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NHRA Route 66 Nationals – Pro Stock Motorcycle

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series24th annual Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals
presented by PEAK Performance
Route 66 Raceway
May 17-19, 2024

Pro Stock Motorcycle

Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Gaige Herrera found another level on Sunday in Chicago, winning his eighth straight race to tie Dave Schultz for the most consecutive wins in class history. In the final round at Route 66 Raceway, Herrera went 6.713 at 200.68 on his RevZilla/Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki, holding off Chase Vant Sant to stay perfect in 2024. It’s his third victory this season and eighth straight dating back to the second race in the Countdown to the Championship a year ago, also giving the defending world champion his 14th career victory in just his 24th career start.

Herrera saw his streak of 11 straight No. 1 qualifiers snapped on Saturday to Matt Smith, but he was dominant on Sunday, going 6.694 at 200.47 in the opening round. He added victories against John Hall and LE Tonglet to reach the championship round, leaving first on Van Sant and cruising to another memorable victory.

Gaige Herrera
Andrew Hines & Gaige Herrera

“First, congrats to Chase Van Sant. He did a great job today and he’s on his way,” Herrera said. “As far as tying Dave Schultz, I’m honored. I wish I’d had a chance to meet him, but I’ve heard a lot of great stories and I know what he did for this Pro Stock Motorcycle class. It’s still hard to believe I’m mentioned in the same sentence as him.

“We qualified No. 2 behind Matt, but today was a different day. The weather was consistent and that let us really work on our tune-up. I honestly thought I would be me and Matt in the final round. I was consistent and my bike was on rails. We had a very consistent motorcycle this weekend.”

Gaige Herrera
Gaige Herrera

Van Sant, the reigning NHRA Rookie of the Year winner, advanced to his first career final round thanks to victories against Steve Johnson, M. Smith and Angie Smith.

Chase Van Sant
Chase Van Sant

The NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series returns to action May 31-June 2 with the 14th annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H.

Eliminations Round 1

W – Chase Van Sant / 0.017 / 6.797 / 196.93
L – Steve Johnson / 0.015 / 6.988 / 191.89
Chase Van Sant is 9 – 6 in Rd. 1 in his career. Steve Johnson is 17 – 26 in Rd.1 when starting #9. Van Sant and Johnson have each won 1 times against the other in prior events. Johnson with a couple ticks on the tree, but Van Sant has the lead has they go by the Christmas tree and holds on for the win. Van Sant with his quickest pass of the weekend for the win.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson
W – Angie Smith / 0.049 / 6.806 / 197.97
L – Ryan Oehler / 0.085 / 6.976 / 192.11

Angie Smith is 4 – 1 against Ryan Oehler and they have all been in Rd.1. Ryan Oehler is 22 – 63 in Rd. 1 in his career. Smith is 4 – 1 against Oehler in prior events. Smith with the starting line advantage and the win.

Ryan Oehler
Ryan Oehler
W – John Hall / 0.037 / 6.815 / 198.15
L – Marc Ingwersen / 0.001 / 6.888 / 194.69

John Hall is 2 – 0 in Rd. 1 this year. It’s the 1st time since 2013 he has started the year 2 – 0. Marc Ingwersen is making his 44th start. He is 1 – 0 against Hall. Ingwersen with anear perfect light, but Hall has the lead by half track and never trailed for the win.

Marc Ingwersen
Marc Ingwersen
W – Richard Gadson / 0.053 / 6.753 / 199.58
L – Chris Bostick / 0.018 / 6.918 / 193.52

Richard Gadson is 2 – 0 in Rd. 1 this year. Chris Bostick is making his 54th start. Bostick with the starting line advantage, but Gadson has the lead by 150 feet and never trails from there on for the win. Gadson with his quickest pass of the weekend for the win.

Chris Bostick
Chris Bostick
W – Hector Arana Jr / 0.034 / 6.812 / 197.51
L – Ron Tornow / 0.069 / 7.031 / 192.11

Hector Arana Jr. wins 79% of his Rd. 1 races when he has lane choice. Ron Tornow is making his 27th start. He is 0 – 2 against Arana Jr. Arana Jr with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. He will give up lane choice to Angie Smith in the next round.

