NHRA: Pro Stock Motorcycle at Route 66 Raceway

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NHRA Mello Yellow drag racing series

NHRA JEGS Route 66 Nationals
Route 66 Raceway
May 31 – June 03, 2018

Pro Stock Motorcycle

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, two-time world champion Smith earned his first victory of 2018 and 19th of his career with a run of 6.816 at 195.87 on his Victory Magnum in the final round. Smith bested Steve Johnson, Jim Underdahl, points leader and No. 1 qualifier Andrew Hines, and LE Tonglet in the final round to lock down his first career victory at Route 66 Raceway. Smith also moved to sixth in the points standings.

“We always run good here in Chicago and I knew we had a good bike,” Smith said. “We were the quickest bike every round and that’s just a testament to my crew. I’m just very excited. We were just trying to win a race and this was big for us.”

The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues June 8th-10th at the NHRA Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va.

Round 1

A strong tailwind resulted in a dramatic performance improvement for the Pro Stock Motorcycle class with many riders improving more than a tenth of a second over their best qualifying runs. Chief among them was two-time world champ Matt Smith, who ran a 6.784, 198.34 to re-set low elapsed time of the event. Smith’s wife Angie followed suit with a 6.821, 196.99 on her Denso Buell. Low qualifier Andrew Hines was also impressive with a 6.801, 198.32 in his win over Cory Reed, who broke on the starting line. Hector Arana Jr. just missed another 200-mph run with a 199.02 run on his Lucas Oil EBR.

Round 1 Eliminations
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
WINJim Underdahl0.0181.072.8734.41159.555.7486.887196.42
Jerry Savoie-0.0011.0572.8494.371161.135.76.84195.25
12:17 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 78 degrees, relative humidity 37 percent, barometer 29.18 inches, adjusted altitude 2,605 feet, track temperature 115 degrees. Savoie is 5 - 0 against Underdahl in prior events. Savoie just misses the tree and goes red and then goes on to make the quickest pass of the weekend. Underdahl makes his quickest pass of the weekend and takes the win.
WINRyan Oehler0.0341.0922.8894.419159.855.7576.91193.46
Hector Arana-0.0271.1062.9494.49159.535.8256.994183.39
This is the first time Arana and Oehler have faced each other in eliminations. Arana is a little too quick off the line and goes red giving the win to Oehler. Oehler makes his quickest pass of the weekend to take the win.
WINAngie Smith0.0941.062.8394.357161.325.6856.821196.99
Joey Gladstone0.0341.0542.8614.407158.525.7576.916192.22
Gladstone is 1 - 0 against Smith in prior events. Gladstone gets out of the gate first, stays in front past half track, then Smith goes around him and makes the quickest pass of the weekend to take the win. Angie Smith's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.066), 330 ft(-0.038), 660ft(-0.010), 1,000ft(0.012). MOV: 0.0352 seconds (approximately 10 feet).
WINScotty Pollacheck0.0191.0742.8894.433158.875.7836.941192.93
LE Tonglet0.0241.0522.8484.37160.985.6966.828197.65
Tonglet is 7 - 4 against Pollacheck in prior events. Pollacheck gets a small advantage off the line but Tonglet reels him in quickly. Tonglet goes down the groove with his quickest pass of the weekend and sets the track speed record.
WINMarc Ingwersen0.1391.1032.9564.521156.815.8847.051191.43
Hector Arana Jr0.0541.0742.8694.389161.45.716.835199.02
This is the first time Arana Jr and Ingwersen have faced each other in eliminations. The track speed record didn't last long. Arana Jr. goes right down the groove with his quickest and fastest pass of the weekend and sets the track speed record in the win. Angie Smith will have lane choice over Arana Jr. in the next round.
WINMatt Smith0.0351.052.8284.339161.775.6576.784198.35
Steve Johnson0.0191.0742.8734.399160.795.7296.868195.85
Smith is 13 - 11 against Johnson in prior events. Johnson gets the holeshot but Smith goes around him before they reach the sixty foot mark. Smith pulls away and sets the track ET record in the win. Matt Smith will have lane choice over Underdahl in the next round.
WINEddie Krawiec0.0461.0572.8294.354160.595.686.815197.02
Kelly Clontz0.091.1142.9654.516158.595.867.006195.17
Krawiec is 1 - 0 against Clontz in prior events. Krawiec gets the advantage off the line and extends his lead all the way through the run. Krawiec will have lane choice over Tonglet in the next round.
WINAndrew HinesN0.0711.0682.8464.359162.255.6756.801198.32
Cory Reed----------------
Hines is 4 - 1 against Reed in prior events. Reed can't get the engine started on his bike and he does not make a pass. Hines goes down the groove with his quickest pass of the weekend and will have lane choice over Oehler in the next round.

