Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 09:03:12 AM EDT

Orient Express

Orient Express Represents Well at Atco
By: Jack Korpela

At his team's own event, the Orient Express U.S. Nationals from Atco, NJ, "Steady" Eddie Krawiec represented well by taking his Orient backed Yamaha R-6 to the 600 Super Sport final.

With the season winding down and the championship much on his mind, Krawiec qualified in the number-four spot with an on-pace 9.95 at 139 mph.

"The competition is really tough out here," Krawiec said. "I thought a .95 would have placed me higher than fourth."

Krawiec displayed great consistency by keeping his Yamaha in the nine-second zone all through Sunday's eliminations. Krawiec ran a 9.95, 9.97, 9.99, and 9.98 to defeat formidable opponents Trevor Royal, Ed Murphy, Chad Millholland, and friend Pat Leonard.

"I had to win a lot of the races on holeshots," Krawiec said. "I barely squeezed by my friend Pat with a little bit of a better light. He ran a quicker time than me. The championship doesn't matter; nobody is laying down for anyone out here. If I'm going to win a championship I'm going to do it myself."

In the final, with the points lead on the line, Krawiec matched up against number-one qualifier and Kawasaki-mounted nemesis, Chip Hunter. Krawiec banked a tenth of a second advantage on the starting line but failed to better Hunter's sizzling 9.85 with a respectable 9.97.
"I didn't make any changes on the bike for the final," Krawiec said. "I've found in this class, when you make changes, you are more likely to go back than forward."

The final round appearance was Krawiec's fifth of the year and leaves him only seven points behind Hunter.

"The championship is there for the taking, we just need to keep putting in consistent finishes," Krawiec said.

Krawiec was very pleased to have represented his team well at a race in which they sponsor.

"I won this race two years ago and I wanted very badly to win it again for Orient," Krawiec said. "Skip has been very good to me and I am trying my best to be good back."

If Krawiec can win the 600 Super Sport championship, he will accomplish the prestigious feat for three separate entities that have never won the title; Yamaha, Orient Express, and himself.

Next up for Orient Express Yamaha will be the seventh race of the year, the Schnitz Racing Fall Nationals, October 4th-5th from Montgomery, AL.

Team Orient Express Yamaha thanked all of its sponsors for their support;

  • Yamaha
  • Arai Helmets
  • Dynojet
  • Vanson Leathers
  • Orient Express
  • World Wide Bearings
  • Yamalube
  • Zero Gravity
  • TI Force
  • NuTech Racing Fuels
  • Sharkskinz body work

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