NHRA: Mopar Express Lane SpringNationals – Pro Stock Motorcycle
Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals Presented By Pennzoil
Houston Raceway Park
Oct 23-25, 2020
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Krawiec won for the first time in more than two years on his Harley-Davidson FXDR, going 6.801 at 198.61 in the finals to beat Ryan Oehler. Krawiec’s last victory came at Brainerd in 2018, but he was impressive in Houston on Sunday to pick up his 48th career victory. He had a series of 6.80 runs over the final three rounds, beating Michael Phillips, Jerry Savoie and Hector Arana Jr. to reach the final round. Oehler beat Kelly Clontz, Andrew Hines and points leader Matt Smith to earn his second final-round berth, but Krawiec led from start to finish in a strong championship round performance.
“It just feels good to win again,” Krawiec said. “I feel like I’ve accomplished all that I’ve needed to and I don’t have to prove anything, but it’s nice just to get it done. There’s a lot of great racers in the class and you can’t take anything for granted. You have to appreciate every win, even more so right now with the competition level in the class. We’ve got 4-5 motorcycles all fighting for the championship. It’s great racing and that’s the way it should be. You have to be on your game at all times. It’s a big team effort and that’s what I really attribute this to.”
Matt Smith kept the points lead and is 58 points ahead of Scotty Pollacheck with one race remaining. Defending world champ Hines trails Pollacheck by just eight points as he remains in title contention as well.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series finishes its 2020 season Oct. 30-Nov. 1 with the Dodge NHRA Finals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
|Driver||Jerry Savoie – WIN||Steve Johnson|
|660 FT MPH||157.34||—|
|Driver||Hector Arana Jr – WIN||Angie Smith|
|660 FT MPH||161.73||140.23|
|Driver||John Hall||Scotty Pollacheck – WIN|
|660 FT MPH||159.46||162.16|
|Driver||Andrew Hines – WIN||Chris Bostick|
|660 FT MPH||161.75||150.83|
|Driver||David Barron – WIN||Angelle Sampey|
|660 FT MPH||158.48||146.83|
|Driver||Kelly Clontz||Ryan Oehler – WIN|
|660 FT MPH||159.32||161.44|
|Driver||Matt Smith – WIN||Marc Ingwersen|
|660 FT MPH||164.37||—|
|Driver||Eddie Krawiec – WIN||Michael Phillips|
|660 FT MPH||162.70||158.48|
|Driver||Hector Arana Jr – WIN||David Barron|
|660 FT MPH||161.27||159.17|
|Driver||Jerry Savoie||Eddie Krawiec – WIN|
|660 FT MPH||—||162.59|
|Driver||Ryan Oehler – WIN||Andrew Hines|
|660 FT MPH||161.67||162.08|
|Driver||Matt Smith – WIN||Scotty Pollacheck|
|660 FT MPH||163.61||162.12|
|Driver||Hector Arana Jr||Eddie Krawiec – WIN|
|660 FT MPH||160.44||162.65|
|Driver||Matt Smith||Ryan Oehler – WIN|
|660 FT MPH||163.39||160.84|
|Driver||Ryan Oehler||Eddie Krawiec – WIN|
|660 FT MPH||160.88||162.55|
For the first time since the Brainerd event in 2018, a span of 26 months, Eddie Krawiec earned a Pro Stock Motorcycle Wally when he rode his Harley-Davidson FXDR to a final round win against Ryan Oehler at Houston Raceway Park. Appearing in his 85th career final, Krawiec nabbed career win No. 48 with a 6.801 to easily cover Oehler’s 6.905.
“I can tell you one thing; don’t take a Wally for granted because sometimes they don’t come,” said Krawiec, who had lost nine-straight final rounds following his Brainerd win, including five-straight against his teammate, Andrew Hines. “Sometimes it’s not what you because sometimes luck just rolls your way. With two plus years being out of it, it just feels good. I feel like I’ve accomplished everything I need to and don’t have to prove anyting. but it’s nice just to get it done. There is a lot of great racers in the class and you can’t take anyting for granted. Take every win for what it is and enjoy it. We now have four or five bikes fighting for the championship so it’s great racing and it’s the way it should be.”
Krawiec has been a strong qualifier at the first six events held this season but had little to show for it on race day other than three semifinal finishes. That changed in Houston. Krawiec continued to qualify well with a 6.799 that was good for the No. 3 spot but this time he was able to carry that momentum through race day with a consistent performance that included four runs between 6.801 and 6.818 in his wins against Michael Phillips, Dallas winner Jerry Savoie, Hector Arana Jr., and Oehler.
Coming into the Houston race, Krawiec probably didn’t give much thought to the prospect of winning a fifth championship but he currently finds himself tied with Scotty Pollacheck for second place, 78-points behind leader Matt Smith with the points-and-a-half bonus available next week in Las Vegas.
As for Oehler, it’s not as though anyone thought his first win earlier this year was a fluke, but just in case there was any doubt, the hard-charging privateer backed his Indy title up with a second final round appearance in Houston. Oehler was also very strong in qualifying with a fourth-best 6.808. Oehler then cleaned out some of the class’ heaviest hitters on his side of the ladder with wins against Hines and Smith. He use a .007 light to take a 6.85 to 6.81 holeshot win over Hines and then went to the final with a 6.85 after Smith’s Denso EBR slowed.
Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Matt Smith continued to roll in qualifying on his Denso/Stockseth/MSR EBR, picking up his fourth straight No. 1 qualifier with a run of 6.729 at 199.88, as the class raced in Houston for the first time since 2013. Smith’s run set both ends of the track record and handed the points leader his fifth top spot in 2020 and 43rd in his career. He’ll take on Marc Ingwersen to open eliminations, giving Smith, a three-time world champion, plenty of momentum for race day after a tough first-round loss last weekend when his bike wouldn’t start. Angelle Sampey qualified second with a 6.789 at 198.88 and Eddie Krawiec took third after going 6.799 at 197.48.
Matt Smith’s monster 6.729-second run to take the top spot in Pro Stock Motorcycle could easily be a contender for run of the year. The run bettered Smith’s previous career best of 6.753 from the 2019 Gainesville event, and it was the third-quickest run in the history of the class behind Andrew Hines’ 6.702, also run last year in Gainesville and a 6.728 from Hines at the 2012 Reading event. For the record, 12 riders have been in the 6.7s including Smith, Hines, Eddie Krawiec, Angelle Sampey, Steve Johnson, Jerry Savoie, Joey Gladstone, Karen Stoffer, Scotty Pollacheck, Angie Smith, and Hector Arana Sr. and Hector Arana Jr.
|10||Hector Arana Jr||6||6.919||195.82|
Qualifying Round 1
|09||Hector Arana Jr||6||6.980||188.07|
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