Team Report: Connie Cohen/CMKXtreme Suzuk

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Cohen’s hard luck continues as
the CMKXtreme Suzuki misses the cut at the U.S. Nationals

Courtesy of Bill Walters

CMKXtreme Pro Stock Bike rider Connie Cohen was
unsuccessful in her bid for her first appearance in competition at the world
famous 50th annual U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Indiana. Cohen
fell short of qualifying for the largest Pro Stock Bike field seen on the POWERade
Drag Racing Series tour this season, but she’ll be ready to return to
competition in Reading in two weeks.

Cohen began her weekend at the U. S. Nationals
with her first qualifying attempt on Friday afternoon. The Connecticut racer
recorded an off-pace 9.436 at 95.37 mph after shutting down the bike early with
apparent electrical problems and failing to make a representative run. Cohen
returned Saturday afternoon for her second qualifying attempt on the CMKXtreme
Suzuki, but she was still suffering from electronic gremlins and was only able
to muster a 10.176 at 88.73 mph to remain unqualified.

After fixing their electrical difficulties the
CMKXtreme Suzuki rider made her third qualifying attempt of the weekend Saturday
evening, improving significantly to a 7.503 at 173.74 mph, with two sessions
remaining on Sunday to attempt to qualify for the prestigious 16-bike field
of Monday’s eliminations. It would take a monumental effort from CMKXtreme
Suzuki crew chief Marc Cohen to provide his wife Connie with the performance
to make the super tough Pro Stock Bike field at Indy, but the gritty tuner was
more than up for the task.

On Cohen’s fourth qualifying attempt Sunday
morning, the CMKXtreme Suzuki improved slightly to a 7.499 at 176.60 mph but
she remained in the No. 30 qualifying spot with one pressure filled shot remaining
to make the show on Labor Day. On her final attempt Cohen remained consistent
with a 7.499 at 176.60 mph but it wasn’t quick enough to make the field
and she finished qualifying a disappointing 30th out of 33 motorcycles attempting
to make the show.

“We are really disappointed,’ said
Cohen after qualifying ended. ”We tested here in Indy last week and my
husband and crew chief Marc thought we had things pretty well sorted out but
we still need to put in a lot more time preparing the bike. We haven’t
been home for weeks so once we get a chance to get home and get everything freshened
up I think we’ll experience a lot more success. We still had a wonderful
weekend in Indianapolis. Visiting all the patients at Riley Children’s
Hospital on Thursday was really heart warming and all of the CMKX shareholders
on hand at Indy were a joy to get to know. There a great bunch of people and
very supportive of the race team.”

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