Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals Presented By Pennzoil
Maple Grove Raceway
September 9-12, 2021
Pro Stock Motorcycle
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Steve Johnson finds himself in the points lead for the first time in seven years after beating Eddie Krawiec in the final round on his Mac Rak/Slick 50 Suzuki with a run of 6.775 at 196.87. It was the quickest run of eliminations in the class and Johnson earned his second win this season and eighth in his career. It’s also the first time Johnson has won two races in a season since 2008. To get there, he knocked off Jim Underdahl, Scotty Pollacheck and No. 1 qualifier Angelle Sampey, quickly turning things around this weekend after a slow start.
“Clearly you want to be leading the points and it’s great, but what it really boils down to is the process,” Johnson said. “Leading the points is just a dream. The driver that was here on Friday and Saturday, he was atrocious. I just got sideways and everybody said go back to fundamentals. I was out here for a long time before racing started just working on the fundamentals. You can always learn. I was really, really bad on Friday and Saturday, and everyone was going fast. That’s a classic example or riding a bike or driving it, and the driver was here on Sunday.”
Krawiec reached his second straight final round and 78th in his career by defeating Kelly Clontz, Angie Smith and defending world champ Matt Smith, who now trails Johnson by 12 points. Krawiec is 36 points back of Johnson.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns Sept. 17-19 with the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte.
Eliminations – Round 1
|Driver||W – Karen Stoffer||Joey Gladstone|
|660 FT MPH||155.10||157.08|
Weather conditions: air temperature 74 degrees, relative humidity 74 percent, barometer 30.12 inches, adjusted altitude 2,027 feet, track temperature 95 degrees.
|Driver||Andrew Hines||W – Angie Smith|
|660 FT MPH||158.39||130.58|
This is the first time in his last 93 races that Andrew Hines has started from the bottom half of the field at back-to-back races. Hines is 19 – 4 against Smith in prior events. Hines is a tick too quick on the tree and turns on the red light to give Smith the win. She has problems and sits up on the bike.
|Driver||W – Steve Johnson||James Underdahl|
|660 FT MPH||160.10||156.28|
Steve Johnson’s 693 rounds are the 2nd most in PSM class history (A. Hines, 778). This is the 127th start for Jim Underdahl. Johnson is 3 – 2 against Underdahl in prior events. Underdahl with the starting line advantage, but Johnson has the difference made up by the time they go by the Christmas tree.
|Driver||Chris Bostick||W – Scotty Pollacheck|
|660 FT MPH||47.94||161.00|
Scotty Pollacheck is 76 – 61 in rd. 1 races. Chris Bostick is making his 24th start.
|Driver||W – Eddie Krawiec||Kelly Clontz|
|660 FT MPH||160.00||98.43|
Eddie Krawiec’s 456 rd. wins are 2nd most in PSM history. Kelly is making her 35th start. Krawiec is 6 – 0 against Clontz in prior events. Krawiec with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. He will have lane choice over Angie Smith in the next round.
|Driver||W – Matt Smith||Ron Tornow|
|660 FT MPH||161.65||153.53|
Matt Smith wins 70% of his rd. 1 races. This is the 9th start for Ron Tornow. This is the first time Smith and Tornow have faced each other in eliminations. Tornow with a great light and the lead until just past half track when Smith chases him down for the win.
|Driver||Jianna Salinas||W – Angelle Sampey|
|660 FT MPH||156.05||162.06|
This is the 53rd #1 spot for Angelle Sampey and that is the most in the PSM class. She is 46 – 6 in rd. 1 when qualified #1 Sampey is 1 – 0 against Salinas in prior events. Salinas with the starting line advantage, but Sampey has the difference made up by the time they go by the Christmas tree and never trailed from there on for the win. Sampey with the quickest pass of race day and will have lane choice over Stoffer in the next round.
|Driver||Ryan Oehler||W – Cory Reed|
|660 FT MPH||158.15||157.47|
This is the 53rd start for Cory Reed but just the 12th from the top half of the field. Ryan Oehler is 2 – 0 against Reed. Oehler is 2 – 0 against Reed in prior events. Reed with a slight starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. He will give up lane choice to Matt smith in the next round.
