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NHRA 4 Wide Nationals – Herrera Wins Pro Stock Motorcycle

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series

NHRA 4 Wide Nationals – Herrera Wins Pro Stock Motorcycle

ELIMINATIONS

Herrera qualified No. 1, setting the track E.T. record, picked up the victory in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge on Saturday and then made the quickest pass of each session on Sunday, defeating John Hall, LE Tonglet and Richard Gadson in the finals to earn his 13th career victory and extend his points lead in the process. Herrera also defended his four-wide win from a season ago at zMAX Dragway.





“After Q1 and Q2 I was a bit worried. On the first run we had a malfunction in our wiring, and then after the second run, Matt [Smith] held on to the top spot and that’s because of the rule change,” said Herrera, referring to a recent NHRA rules revision that mandated the same fuel type for both V-twin and inline four-cylinder bikes. “It has created parity and made for better racing. We still had three Vance & Hines bikes in the final (quad).

“In the end, me and [crew chief] Andrew Hines and the bike bond so well. We’re a hard combo to beat. This is just the beginning. It’s all the haters that make us push that much harder and we’re out there to prove them all wrong. I hear people say it’s the bike and that I can’t cut a light, and today my worst light was a .021, so I was here to prove a point. We had three fast bikes and almost everyone is running the same.”

Hall’s 6.758 at 202.12 gave him the runner-up finish, while Gadson was third with a 6.767 at 198.41.

The NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series returns to action May 17-19 with the 24th annual Gerber Collision & Glass NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway in Chicago.

ROUND ONE

W – John Hall, Beull 1190RX, 6.771, 202.61
W – Angie Smith, Buell 1190RX, 6.792, 201.19
L – Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.893, 193.49
L – Chris Bostick, Suzuki Hayabusa, 6.960, 194.46

W – LE Tonglet, Hayabusa, 6.745, 200.68
W – Richard Gadson, Hayabusa, 6.853, 199.67
L – Jianna Evaristo, 1190RX, 6.858, 200.17
L – Ryan Oehler, EBR, 7.010, 191.59

W – Matt Smith, 1190RX, 6.747, 201.22
W – Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.805, 198.93
L – Kelly Clontz, Suzuki TL, 6.829, 199.37
L – Ron Tornow, Victory, 6.936, 197.88

W – Gaige Herrera, Hayabusa, 6.696, 203.34
W – Chase Van Sant, TL, 6.802, 199.29
L – Steve Johnson, Hayabusa, 6.967, 191.13
L – Hector Arana, EBR, 6.992, 196.93

SEMI-FINALS

W – Richard Gadson, 6.784, 200.53
W – LE Tonglet, 6.778, 198.76
L – Matt Smith, 14.421, 53.08
L – Hector Arana Jr, 10.125, 84.52

W – Gaige Herrera, 6.698, 202.70
W – John Hall, 6.748, 202.27
L – Angie Smith, 6.798, 200.92
L – Chase Van Sant, 6.838, 198.35

FINAL

W – Gaige Herrera, 6.684, 202.73
L – JohnHall, 6.758, 202.12,
L – Richard Gadson, 6.767, 198.41
L – LE Tonglet, foul.

SATURDAY QUALIFYING

Gaige Herrera ’s qualifying dominance in Pro Stock Motorcycle continued on Saturday in Charlotte, but it took until the final session when the defending world champ put together a track-record run of 6.671 at 202.70 on his RevZilla/Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki. It’s the quickest run in zMAX Dragway history and also hands Herrera his 11th straight No. 1 qualifier dating back to last season. It’s already the 16th career top spot for the young phenom, who will look to stay perfect this season on Sunday.

“Yesterday, we had a malfunction on the first run that set us back, and then we ran 6.68 on the second and that was a good run,” Herrera said. “Today, I ran a 6.70 and then that 6.67 and that’s just our team learning how to fine-tune the new fuel. There was not much left on my bike. It went straight and required very little correction. Tomorrow will be a lot of fun.”

Eliminations for the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals begin at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte.

1. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.671, 202.70 vs.
16. Hector Arana, EBR, 7.537, 193.85 vs.
8. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.780, 197.91 vs.
9. Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.809, 199.46

2. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.685, 202.12 vs.
15. Ron Tornow, Victory, 6.975, 196.93 vs.
7. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.742, 201.22 vs.
10. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.812, 199.05

3. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.703, 201.37 vs.
14. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.929, 195.76 vs.
6. Richard Gadson, Suzuki, 6.729, 201.55 vs.
11. Jianna Evaristo, Buell, 6.815, 199.88

4. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.718, 202.82 vs.
13. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 6.909, 195.36 vs.
5. John Hall, Beull, 6.728, 202.36 vs.
12. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.863, 195.25

Did Not Qualify:
17. Eiji Kawakami, 9.337, 148.64

2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge

Gaige Herrera’s track-record run in Pro Stock Motorcycle on his RevZilla/Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki handed the defending world champ another Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge victory, going 6.671 at 202.70 to hold off teammate Richard Gadson, and Matt and Angie Smith. It’s Herrera’s fifth victory in the specialty race, which has only been held seven times in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Herrera made his best run of qualifying when it counted and picked up the victory in the process.

