacheck is 2 – 1 against Smith in prior events. Smith gets the advantage off the line but Pollacheck gets around him before they reach the sixty foot mark. Pollacheck goes by and pulls away for the win.

WIN Matt Smith .025 1.064 2.841 4.363 160.12 5.706 6.862 193.77
Andrew Hines .043 1.061 2.837 4.355 160.84 5.694 6.849 193.27

Hines is 28 – 10 against Smith in prior events. Smith gets the advantage off the line but Hines starts reeling him in quickly. Hines continues to gain ground, drifts to the right, but he runs out of room. Smith hangs on and takes the holeshot win. Matt Smith’s incremental margins: 60ft(0.015), 330 ft(0.014), 660ft(0.010), 1,000ft(0.006). MOV: 0.0056 seconds (approximately 19 inches). Savoie will have lane choice over Smith in the next round.

WIN Eddie Krawiec .058 1.057 2.807 4.317 161.25 5.647 6.785 196.50
Karen Stoffer .043 1.052 2.837 4.375 158.33 5.731 6.897 191.32

Krawiec is 19 – 7 against Stoffer in prior events. Stoffer gets the holeshot, stays in front past the sixty foot mark, but Krawiec goes around her and makes the quickest pass of the weekend to pull away for the win. Krawiec will have lane choice over Pollacheck in the next round.

 

Eliminations Round 3

Eddie Krawiec, who opened the Countdown playoffs with back-to-back wins in Charlotte and Reading is in position for a third win to add to his points lead after beating Scotty Pollacheck in the semifinals. Krawiec’s 6.85 earned him final-round lane choice against defending world champ Jerry Savoie, who ran 6.86 to trailer Matt Smith. Krawiec has five wins on the season, Savoie one.

LANE DRIVER RT 60 FT 330 FT 660 FT 660 FT MPH 1000 FT ET MPH
WIN Jerry Savoie .042 1.043 2.839 4.372 160.00 5.714 6.860 195.28
Matt Smith .044 1.056 2.944 5.237 93.63 7.929 10.803 72.59

3:17 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 77 degrees, relative humidity 34 percent, barometer 29.62 inches, adjusted altitude 2,024 feet, track temperature 109 degrees. Smith leaves the line, gets about 300 feet out and the engine goes silent. Savoie goes right down the groove with a clean pass and pulls away for the win.

WIN Eddie Krawiec .072 1.098 2.874 4.382 161.61 5.713 6.853 195.87
Scott Pollacheck .059 1.043 2.846 4.388 158.97 5.743 6.907 191.76

Krawiec is 14 – 1 against Pollacheck in prior events. Pollacheck gets out of the gate first and starts to pull away. Krawiec starts gaining ground and reels him in just before the 1000 foot mark and goes around for the win. Eddie Krawiec’s incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.068), 330 ft(-0.041), 660ft(-0.007), 1,000ft(0.017). MOV: 0.0419 seconds (approximately 12 feet). Krawiec will have lane choice over Savoie in the final round.

Eliminations – Final

Eddie Krawiec, far lane, collected his third win in four Countdown events and extended his points leader over L.E. Tonglet to more than 100 points after Tonglet’s teammate, Jerry Savoie, fouled in the final round. The win is Krawiec’s sixth of the season and 42nd of his career, third all-time in the class.

LANE DRIVER RT 60 FT 330 FT 660 FT 660 FT MPH 1000 FT ET MPH
WIN Eddie Krawiec .044 1.118 2.944 4.867 112.56 7.066 9.336 92.62
Jerry Savoie -.018 1.034 2.820 4.409 145.31 6.101 7.872 118.44

4:10 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 77 degrees, relative humidity 34 percent, barometer 29.62 inches, adjusted altitude 2,024 feet, track temperature 109 degrees. Krawiec has five wins this year, 41 wins in his career. This is his seventh final round this year and the 70th of his career. Savoie two wins this year and eight in his career. This is his fourth final this year and 20th of his career. Savoie leaves a little too soon and goes red giving the win to Krawiec. Krawiec gets out of shape and backs off the throttle early.

 

 

SATURDAY

Krawiec, the Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader, secured his fourth No. 1 of the season and 37th of his career with his 6.860 pass at 196.53 from the first round of qualifying on Friday. 

“This weather changes everything because you have to throw everything out the windows from the last few days since they produced some hot and greasy track conditions, and we are expecting much cooler weather tomorrow,” Krawiec said. “Ultimately, it’s about making clean, straight runs here at Texas Motorplex and I feel like I’ve gotten pretty close to getting my chassis where it needs to be and hopefully tomorrow’s conditions makes for some great racing.”

Krawiec will face David Hope in the first round. Reigning world champion Jerry Savoie is in the second spot with a 6.873 pass at 194.35 on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki and will line up with Gunner Courtney. Andrew Hines is third on his Screamin’ Eagle / Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. 