Ron Tornow
Ron Tornow
W – LE Tonglet / 0.104 / 6.792 / 198.61
L – Jianna Evaristo / 0.028 / 7.453 / 139.20

LE Tonglet is 88 – 51 in Rd. 1 races. Jianna Evaristo is making her 44th start. This is the first time Tonglet and Evaristo have faced each other in eliminations. Evaristo with the starting line advantage, but the bike starts drifting toward the wall before she clicked it off. He will give up lane choice to Gadson in the next round.

Jianna Evaristo
Jianna Evaristo
W – Gaige Herrera / 0.088 / 6.694 / 200.47
L – Wesley Wells / 0.036 / 7.429 / 173.32

Gaige Herrera is won 17 consecutive Rd. 1 races. This is the 30th start for Wesley Wells. Wells with the starting line advantage, but Herrera has the difference made up by the time they go by the Christmas tree. He makes the quickest pass of the event for the win. He will have lane choice over Hall in the next round.

Wesley Wells
Wesley Wells
W – Matt Smith / 0.03 / 6.795 / 199.23
L – Lance Bonham / 0.436 / 8.25 / 130.09

The #1 PSM qualifier is 21 – 2 in Rd. 1 at this event. The last time the #16 PSM qualifier won a round at this race was 2016. This is the 10th start for Lance Bonham. Smith and Bonham have each won 1 times against the other in prior events. Smith with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. He will have lane choice over Van Sant by 0.002 seconds in the next round.

Lance Bonham
Lance Bonham

Eliminations Round 2

W – Angie Smith / 0.03 / 6.86 / 197.1
L – Hector Arana Jr / 0.042 / 6.866 / 197.39
Arana Jr is 19 – 6 against Smith in prior events. Smith with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. Angie Smith’s MOV: 0.0184 seconds (approximately 5 feet).
Hector Arana Jr
Hector Arana Jr
W – Chase Van Sant / 0.012 / 6.808 / 197.13
L – Matt Smith / 0.035 / 6.812 / 198.44

Smith and Van Sant have each won 1 times against the other in prior events.Van Sant with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. He will have lane choice over Angie Smith in the semifinal.

Matt Smith
Matt Smith
W – LE Tonglet / 0.052 / 6.779 / 198.88
L – Richard Gadson / 0.11
Tonglet is 1 – 0 against Gadson in prior events.Tonglet with the starting line advantage and never trailed as Gadson’s bike quit right off the starting line.
Richard Gadson
Richard Gadson
W – Gaige Herrera / 0.009 / 6.715 / 200.17
L – John Hall / 0.023 / 6.832 / 197.39
Herrera is 1 – 0 against Hall in prior events. Herrera with a great light and then runs low E.T. of the round for the win. He will have lane choice over Tonglet in the semifinal.
John Hall
John Hall

SEMI-FINAL

W – Chase Van Sant / 0.027 / 6.806 / 197.8
L – Angie Smith / 0.119 / 6.91 / 195.34

Smith is 2 – 1 against Van Sant in prior events. Van Sant with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. He is advancing to his first final round.

Angie Smith
Angie Smith
W – Gaige Herrera / 0.012 / 6.72 / 200.53
L – LE Tonglet / 0.084 / 6.755 / 198.73

Herrera is 1 – 0 against Tonglet in prior events. Herrera with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. He is advancing to his third final round and 15th of his career.

LE Tonglet
LE Tonglet

FINAL

W – Gaige Herrera / 0.025 / 6.713 / 200.68
RU – Chase Van Sant / 0.04 / 6.797 / 197.54
Herrera is 4 – 0 against Van Sant in prior events and this is the first time they have faced each other in a final round. Herrera with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. He wins his third event this season and the 14th of his career. He sets the record for most consecutive Pro Stock Motorcycle wins at eight consecutive.

 

Chase Van Sant
Chase Van Sant

Saturday Qualifying

Matt Smith broke Gaige Herrera’s record streak of 11 straight No. 1 qualifiers in Pro Stock Motorcycle, as his 6.708 at 201.40 was more than enough on his Denso Auto Parts/Matt Smith Racing Buell was more than enough to stay at the top. Herrera’s No. 1 string had dated back to last July, but Smith impressed immediately on Friday, claiming his 53rd career top spot. He’ll begin eliminations against Lance Bonham, looking for his first win of the season.

“I’m really excited. I have a good bike. We’ve been testing a lot and getting better and better,” Smith said. “Honestly, I don’t know if lane choice means anything. Both sides are really good. This place has always been good to me. I normally come up here and run really well. This track will take everything you can throw at it. I think we’re back to where we think we should be. A win would be huge. We had the best bike for three runs this weekend and I think we’ll have the best bike tomorrow.”

