SUNDAY – ELIMINATIONS
Karen Stoffer defeated Andrew Hines to get her first victory since 2015. The rider brought home the third-straight victory for White Alligator Racing, which moved Stoffer to second in points, behind Hines as she battles for her first Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship.
Stoffer last won in Norwalk in 2015 when she defeated Angelle Sampey. She got a .002-second advantage at the starting line and extended that on the race track against Hines, who was chasing his eighth victory of the season. It’s her ninth career victory, first against Hines and first in St. Louis.
Stoffer pulled off a pair of upsets based on her seeding in the first couple of rounds, defeating Ryan Oehler and then No. 1 qualifier Matt Smith in succession. She cut a .005-second reaction time and ran a 6.916 while Smith, the defending world champion, turned on the red light by .002-second alongside her. That moved her into the semifinals against Eddie Krawiec.
She left on Krawiec by .045-second but spun the tire right at the hit, putting her in a vulnerable position. But Stoffer rode her Suzuki past the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson rider with a quicker elapsed time to go with her holeshot to reach her second final of the 2019 season, booking a matchup against his teammate.
Hines continued his terrific 2019 season by reaching his ninth final round, bouncing back from a second-round exit at the NHRA Countdown to the Championship opener in Reading. He defeated Michael Ray in the first round before taking down Angie Smith and Reading runner up Steve Johnson in the semifinals.
Jerry Savoie, who entered St. Louis on top of the Pro Stock Motorcycle standings, lost to Hector Arana Jr. in the first round despite grabbing a nearly three-hundredths advantage at the starting line. That dropped the former world champion down the standings and helped Hines climb back in front. Hines entered the Countdown to the Championship as the points leader.
Round 1 Eliminations
|Driver||Ryan Oehler||Karen Stoffer – WIN|
|660 FT MPH||156.28||159.82|
Oehler and Stoffer have each won 1 times against the other in prior events. Oehler had issues the first time he started the engine and had to re-start. he gets out of the gate first, stays in front to the sixty foot mark, then Stoffer is able to go around him and pull away for the win.
|Driver||Hector Arana Jr – WIN||Jerry Savoie|
|660 FT MPH||158.20||158.76|
Arana Jr is 9 – 7 against Savoie in prior events. Jerry Savoie comes in as the point’s leader. He has won this race twice, 2014 & 2016. Hector Arana Jr. won this race in 2015. Savoie gets the holeshot, starts pulling away, then his bike slows and Arana is able to reel him in and pull away for the win.
|Driver||Angie Smith – WIN||Hector Arana|
|660 FT MPH||158.45||158.74|
Arana is 9 – 4 against Smith in prior events. Arana gets the advantage off the line but starts drifting toward the centerline. Smith reels him in and goes around Arana before they reach the 330 foot mark. Smith continues to pull away and takes the stripe for the win.
|Driver||Eddie Krawiec – WIN||Kelly Clontz|
|660 FT MPH||159.78||157.91|
Krawiec is 4 – 0 against Clontz in prior events. Eddie Krawiec won here in 2012. Krawiec gets a big holeshot and extends his lead all the way through the run with the quickest pass of the round so far.
|Driver||Andrew Hines – WIN||Michael Ray|
|660 FT MPH||159.99||157.30|
Hines is 6 – 4 against Ray in prior events. Ray does his burnout, starts moving toward the staging beams and the engine dies. he is able to get the engine re-started and moves into the staging beams. Hines gets out of the gate first and goes right down the groove, tying Krawiec for the quickest pass so far, and goes on for the win.
|Driver||Steve Johnson – WIN||Andie Rawlings|
|660 FT MPH||161.13||155.02|
This is the first time Johnson and Rawlings have faced each other in eliminations. It’s been 90 races since Steve Johnson qualified as high as #2 in the field. He is coming off his runner-up performance in Reading. Andie Rawlings is the 93rd different rider to face Steve in eliminations. She is making her 4th start. Johnson gets the holeshot and goes down the groove with an impressive pass to take the win.
|Driver||Matt Smith WIN||Jianna Salinas|
|660 FT MPH||159.93||82.94|
Matt Smith is 27 -7 in round 1 after qualifying first in the field. In his last 17 starts from the top spot he has only gone on to win the race once. He is the defending event champion. Jianna Salinas in making her 5th start. Salinas gets the holeshot but Smith reels her in quickly and goes around before they reach the sixty foot mark. Salinas gets about 400 feet out and sits up on the bike. Smith goes down the groove with a good pass to take the win. Matt Smith will have lane choice over Stoffer in the next round.
|Driver||Angelle Sampey – WIN||Scott Pollacheck|
|660 FT MPH||159.76||102.21|
Pollacheck is 5 – 4 against Sampey in prior events. Sampey gets a big holeshot and starts to pull away. Pollacheck gets about 300 feet out and is out of power, not sure why. Sampey goes on with a clean, straight pass to take the win. Johnson will have lane choice over Sampey in the next round.
