Pro Stock Motorcycle
Steve Johnson had a huge turnaround this weekend in Las Vegas, staying alive in the championship hunt with a run of 6.869 at 195.11 on his USA Electric Mac Rak Suzuki in his final round against Karen Stoffer, who left too early. After a miserable first-round loss at the most recent race in Bristol, Johnson bounced back in a major way, reaching the final round after defeating Charles Poskey, Angie Smith and Angelle Sampey. He then pulled off the win in the finals, picking up his third victory this season and ninth in the veteran’s career. Johnson also pulled within 20 points of Matt Smith with one race remaining in the 2021 campaign.
“It is very, very special to win this event, but it’s really about the championship,” Johnson said. “It took us 17 years to win our first national event and I’m a sucker for this sport. I really want to bring home a championship. I’d love to be a part of that championship fraternity and to be able to try to do it in our hometown is going to be really, really special.”
Stoffer reached the final round for the second straight race and 26th time in her career thanks to victories against Kelly Clontz, Jerry Savoie and M. Smith. Sampey also remains in championship contention, sitting 30 points behind Smith.
Eliminations – Round 1
|Driver||Joey Gladstone||Chris Bostick – Win|
|660 FT MPH||158.46||157.59|
Weather conditions: air temperature 71 degrees, relative humidity 33 percent, barometer 29.90 inches, adjusted altitude 3,490 feet, track temperature 95 degrees. Chris Bostick has qualified in the top half of the field at 3 consecutive races for the first time in his career. Joey Gladstone is 7 -5 in rd. 1 this year. Bostick is 1 – 0 against Gladstone in prior events. Gladstone leaves too soon and goes red giving the win to Bostick. Bostick drifted to the left all the way through the run but held on for the win.
|Driver||Scotty Pollacheck||Angie Smith – Win|
|660 FT MPH||158.20||158.37|
Scotty Pollacheck is 80 – 61 in rd. 1 (57%). Pollacheck is 7 – 3 against Smith in prior events. Smith gets off the line first and extends her lead all the way through the run. She takes the win with her quickest pass of the weekend.
|Driver||Eddie Krawiec – Win||Andrew Hines|
|660 FT MPH||158.69||155.27|
Eddie Krawiec is 33 – 26 against Andrew Hines, 4 -2 against him in rd. 1 and 2 – 0 against him this year. The 59 meetings between the two is the most matches between any two PSM racers. Hines gets out of the gate first, stays in front to the 330m foot mark, then Krawiec is able to reel him in and go around for the win. Eddie Krawiec’s incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.030), 330 ft(-0.004), 660ft(0.034), 1,000ft(0.058). MOV: 0.0743 seconds (approximately 21 feet).
|Driver||Karen Stoffer – Win||Kelly Clontz|
|660 FT MPH||161.19||156.92|
Stoffer starts the day with 200 round wins. Stoffer is 3 – 0 against Clontz in prior events. Stoffer gets the holeshot and extends her lead all the way through the run.
|Driver||Charles Poskey||Steve Johnson – Win|
|660 FT MPH||153.39||159.76|
Steve Johnson is 181 – 250 in rd. 1 (42%). Charles Poskey is the 99th rider to face Johnson in eliminations. Johnson gets a big holeshot and goes down the groove with a clean pass to take the win. Poskey equals his quickest pass of the weekend but was falling behind all the way through the run. Johnson will have lane choice over Angie Smith in the next round.
|Driver||Angelle Sampey – Win||Ryan Oehler|
|660 FT MPH||157.67||155.24|
Angelle Sampey wins 83% of her rd. 1 races when she has lane choice. All of the races between these two have been in the first round. Sampey is 4 – 2 against Oehler in prior events. Oehler gets a great light, stays in front past the 1000 foot mark, then Sampey is able to get around and take the win. Angelle Sampey’s incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.068), 330 ft(-0.045), 660ft(-0.029), 1,000ft(-0.005). MOV: 0.0166 seconds (approximately 5 feet).
|Driver||Matt Smith – Win||Michael Phillips|
|660 FT MPH||161.15||150.40|
Matt Smith is 38 – 8 in rd. 1 when qualified #1. The #16 qualifier in PSM is 2 – 18 in rd. 1 at this event. Smith is 14 – 7 against Phillips in prior events. Phillips gets the advantage off of the line but it wasn’t enough. Smith goes down the groove with the quickest pass of the weekend to pull away for the win.
|Driver||Jerry Savoie – Win||Fred Camarena|
|660 FT MPH||158.37||155.19|
Jerry Savoie is 89 – 50 in rd. 1 (64%). This is the 3rd race of the year for Freddie Camarena. Savoie is 1 – 0 against Camarena in prior events. Savoie gets the advantage off of the line and pulls away for the win. Stoffer will have lane choice over Savoie in the next round.