 

Round 2

 

Fans in Chicago got to see the sport’s third official 200-mph Pro Stock Motorcycle run after Hector Arana Jr. rode his Lucas Oil EBR to a 6.793, 200.89 in his win over Angie Smith. Arana Jr. was the first and so far only rider to eclipse the double-century mark earlier this season in Gainesville. There will be a new winner this season after Eddie Krawiec fouled out against 2010 world champ LE Tonglet. Krawiec had won two of the first three races this season. Two-time world champ Matt Smith made the quickest run of the round with a 6.788, 198.96 in his win over Jimmy Underdahl, who fouled.

Round 2 Eliminations
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
WINHector Arana Jr0.0051.0652.8524.364162.295.6776.793200.89
Angie Smith0.0481.0542.844.367159.995.76.839196.64
1:44 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 82 degrees, relative humidity 34 percent, barometer 29.16 inches, adjusted altitude 2,927 feet, track temperature 120 degrees. Arana gets out of the gate first and extends his lead all the way through the run. He makes the fastest pass of the weekend and sets the track speed record. He makes the third 200 MPH run in history and it is the second fastest ever. Hector Arana Jr's incremental times: 60ft-1.065 sec., 330ft-2.852, 660ft-4.364/162.29 mph, 1,000ft-5.677.
WINLE Tonglet0.0041.0612.854.3661625.6836.807198.93
Eddie Krawiec-0.0031.0712.8484.366161.425.6886.819198.06
Krawiec is 22 - 9 against Tonglet in prior events. Krawiec leaves a little too soon and goes red giving the win to Tonglet. Arana Jr. will have lane choice over Tonglet in the next round.
WINAndrew Hines0.0421.0612.8434.364161.075.6896.818198.47
Ryan Oehler0.0371.1342.9864.565155.085.9387.105192.3
Hines is 1 - 0 against Oehler in prior events. Oehler gets a little holeshot but it isn't enough. Hines goes around him quickly and pulls away for the win.
WINMatt Smith-0.0021.0572.8354.346161.815.6646.788198.96
Jim Underdahl-0.0711.0822.8844.42159.745.7536.887197.33
Underdahl leaves too soon and goes red giving the win to Smith. Smith makes the quickest pass of the round for the win. Matt Smith's incremental times: 60ft-1.057 sec., 330ft-2.835, 660ft-4.346/161.81 mph, 1,000ft-5.664. Smith will have lane choice over Hines in the next round.

 

Round 3

Eight years after he burst on the scene with a stunning win at the 2010 Chicago race, LE Tongletwill have the opportunity to win again in the Windy City when he takes on Matt Smith in the final. Tonglet got to the final with a 6.814 in his win over Hector Arana Jr., who had to shut off after his Lucas Oil EBR got close to the retaining wall. Smith will have lane choice after his 6.796 to 6.818 win against low qualifier Andrew Hines. Smith is appearing in the final round for the 48th time in his career.

Round 3 Eliminations
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
WINLE TongletWIN0.0221.0552.8474.37161.45.6896.814198.55
Hector Arana Jr0.0121.1252.9664.511153.956.0727.636135.81
3:04 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 80 degrees, relative humidity 35 percent, barometer 29.16 inches, adjusted altitude 2,784 feet, track temperature 123 degrees. Tonglet is 10 - 7 against Arana Jr in prior events. Arana gets out of the gate first but Tonglet gets around him before they reach the sixty foot mark. Arana drifts to the left, gets very close to the wall near the end of the run and has to back off the throttle. LE Tonglet's incremental margins: 60ft(0.060), 330 ft(0.109), 660ft(0.131), 1,000ft(0.373). MOV: 0.8121 seconds (more than 100 feet).
WINMatt SmithWIN0.0431.0542.8334.351161.385.676.796198.64
Andrew Hines0.0321.0672.8454.363161.595.6876.818197.31
Hines is 28 - 11 against Smith in prior events. Hines gets the holeshot, they stay side-by-side to the 1000 foot mark, then Smith pulls away and takes the win. Matt Smith's incremental margins: 60ft(0.002), 330 ft(0.001), 660ft(0.001), 1,000ft(0.006). MOV: 0.0115 seconds (approximately 3 feet).