Herrera can win his eighth straight race on Sunday and qualified second with a run of 6.745 at 200.17. LE Tonglet took third thanks to a run of 6.772 at 200.44.

1. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.708, 201.40
2. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.733, 201.16
3. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.772, 200.44
4. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.778, 200.26
5. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.782, 200.95
6. Richard Gadson, Suzuki, 6.795, 200.00
7. John Hall, Beull, 6.811, 198.50
10. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.853, 195.45
8. Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.822, 198.12
9. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.838, 130.78
11. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 6.867, 196.22
12. Ron Tornow, Victory, 6.894, 196.96
13. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.948, 193.32
14. Jianna Evaristo, Buell, 6.956, 195.28
15. Wesley Wells, Suzuki, 7.237, 185.51
16. Lance Bonham, Buell, 7.246, 184.50

Did Not Qualify:
17. Geno Scali, 7.355, 183.24
18. Eiji Kawakami, 7.408, 184.60

Geno Scali
Geno Scali

Mission Foods #2FAST2TASTY NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Challenge

Defending Pro Stock Motorcycle Gaige Herrera stayed perfect in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge in 2024, winning for the third straight time with a run of 6.733 at 201.16 on his RevZilla/Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki. The victory came against teammate Richard Gadson, making it a win-win for the team, but Herrera has been nearly impossible to beat since last year. He’ll look for yet another double-up weekend on Sunday, pleased with how the bike ran in the heat on Saturday at Route 66 Raceway.

ROUND ONE
W- Richard Gadson / 6.829 / 200.41
L- LE Tonglet / 6.819 / 199.52

W- Gaige Herrera / 6.744 / 200.62
L- John Hall / 6.811 / 198.50

FINAL
W- Gaige Herrera / 6.733 / 201.16
RU- Richard Gadson / 6.795 / 200.00

“I knew that it was going to be a tough race with Richard because he’s my teammate. He’s new but he’s competitive and he’s learning quickly,” Herrera said. “He left on me, but we had enough to get around him. The good thing about these [Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge] races is that you get in a routine on Saturday and that helps make you a better racer on Sunday. Right now, the parity in this class is close, and that’s what this class needs.”


Friday Qualifying

Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Matt Smith impressed during both sessions to kick off the weekend, making the quickest run each time, including a Friday-best 6.708 at 201.40 on his Denso Auto Parts/Matt Smith Racing Buell. It was a solid step forward for the six-time world champ, who is looking to snap Gaige Herrera’s class-record streak of 11 No. 1 qualifiers. Smith is off to a strong start with that, getting close to the 6.60s with his second run on Friday. It would also be Smith’s 53rd top qualifier if it holds up.

“I think we’re running well and we’ve made this bike very competitive,” Smith said. “Our goal is to just keep getting better and hats off to this whole team for the progress we’ve made. We’re learning and we’ll keep trying to improve.

“We’ve been working hard and testing to get out sixty-foot times better. I had a 1.05 in Charlotte and the bike wouldn’t shift and I had a 1.05 here on Q1. We put some power in it and it stuck. Really, our goal is just to make our program better.”

Herrera, who has won seven consecutive races, is currently second with a run of 6.734 at 200.17, and LE Tonglet is third thanks to a run of 6.772 at 200.44.

1. Matt Smith / 6.708 / 201.4
2. Gaige Herrera / 6.734 / 200.17
3. LE Tonglet / 6.772 / 200.44
4. Angie Smith / 6.778 / 200.26
5. Hector Arana Jr / 6.782 / 200.95
6. John Hall / 6.823 / 199.05
7. Chase Van Sant / 6.827 / 197.54
8. Steve Johnson / 6.838 / 130.78
9. Marc Ingwersen / 6.862 / 196.1
10. Richard Gadson / 6.875 / 197.86
11. Chris Bostick / 6.89 / 194.13
12. Ron Tornow / 6.894 / 196.96
13. Ryan Oehler / 6.948 / 193.32
14. Jianna Evaristo / 7.065 / 195.9
15. Wesley Wells / 7.237 / 185.51
16. Eiji Kawakami / 7.408 / 184.6
17. Lance Bonham / 7.409 / 21.57

Eiji Kawakami
Eiji Kawakami

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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