POSITION DRIVER ET MPH
01 Eddie Krawiec 6.86 196.53
02 Jerry Savoie 6.873 194.35
03 Andrew Hines 6.878 195.87
04 Scott Pollacheck 6.879 195.53
05 Angie Smith 6.885 194.07
06 Matt Smith 6.887 194.94
07 LE Tonglet 6.892 193.6
08 Hector Arana Jr 6.9 192.8
09 Karen Stoffer 6.914 193.02
10 Joey Gladstone 6.957 190.67
11 Melissa Surber 6.982 190.57
12 Mike Berry 7.007 189.23
13 Steve Johnson 7.011 191.59
14 Mark Paquette 7.086 186.67
15 Gunner Courtney 7.12 185.31
16 David Hope 7.166 185.18
17 Lance Bonham 7.196 187.76

NHRA.com Feature – Eddie Krawiec

Weather affects everybody in NHRA Drag Racing, but it particularly hurts the naturally aspirated Pro Stock Motorcycle class. So, while many racers fancy themselves as amateur weather watchers, it wasn’t a surprise to hear Eddie Krawiec say he was watching the weather a week ahead of the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.

“We were looking at the weather a week ago and it certainly wasn’t going to be in the 90s, but as long as we don’t have rain, it’s all good,” said the provisional No. 1 qualifier. “We can deal with that. (The heat) affects the way our motorcycles run, being naturally aspirated, it takes away some of the horsepower that you can make. We just made the proper adjustments that we thought.

“The track has been very good for us. This is just one of those situations where we have more grip than we have power. And that’s because you’re dealing with the heat. This is very wet air for Dallas. There’s a lot of water, a lot of grains. That affects us too being naturally aspirated. Everybody has to deal with the same conditions. The best tuner wins.

Krawiec says the Harley-Davidson Street Rods respond better to heat now than they did in the past thanks to some tuning work done by riding partner Andrew Hines. That seems to be shown in recent results. The rider didn’t get the win in temperate conditions at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals two weeks ago, but he did score back-to-back-to-back victories in warm temps preceding it.

“Before when we would get to these conditions we were dreading it because we stunk,” said Krawiec. “Over the last year basically, Andrew spent a lot of time on the dyno and we made a lot of dyno pulls to refine our tune up. And it’s shown that in hot conditions we can run well. And before, there were a couple of bikes that could run well and we were a few hundredths off them. Now, we’re equally as fast, if not faster.”

Still, Krawiec knows where his bread is buttered: cool weather. That might be coming on Sunday, if the current forecast holds. That’s no guarantee of course, but if the Harley-Davidson rider can hold onto the No. 1 spot, and keep picking away at this tune-up… well, that will put him in a very good spot entering raceday.

NHRA.com Feature – Matt Smith

Matt Smith knows that time is running down on his Pro Stock championship hopes and even perhaps his time in the class. The veteran rider and former world champ sits seventh in the standings and more than 140 points behind the leader, but with just three races to go, he’ll need to convert the performance potential that his Polaris Victory Magnum has shown into winner’s circle appearances.

He’s qualified in the top half of the field at the last nine events, including No. 1s in Norwalk and Sonoma and a third as recently as two weeks ago in St. Louis, where he went to the semifinals, but he’s winless this season in three final-round appearances.

“We’ve got the power and the bike, we just haven’t had any luck on Sundays,” he said. “We just can’t seem to get a break. Seems like everywhere we go we end up racing the guy who goes on to win the race. It gets real tough starting in the second round because there are eight really good bikes out here and if they all make it to the second round, there’s no easy draw.”

Smith found out earlier this year that his partnership with Polaris wouldn’t be extended into 2018, so he and wife Angie, who rides the team’s second bike, have been on the hunt for new sponsors.

“We know we can do this and do it well for just $200,000, which is not a bad deal for someone to be part of a championship team for 18 races,” he said. “We’ve been trying but just haven’t been able to put anything together. I want to do this, but I just can’t spend my own money to do it. I’m going to give it until Dec. 15 then make a decision.”

Smith has had offers to ride or tune other bikes, and even offers to compete in Pro Mod, where he has competed sporadically this year with his father, multi-time Pro Mod champ Rickie Smith, but his heart remains with the two-wheeled class.

FRIDAY

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Krawiec, the defending event winner, currently leads the pack with a 6.860 pass at 196.53 on his Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson from the first round. 

“I made a really clean, very good run off the truck,” Krawiec said. “We had the bike, obviously the tune-up, Andrew (Hines) and Matt (Hines), had the tune-up really right on, the chassis set-up was right. I’ve got to maintain, that’s key. Get those little (qualifying) points and just keep moving forward.”

Defending world champion Jerry Saovie is in the No. 2 spot with is 6.873 pass at 194.35 on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki and Scotty Pollacheck rounds out the top three. 