Eliminations – Round 2
|Driver||Cory Reed||W – Matt Smith|
|660 FT MPH||155.31||162.59|
Weather conditions: air temperature 78 degrees, relative humidity 67 percent, barometer 30.09 inches, adjusted altitude 2,372 feet, track temperature 111 degrees.
|Driver||W – Eddie Krawiec||Angie Smith|
|660 FT MPH||159.17||161.13|
Krawiec is 17 – 4 against Smith in prior events. Smith goes red to give Krawiec the win. Krawiec is straight down the groove for the win, he will give up lane choice to Smith in the semifinal.
|Driver||W – Steve Johnson||Scotty Pollacheck|
|660 FT MPH||161.42||154.12|
Pollacheck is 7 – 5 against Johnson in prior events. Pollacheck with a great light, but the bike has problems. Johnson with the lead at the Christmas tree and never trailed from there on for the win. Johnson with the quickest pass in round two.
|Driver||Karen Stoffer||W – Angelle Sampey|
|660 FT MPH||157.69||160.25|
Sampey is 14 – 6 against Stoffer in prior events. Stoffer with the starting line and the lead until sampey chases her down around 800 feet. She takes the win. Angelle Sampey’s MOV: 0.0272 seconds (approximately 8 feet). She will give up lane choice to Johnson in the semifinal.
Eliminations – SEMI-FINAL
|Driver||W – Eddie Krawiec||Matt Smith|
|660 FT MPH||157.98||159.48|
Weather conditions: air temperature 81 degrees, relative humidity 63 percent, barometer 30.08 inches, adjusted altitude 2,572 feet, track temperature 113 degrees.
|Driver||W – Steve Johnson||Angelle Sampey|
|660 FT MPH||160.48||160.02|
Sampey is 25 – 9 against Johnson in prior events. Johnson with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. He will have lane choice in the final.
Eliminations – FINAL
|Driver||W – Steve Johnson||Eddie Krawiec|
|660 FT MPH||162.10||159.61|
Weather conditions: air temperature 82 degrees, relative humidity 63 percent, barometer 30.05 inches, adjusted altitude 2,690 feet, track temperature 108 degrees.
Sampey stayed No. 1 in Pro Stock Motorcycle, but got better on Saturday on her Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki, taking the top spot with a run of 6.745 at 196.64. It hands her the No. 1 position for the second time this season and 53rd time in her career and she’ll open raceday against Jianna Salinas. Coming off a final round appearing in Indy, Sampey will try to finish the job this weekend at Maple Grove Raceway.
“It was a great start to the weekend and I’m excited about it because it’s the same motorcycle I’ve had all year long,” Sampey said. “That bike was capable of doing that from Gainesville to here, it was just me not driving it well. I’m starting to get the hang of it and I’m starting to get more comfortable on the bike, and it’s showing. My teammate, Eddie (Krawiec), did so well at Indy, qualifying No. 1 and winning the race, and I’d like to follow in his footsteps this weekend.”
Points leader and defending world champ Matt Smith jumped to second in the final qualifying session with a run of 6.750 at 201.91. He set the speed record earlier in the day at 202.09. Eddie Krawiec got bumped to third with his run of 6.763 at 201.67 from Friday.
Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Maple Grove Raceway.
Fresh off her final round at the U.S. Nationals, Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Sampey turned in a strong run right off the trailer on her Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki, going 6.761 at 198.85. If it holds, it would be Sampey’s second top qualifier this season and 53rd in her career. Opening the Countdown to the Championship fifth in points, Sampey had a fantastic start at the site of her first career victory in the class.
Her teammate and U.S. Nationals winner Eddie Krawiec followed in second with a run of 6.763 at 201.67, setting the track speed record and making the first 200-mph run in the class at Maple Grove Raceway. Defending world champ and points leader Matt Smith is currently third after going 6.766 at 201.34.
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