Round 2 Eliminations
|Driver||Matt Smith||Karen Stoffer – WIN|
|660 FT MPH||159.25||160.18|
2:04 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 95 degrees, relative humidity 48 percent, barometer 29.59 inches, adjusted altitude 3,685 feet, track temperature 117 degrees. Smith is 18 – 12 against Stoffer in prior events. Smith just misses the tree and goes red giving the win to Stoffer. Stoffer’s bike kicked the rear a little sideways at the hit but she went on through with a good run for the conditions.
|Driver||Andrew Hines – WIN||Angie Smith|
Hines gets a big ho9leshot and starts pulling away. Smith starts to make up a little ground after half track but Hines hangs on and takes the win.
|Driver||Steve Johnson – WIN||Angelle Sampey|
|660 FT MPH||158.89||158.06|
Sampey is 22 – 6 against Johnson in prior events. Sampey leaves too soon and goes red giving the win to Johnson. Johnson makes a clean pass but will give up lane choice to
|Driver||Eddie Krawiec – WIN||Hector Arana Jr|
Arana gets out of the gate first but Krawiec drove around him before they reached the sixty foot mark. Krawiec goes by and pulls away for the win. MOV: 0.1111 seconds (approximately 32 feet).Krawiec is 20 – 9 against Arana Jr in prior events. Krawiec will have lane choice over Stoffer in the next round.
|Driver||Andrew Hines – WIN||Steve Johnson|
|660 FT MPH||158.91||159.55|
3:18 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 94 degrees, relative humidity 48 percent, barometer 29.56 inches, adjusted altitude 3,620 feet, track temperature 120 degrees. Hines is 31 – 7 against Johnson in prior events. Hines gets out of the gate first, Johnson starts reeling him in, but he runs out of race track. Hines hangs on and takes the holeshot win. Hines is going to his 95th career final round and ninth this year.
|Driver||Eddie Krawiec||Karen Stoffer – WIN|
Krawiec is 25 – 10 against Stoffer in prior events. Stoffer gets the advantage off the line, Krawiec starts to make up ground, then Stoffer is able to pull away and hang on for the win. Karen Stoffer’s incremental margins: 60ft(0.023), 330 ft(0.008), 660ft(0.028), 1,000ft(0.041). MOV: 0.0519 seconds (approximately 15 feet). Stoffer will give up lane choice to Hines in the final round. Stoffer is going to her 22nd career final round and her second this year.
|Driver||Andrew Hines||Karen Stoffer – WIN|
|660 FT MPH||160.29||160.88|
4:01 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 94 degrees, relative humidity 48 percent, barometer 29.56 inches, adjusted altitude 3,620 feet, track temperature 120 degrees. Hines is 23 – 8 against Stoffer in prior events and Hines is 2 – 0 against Stoffer in prior final rounds. Stoffer gets a small advantage off the line, Hines pulls ahead at the 330 foot mark, then Stoffer pulls back ahead for good at the 1000 foot mark and holds on for the win. Karen Stoffer’s MOV: 0.0098 seconds (approximately 3 feet). With the win Stoffer moves into second in the points battle. This is Stoffer’s ninth career win and her first this year.
Matt Smith claims fourth pole of 2019 in St. Louis
Defending world champion Matt Smith took a step towards defending his title by earning pole position for the fourth time in 2019 at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals.
Smith went to the top for the first time in three races on the back of a 6.801-second moonshot in the third qualifying session. He went more than three-hundredths of a second quicker than Steve Johnson, who ended the second qualifying session in pole position. Johnson will start race day from the No. 2 spot.
Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec took the third and fourth qualifying spots for the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson contingent. They qualified with 6.851 and 6.859-second passes, five-hundredths behind Smith. They will face Michael Ray and Andie Rawlings in the first round. Angelle Sampey, the third member of the Vance & Hines team, qualfiied seventh and will race Scotty Pollacheck in the first round.
Jerry Savoie, who enters St. Louis as the most recent winner and the category leader, qualified fifth. He will face off against Hector Arana Jr. Neither of the Lucas Oil Racing EBRs, which are ridden by Hector Arana Sr. and Hector Arana Jr., performed up to their usual standards and are qualified 11th and 12th.
Ryan Oehler, who regained some of the performance he had found earlier in the season, qualified eighth and will race Karen Stoffer in the first round. It’s his best qualifying position since qualifying eighth in Sonoma. His best qualifying position is fifth, which he notched at the season opener in Gainesville.
Jianna Salinas qualified on the bump spot with a 7.160. She will face off against Smith in the first round. She finished two-hundredths behind Andie Rawlings.
Race day is set to begin at 11 a.m. Central at World Wide Technology Raceway with Top Fuel. You can catch all the action live on NHRA.tv. Coverage begins on FS1 at 12 Central.
SATURDAY – QUALIFYING
Defending Pro Stock Motorcycle event winner and world champ Matt Smith moved to the top spot in the class on Saturday, unleashing a 6.801 at 198.93 on his Denso Racing/Stockseth/MSR EBR. It is Smith’s fourth No. 1 qualifier this season and 35th in his career. He’ll face off with Jianna Salinas to open eliminations on Sunday. Steve Johnson, who was the provisional No. 1 qualifier on Friday, will start from second thanks to his 6.838 at 196.02. Andrew Hines is third with his 6.851 at 195.82, and points leader Jerry Savoie qualified fifth after a run of 6.869 at 196.13.
“Our confidence is really high,” Smith said. “We come into this race knowing this is one of our better tracks and we put our good motor in, and today we got it. Everything’s fine and we’ll be ready to go four rounds tomorrow. We need to win the race. We were 23 points out coming into this race, but our goal is to turn on four win lights tomorrow. Ever since I’ve been coming here I’ve been successful, and I just really like this place.”
|12||Hector Arana Jr||6.939||194.94|
FRIDAY – QUALIFYING
Pro Stock Motorcycle veteran Johnson raced to the top spot on his Slick 50 Suzuki, going 6.838 at 196.02 to set a commanding statement to open the weekend. It would be Johnson’s first No. 1 qualifier since 2013 if it holds, and the fourth in his career. Johnson also put considerable distance between his next competitor, as Andrew Hines is currently qualified second with a 6.879 at 195.85. Eddie Krawiec is a spot back with a 6.884 at 196.70, while points leader Jerry Savoie is seventh after going 6.908 at 196.62.
|11||Hector Arana Jr||6.963||195.93|
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