Round 4

Matt Smith earned his first win since the 2016 season when he rode his Victory-bodied bike to a 6.816, to 6.862 win over LE Tonglet. Both riders struggled to keep their bikes straight in the stiff wind, but Smith managed to make the better run to end a winless drought that extends back to the 2016 Auto Club Finals in Pomona.

Smith now has 19 wins in his career, and has beaten Tonglet in two final rounds. Ironically, the final pitted two riders who have already changed teams four races into the 2018 season. Smith began the year as a member of Joe Riccardi’s San Marino Excavating team but left after one race. Tonglet started the season racing with his father, Gary, and brother, GT, before rejoining Jerry Savoie’s White Alligator team after the season-opener in Gainesville.

 

Final Eliminations
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
WINMatt Smith0.0451.0542.8354.35161.155.6776.816195.87
LE Tonglet0.0261.0512.8414.366160.485.7076.862193.24
4:00 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 79 degrees, relative humidity 41 percent, barometer 29.17 inches, adjusted altitude 2,749 feet, track temperature 123 degrees. Tonglet is 14 - 9 against Smith in prior events and is 3 - 1 against Smith in prior final rounds. Tonglet gets out of the gate first, stays in front past half track, then Smith goes around him and pulls away for the win. Matt Smith's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.022), 330 ft(-0.013), 660ft(-0.003), 1,000ft(0.011). MOV: 0.0278 seconds (approximately 8 feet). This is Smith's first win this year and the first at this event. This is his 19th career win.

 

Saturday

The Pro Stock Motorcycle class was once again led by Andrew Hines, who used a 6.849 at 194.83 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson in the final pass of the day to reclaim the top spot.

“We had a really good motorcycle today and this track is really good for us, but all-in-all my team is doing a great job and we are all feeling good about racing here tomorrow,” Hines said. “We threw everything we could at the track today, but it all worked out and it’s nice to get down the track so quick.”

Hines will line up against Cory Reed in the first round.

Hector Arana Jr. secured the second qualifying spot after a 6.852 at 197.45 in the final qualifying pass on Saturday, as he prepares for Marc Ingwersen on Sunday.

 

POSDRIVERETMPH
1Andrew Hines6.849194.83
2Hector Arana Jr6.852197.45
3Eddie Krawiec6.862193.24
4Matt Smith6.871194.83
5Jerry Savoie6.881193.9
6LE Tonglet6.891194.66
7Angie Smith6.92190.89
8Hector Arana6.93192.55
9Ryan Oehler6.948191.46
10Joey Gladstone6.965188.38
11Scotty Pollacheck6.969191.35
12Jim Underdahl6.975191.97
13Steve Johnson6.987189.98
14Kelly Clontz7.005191.27
15Marc Ingwersen7.026187.55
16Cory Reed7.038189.87
17Mark Paquette7.039189.42
18Karen Stoffer7.047189.44
19Angelle Sampey7.06189.66

 

Friday

The Pro Stock Motorcycle class was paced by Andrew Hines, who used a 6.862 at 193.90 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson from his first qualifying run to lead the pack. He is aiming for his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and first since Gainesville in March.

“This weather is really strange out here, it’s not our typical conditions in Chicago but we will take it because we have our street rod No. 1,” Hines said. “We’re happy all around and my guys are eager to come out here tomorrow to try and get some quicker times.”

His teammate and the category points leader Eddie Krawiec currently sits second with an identical 6.862 at 193.24 during the second round.

 

NHRA NOTEBOOK

Jerry Savoie

After coming close to winning the Mello Yello Pro Stock Motorcycle championship the last two years, Jerry Savoie and his White Alligator team believe that they have become more attuned to the big picture so they’ve had a shift in philosophy during the 10-race regular season for the bike class. That new approach includes more testing and more experimentation, even if it means the team is slightly less competitive in the short-term.

“We’re working on our depth and our diversity so that we’re better prepared when we get to the Countdown,” said White Alligator crew chief Tim Kulungian. “We’ve always been working on new ideas; we constantly have three or four projects going on. We’re not afraid to try something different if we think it will yield results later on. Winning races is awesome and if need be we’re fully prepared to go back to what we did last year if need be. We’re always trying to put out best foot forward.”

Last year, Kuungian got his first taste of tuning two bikes and he immediately realized that it was far different than tuning just one bike.

“First off, no two bikes are equal no matter how hard you try to make them equal,” he said. “Secondly, with two bikes you really have to stay on top of your parts inventory. You need to make sure that every engine you have will work in each bike. It’s a big jump going from one bike to two but Jerry has given us all the resources we need to succeed, including the manpower to handle it.”