Eliminations – Round 2
|Driver||Angelle Sampey – Win||Eddie Krawiec|
|660 FT MPH||142.12||—|
2:43 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 80 degrees, relative humidity 22 percent, barometer 29.81 inches, adjusted altitude 4,063 feet, track temperature 105 degrees. Sampey is 11 – 7 against Krawiec in prior events. Krawiec completes his burnout and then his bike shuts off due to lack of oil pressure. Sampey drifts to the right, gets close to the centerline and clicks it off early.
|Driver||Angie Smith||Steve Johnson – Win|
|660 FT MPH||157.67||159.34|
Smith gets the holeshot but Johnson goes around her quickly and pulls away for the win. Johnson will have lane choice over Sampey in the next round.
|Driver||Karen Stoffer – Win||Jerry Savoie|
|660 FT MPH||160.25||158.86|
Stoffer gets the holeshot and starts pulling away. Savoie makes a decent pass but it looks like his engine was going away near the end of the run. Karen Stoffer’s incremental times: 60ft-1.076 sec., 330ft-2.875, 660ft-4.396/160.25 mph, 1,000ft-5.732.
|Driver||Matt Smith – Win||Chris Bostick|
|660 FT MPH||161.27||122.42|
Bostick gets off the line first but Smith reels him in quickly and goes around him before they reach the sixty foot mark. Smith continues to pull away and takes the win with the quickest pass of the round. Matt Smith’s incremental times: 60ft-1.061 sec., 330ft-2.861, 660ft-4.382/161.27 mph, 1,000ft-5.706. Smith will have lane choice over Stoffer in the next round.
Eliminations – Semi-Final
|Driver||Angelle Sampey||Steve Johnson – Win|
|660 FT MPH||160.69||159.10|
4:01 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 81 degrees, relative humidity 17 percent, barometer 29.81 inches, adjusted altitude 4,076 feet, track temperature 101 degrees. Sampey is 25 – 10 against Johnson in prior events. Johnson gets the advantage off of the line and that was all he needed. Sampey starts making up ground but runs out of race track. Steve Johnson’s incremental margins: 60ft(0.065), 330 ft(0.046), 660ft(0.033), 1,000ft(0.021). MOV: 0.0101 seconds (approximately 3 feet).
|Driver||Matt Smith||Karen Stoffer – Win|
|660 FT MPH||160.71||160.44|
Smith is 18 – 14 against Stoffer in prior events. Stoffer gets the holeshot and makes it stick. Smith starts reeling her in but can’t make up the difference. Karen Stoffer’s incremental margins: 60ft(0.028), 330 ft(0.023), 660ft(0.025), 1,000ft(0.022). MOV: 0.0164 seconds (approximately 5 feet). Stoffer will have lane choice over Johnson in the final round.
Eliminations – Final
|Driver||Karen Stoffer||Steve Johnson – Win|
|660 FT MPH||161.38||159.93|
4:45 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 80 degrees, relative humidity 17 percent, barometer 29.81 inches, adjusted altitude 4,064 feet. Stoffer is 18 – 9 against Johnson in prior events and this is the first time they have faced each other in a final round. Stoffer is a little too quick off of the line and goes red giving the win to Johnson. Johnson goes down the groove with a good pass to take the win. This is Johnson’s third win this year and the ninth of his career. With the win Johnson pulls within 20 points of Matt Smith.
Matt Smith put together an impressive run to close out qualifying, jumping past provisional No. 1 qualifier Steve Johnson to claim the top position with a run of 6.839 at 198.23 on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR. It hands Smith, the defending world champ and points leader, his fourth No. 1 qualifier in 2021 and 47th overall. Smith will face off with Michael Phillips in the opening round of eliminations, looking to cap off his weekend with another victory and move closer to back-to-back world championships.
“I made some tweaks today and made a change before Q3, and I didn’t figure we could pick up. But we ended up picking up everywhere and our bike went to the pole,” Smith said. “I know I’ve been in this situation the last four years here, and we’ve wrapped it up two of the late three years. I hope we can continue to do what we’ve done in the past, and I just want to go do my job. The way I look at it, if I win the race, I extend the points even more and that’s our goal.”
Johnson was bumped to second with his pass of 6.848 at 196.24 and Angelle Sampey qualified third after going 6.857 at 194.49. Smith holds a 30-point lead over Sampey heading into eliminations.
Needing a big weekend after considerable struggles in Bristol, Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Steve Johnson turned in a splendid opening day on Friday in Las Vegas, racing to the No. 1 position with his pass of 6.848 at 196.24 on his USA Electric Mac Rak Suzuki. If it holds, Johnson would pick up his fourth No. 1 qualifier this year and eighth this season. The championship hopeful needs a big weekend after a first-round loss in Bristol that dropped him 56 points out of first heading into Las Vegas.
Johnson got the solid start he needed on Friday, but points leader and defending world champ Matt Smith is right behind after going 6.869 at 197.83. Angelle Sampey, who is second in points and is the most recent race winner, rounds out the current top three after going 6.869 at 195.19.
Qualifying continues at 12:00 p.m. ET on Saturday at the Dodge//SRT NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
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