“When we came here, I didn’t even realize there was a Mission race on Saturday but I’m very happy with it,” Herrera said. “It was great to be in the final quad with two Matt Smith bikes and two Vance & Hines bikes. I feel like it’s going to be like that all year long.”

FRIDAY QUALIFYING

In Pro Stock Motorcycle’s first race back since the season-opener in Gainesville, six-time world champ Matt Smith made a strong opening statement on Friday, blistering the track record with a standout run of 6.685 at 201.61 on his Denso Auto Parts Buell.

It was a stellar performance at his home track and puts the veteran in line for his first No. 1 qualifier since 2022 and the 53rd in career. If Smith stays on top, it will be the first top qualifier for anyone other than Gaige Herrera since last July as well. It was exactly the type of performance Smith was after on Friday, setting a career-best in the process and making his first career run in the 6.60s.

“We’ve done a lot of testing since Gainesville,” Smith said. “We’ve been to three different tracks four times and made a lot of runs. We gained a lot but it didn’t show today. I was shaking the tire through low gear, so we’re not reaping the benefits of testing. I know there is more there, maybe a 6.66 or 6.65. Gaige went 6.69, so we’re right there with him. If we’re running within two or three hundredths of the fastest bike, we have a shot.

1. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.685, 202.12
2. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.696, 201.79
3. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.703, 201.37
4. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.718, 202.82
5. John Hall, Beull, 6.728, 202.36
6. Richard Gadson, Suzuki, 6.729, 201.55
7. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.742, 201.22
8. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.790, 197.91
9. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.812, 199.05
10. Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.815, 197.80
11. Jianna Evaristo, Buell, 6.815, 194.32
12. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.863, 194.52
13. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 6.912, 194.10
14. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.929, 195.76
15. Hector Arana, EBR, 7.678, 193.85
16. Ron Tornow, Victory, 10.785, 76.56
Not Qualified:
17. Eiji Kawakami, broke


ABOUT NHRA

The National Hot Rod Association, the largest auto racing organization in the world, has come a long way since Wally Parks founded it in 1951.

Though it has grown into a global sports-entertainment business, NHRA has not lost sight of Parks’ original goal: to provide competitors a place to race. But now those places are deluxe supertracks in major U.S. markets, and the racing runs the gamut from 11,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragsters to 5-horsepower Jr. Dragsters. Drag racing’s journey through the decades has been sometimes swift, sometimes rocky, but always exciting and always worth the trip.

In the 1950s, top performance marks were 140 mph in 9 seconds. Today, they’re more than 330 mph in less than 3.7 seconds. Back then, winners earned little more than a trophy and bragging rights. Today’s racers compete for trophies and bragging rights as well as a share of more than $3 million in prize money.

In 2024, NHRA joined forces with Mission Foods to present the world’s fastest motorsports attraction as the flagship sponsor of the national touring series, the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series.

Under the leadership of President Glen Cromwell, NHRA raced forward in 2020 with a number of key initiatives, including a multiyear partnership with FOX Sports to televise NHRA events from the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series, the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, and the Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. FOX Sports networks aired more than 500 hours of programming throughout the year, highlighted by 22 race-day shows, including eight on FOX’s national network, in addition to primetime Friday night qualifying shows, and fans are in for more of the same this year.

 

NHRA has extremely loyal fans that are committed to the sport they love, and it’s easy to see why. They continue to have the best access to the behind-the-scenes action of racing. NHRA’s open-pits policy allows fans to get an up-close-and personal view of how teams rebuild engines. Drivers are often found in their pit areas, signing autographs and chatting with fans, who have the rare opportunity to get behind the wheel themselves in a variety of racing simulators in the Nitro Alley Fan Zone. Those are just a few reasons NHRA fans continue to be some of the most loyal in any sport.

For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.


About Mission Foods
Great food is a great motivator. It brings everyone to the table and inspires us to explore all kinds of delicious destinations. At Mission®, it drives us to seek the freshest ingredients, simple recipes, diverse flavors and wholesome products that help us discover all the places our tortillas can go. There are better-for-you destinations like with our high protein, low carb, or gluten-free tortillas. Of course, tacos and nachos are favorite stops. We are always up for those. www.missionfoods.com

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