In Chicago, Savoie posted a 6.881, 193.90 best to qualify in the No. 5 spot and Tonglet is right behind him with a 6.891, 194.66 on his Nitro Fish Suzuki. Ironically, Savoie made his run during Q1 on Friday afternoon while Tonglet sealed his position in the field on Saturday evening in Q4.

 

Karen Stoffer

Angelle Sampey isn’t the only high-profile rider who will be a spectator on Sunday as Karen Stoffer also missed qualifying for the tough 16-bike field. Stoffer rode her Skillman Auto Group Suzuki to a 7.047, 188.99 best missing the 7.039 bump spot. Stoffer has only failed to qualify 12 times in 218 races since turning pro in 1996.

“I have no idea what went wrong,” said Stoffer. “We were all over the map on our tune-up and we just couldn’t find it. Some tracks are like that; you struggle to find exactly what the bike wants. It wasn’t just us. There were a lot of heavy hitters that either didn’t qualify or qualified in the bottom half of the field. And then there is the big teams that obviously have more knowledge than we do. They might have fixed this issue, whatever it is, in four runs. We just couldn’t find it.”

Stoffer’s three teammates, Joey Gladstone, Scotty Pollacheck, and Jim Underdahl, also struggled and were ranked 10, 11, and 12 respectively. In order to address the team’s performance issues, Stoffer’s husband and crew chief, Gary, plans to tear her Suzuki TL1000 down to the bare frame and replace all of the wiring and electronic components. Stoffer hopes to have the project completed before next weekend’s event in Richmond.

“It’s about a two-day project if you get after it and get don’t run into any unexpected problems,” said Gary Stoffer. “At this point I think it’s our only option. There is obviously something wrong with this bike and it’s up to us to fix it. We’ll get there.”

 

Angie Smith

Angie Smith picked up a qualifying bonus point in Q3 and ended up in the No. 7 spot, which is a dramatic improvement over the first three events of the season where her Denso Spark Plugs Buell was not ranked higher than No. 10 at any event. Smith’s uptick in performance is the result of several factors, not the least of which was a mid-week test session in Michigan on her way to Chicago.

“We tested this week and it made all the difference in the world,” said Smith, who is currently ranked 15th in the Mello Yello standings, but is not far from the top ten. “We have a new engine in the bike and a new clutch set-up and the biggest thing is that we wanted to test the clutch so I could get used to it. I made a few good runs [in testing] and I feel a lot more comfortable now.

Smith was in the sixes on three of her four runs in Chicago including a best of 6.924, 190.59 but she is optimistic there is more performance to be gained.

“I’m really encouraged because we didn’t make one straight run in qualifying,” said Smith. “In the first session, I was even with Drew [Hines, low qualifier] to the eight-mile. I was right with him and then we got caught up in that crosswind and that sort of three me off my game. We made some adjustments to make the bike go a little more straight so I know we can run 6.80s today.”

Pre-Entry List

1	Eddie Krawiec	'18 V-Rod	SCREAMIN EAGLE/VANCE & HINES
2	Andrew Hines	'18 Street Rod	SCREAMIN EAGLE/VANCE & HINES
3	LE Tonglet IV	'17 Suzuki	KPK/NITROFISH
4	Scott Pollacheck'15 Suzuki	SUZUKI EXTENDED PROTECTION
5	Gerald Savoie	'11 Suzuki	SAVOIE'S ALLIGATOR FARM
6	Matt Smith	'17 Victory	MSR/DENSO/STOCKSETH
7	Hector Arana Jr	'10 Buell	LUCAS OIL
8	Karen Stoffer	'03 Suzuki	RAY SKILLMAN AUTO GROUP
9	Joey Gladstone	'14 Suzuki	YELLOW CORN
10	Angie Smith	'17 Buell	DENSO RACING
235	Hector Arana	'10 Buell	LUCUS OIL PRODUCTS
370	Marc Ingwersen 	'08 Buell	THIEL'S WHEELS H-D
491	Angelle Sampey	'17 Victory	PRECISION SERVICE EQUIPMENT
533	James Underdahl	'18 Suzuki	SUZUKI EXTENDED PROTECTION
574	Cory Reed	'17 Victory	PRECISION SERVICE EQUIPMENT
751	Steve Johnson	'13 Suzuki	SLICK 50 SUZUKI
1981	Kelly Clontz	'03 Suzuki	KELLY CLONTZ RACING
3284	Ryan Oehler	'10 Buell	FLYIN RYAN RACING
3524	Mark Paquette	'17 Victory	PAQUETTE ENTERPRISES

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