POSITION DRIVER ET MPH
01 Eddie Krawiec 6.86 196.53
02 Jerry Savoie 6.873 194.35
03 Scott Pollacheck 6.879 195.53
04 Hector Arana Jr 6.9 192.8
05 Andrew Hines 6.901 195.17
06 LE Tonglet 6.901 193.54
07 Karen Stoffer 6.914 193.02
08 Matt Smith 6.941 193.27
09 Joey Gladstone 6.957 190.67
10 Melissa Surber 6.982 190.57
11 Angie Smith 6.999 190.38
12 Mike Berry 7.007 189.23
13 Steve Johnson 7.011 191.59
14 Gunner Courtney 7.12 185.31
15 David Hope 7.207 185.43
16 Lance Bonham 7.211 185.74

NHRA.com Feature – Gunner Courtney

A year after making his debut at the Texas Motorplex, Gunner Courtney has learned a lot about the Pro Stock Motorcycle class. The second-year rider is competing in his sixth event, and third of the season, and is in the No. 15 qualifying spot after three sessions.

“It’s a tough class,” said Courtney. “I raced Arenacross before this, and I raced Jr. Dragster all my life. I got into big cars after that and it was too slow. It was fun to go out and race, but I wasn’t going fast enough.”

After getting burned out by the rigors of Motocross, Courtney switched over to Pro Stock Motorcycle. He said there are some transferrable skills, but there are also a handful of things he needed to unlearn when switching from one two-wheeled machine to another.

“Body english, it’s a lot,” said Courtney. “I’d say it helps. A bunch of the stuff carries over. It’s like half and half of what carries and what doesn’t. The way you ride, the way you stand on the bike, stuff like that.”

He’s also learned plenty about the mechanics of the bike, both through trial and error and from other riders and tuners in the Pro Stock pits.

“Last year, I knew nothing about these bikes,” said Courtney. “Now, I can take one of these bikes apart, put it back together. I learned from mistakes, putting it together wrong. GT Tonglet helped a lot, too. So did Stoffer and Underdahl, they’ve been overly nice.”

The best way to learn about riding: Getting on the seat. He’s doing that this weekend.

 

NHRA.com Feature – Hector Arana Jr

After beginning the Countdown with back-to-back semifinal finishes in Charlotte and Reading, Hector Arana Jr.’s bid to join his father as a Pro Stock Motorcycle champion hit a bump in the road in St. Louis where he lost in round one to Karen Stoffer. Not only did he get left on, but he also got outperformed, a duo that has not happened to the Lucas Oil Racing TV Buell rider much this season.

“No question we had a bit of bad luck and it was bad timing for that to happen to us in St. Louis but all we can do, what we’re going to do, is look forward and move forward,” Arana Jr. said. “Of course, it’s still possible to win the championship but we’re not going to race with that in mind. It never works. Nothing to do with winning the championship will change the decisions we make at the racetrack.

“It sounds cliché but we’ll be taking things one round at a time, beginning with the first qualifying session. We’re not going to get in over our heads. We’re going to stick with what’s worked for us all year. We’ll try to be No. 1 qualifier every round and try to win every round we race on Sunday. That’s the best way to drag race.”

Arana Sr., still sidelined after early-season shoulder surgery, took full advantage of the off weekend and went through the bike from end to end. He also completely disassembled and freshened all three motors the team will use down the stretch.

“In the end, the engines are back to 100 percent and ready to race,” said Arana Jr. “All three are very strong and he figured out what had happened and why we were leaving slower than before. It took an incredible amount of work and lots of late nights going through our notes but Dad got it done and I’m super appreciative of him, even more than normal.”

 

NHRA.com Feature – LE Tonglet

Based on wins alone, LE Tonglet is enjoying his best season of all time. He wants to cap this with his second Mello Yello Championship. The Nitro Fish rider has six wins this season, his most in a single season, including a victory at the NHRA’s most recent stop. That win wasn’t enough to get him to No. 1 in the standings.

He currently sits 19 points behind Eddie Krawiec, who Tonglet beat in the second round at Gateway Motorsports Park. That’s after the first qualifying session, when Krawiec grabbed three bonus points while the Louisianan finished outside the top three. Tonglet needs to keep that gap under 20 so he doesn’t need more than a round win to pass him by on Sunday.

Based on Tonglet’s great run through the Countdown in 2010, when he won four of six races, and his 16-6 record in final rounds, it might seem like nothing can get to the Pro Stock Motorcycle rider. But he admitted to a little bit of nervousness against Krawiec in the second round at the AAA NHRA Midwest Nationals.

“I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous in the second round,” said Tonglet. “That was the only one. We were at least 70 points behind going into that round, I don’t really count qualifying points. If he had won that race, he would’ve gained another 60 points.”

Tonglet winning that round kept him alive in the championship fight. Heck, it kept a few riders alive in the fight for a championship. Matt Smith is 140 points back in seventh place, and that might be the furthest back anyone can come from to catch Krawiec with three races to go. The Nitro Fish rider doesn’t have to worry about coming back from that distance, of course. He’s only got one round to recover from.


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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