FEATURED NEWS:

Pollacheck's First Green Hat

photos by Tim Hailey, story by Hailey with a lotta help from the NHRA and team reports

 

Scotty Pollacheck

Scotty Pollacheck moved atop the Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying order at the 33rd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals in front of a sold out Maple Grove Raceway crowd. Pollacheck ran a 6.822 at 196.76 on his Suzuki Extended Protection Suzuki in the final qualifying session on Saturday. It is the first No. 1 qualifier of his NHRA PSM career and thus his first green hat, given by NHRA to No. 1 qualifying teams.

“Nothing is ever easy for us, but to get our first No. 1 ever is such a huge deal," said Pollacheck. "In the first round (Saturday's Q3, we blew our best motor so we had to put a new one in. But I have such an incredible team that we were able to get back out there and have some great runs today."

Reigning world champ Jerry Savoie moved up to second after a 6.824 at 196.76 on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki just moments before Pollacheck laid down his conquering salvo. "I saw Jerry run his .62 and I was thinking 'What an incredible run in the heat of the day,'" said Pollacheck. "Then we went up and made our lap, and as I came off the track I knew it was a good one, but I didn't know how good. The NHRA guy told me I went .822, but I didn't know what Jerry's .82 was with...continued

MORE Maple Grove NHRA HERE

Curious Case of the Countdown Comeback

story and photos by Tim Hailey

 

Andrew Hines' "Evil Empire" helmet with Eddie Krawiec in the zMAX winners circle

It would be impossible for any journalist to write about the last two NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle races without addressing the elephant in the room—the uncanny ability of the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines/Harley-Davidson team to find its mojo in the Countdown to One championship playoff series. It’s familiar, it’s real, it actually happens, and—much like politics in the U.S.—it divides the fan base. Where some see the sport’s most experienced, successful and well-funded team preparing itself all season for when it really counts, others see sandbagging and manipulation to keep NHRA rules-makers off their Bates Leathered backs...continued

MORE Curious Case of the Countdown Comeback HERE

Krawiec Takes Command at zMAX

photos by Tim Hailey, story by Hailey with a lotta help from the NHRA and team reports

Eddie Krawiec wins E2 at zMAX against Matt Smith

Eddie Krawiec took home the Pro Stock Motorcycle victory with a 6.850 at 196.87 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson at zMAX Dragway at the 10th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals. Krawiec beat his teammate Andrew Hines in the final rand took over the points lead with his 40th career victory and fourth of this season, including his second in a row.

The last two NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle races show the V&H H-D team rising to the occasion of the NHRA’s Countdown to One championship playoff series to deliver their best performances of the year. V&H went back to their old chassis with the new Street Rod bodywork on it for Indy’s U.S. Nationals and the old/new combinations were quick and consistent right off the trailer. Eddie Krawiec qualified number one and won the race known as “The Big Go.” Two weeks later at zMAX, for the second event in a row, Krawiec and Hines came off the trailer with identical ETs....continued

MORE from NHRA at zMAX HERE

Gladstone and San Marino

Teed Up for the Countdown

story and photos by Tim Hailey

 

Joey Gladstone got a .009 to .028 jump on Matt Smith at Indy, but Smith's big V-twin had the legs to drive around

Rider Joey Gladstone and the San Marino Excavating Pro Stock Motorcycle team roll into zMAX Dragway for NHRA’s Carolina Nationals ready to drive long and put it in the cup as a contender in the ten-rider Countdown to One playoff competition. 

“Nobody last year would have predicted us to make the Countdown this year, nobody,” said Joe Riccardi, owner and tuner of the San Marino Suzuki. “Look at the people that didn’t: Steve Johnson, Team Liberty, Mike Berry—those are major players. And we finished ahead of Angie Smith and Karen Stoffer. That’s a huge accomplishment, and now we’re freakin’ three rounds behind first place (with points reset for the Countdown).”

“We’ve reached the top ten and that was one of our biggest goals,” said Gladstone. “We weren’t even 100% sure we were gonna do all 16 races when we started the season, we wanted to see if the Countdown was an achievable goal—and it was!...continued

MORE about Gladstone/San Marino HERE

Summernationals at Santa Pod

story and photos by Steven Moxley

 

Thurtny Martina

Three qualifying sessions for the 2017 Summernationals at Santa Pod Raceway were completed on Saturday. There was a minute silence on Sunday for former Santa Pod track crew member Ben Butler who passed away recently. Rain fell at midday and then there was an incident in a car class, which involved a big clean-up and the race was called. We had reached the semifinals. There were a few personal bests set over the weekend...continued

MORE from Santa Pod's Summernationals HERE

Krawiec Skates to US Nats Win

photos and story by Tim Hailey with big time help from NHRA and team reports

 

The final between Hector Arana Jr (near lane) and winner Eddie Krawiec

Lucas Oil Raceway is Vance & Hines’ playground—practically butting right up to their Brownsburg, Indiana backyard. If the home team doesn’t win NHRA’s U.S. Nationals on their Harley-Davidsons, then one of their Suzuki customers generally does.

Still it was surprising when V&H riders Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec came off the trailer in the first round of Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying this year with a clear performance advantage on the field and perfectly matched 6.825 elapsed times (Hines claimed provisional number one by virtue of miles per hour). After all, since the team parked their V-Rods in exchange for Street Rods in the middle of this season, they’ve struggled. And the Harleys were a no-show at the annual pre-U.S. Nats test session.

But when Krawiec said "We’ve made a lot of different chassis changes as the season has gone forward," what he really meant is that the team had gone back to their V-Rod chassis this weekend with Street Rod bodywork. And it was just as comfortable as hooking back up with a great old girlfriend....continued

MORE from NHRA's US Nationals HERE

Grimes Blows, Lund Goes at Alastaro

story and photos courtesy of Remco Scheelings

 

The Finnish Hot Rod Association (FHRA) Nitro Nationals at Alastaro are always special, and with an all Finnish final in Super Twin Motorcycle, a Finnish runner-up in Pro Stock Motorcycle, and Finnish winners in Super Comp Bike and Super Gas Bike, the home crowd had plenty to cheer for.

Two weeks after the season opening Tierp Internationals, the EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship had its second round at Alastaro Circuit during the FHRA Nitro Nationals...continued

MORE explosive Nitro Nationals HERE

NHDRO Showers Big Money on Big Field

story and photos by Tim Hailey

 

Kyden Mann left Indy $5K richer

When America’s fastest growing motorcycle drag racing series holds their annual Big Money Bracket Race, you can expect more than 200 entries shooting for cash in those classes alone and that’s what you got. NHDRO’s Summer Celebration at Lucas Oil Raceway on August 4-6 featured the finest two-wheeled ET studs from all over the USA racing ‘til 11 pm for Brian and Niki Welch’s money.

Saturday’s MPS Pro ET race paid $5000 to win, and eight rounds later, the final was devoid of NHDRO regulars as interlopers swooped in for the Big Checks. Kyden Mann of Fort Wayne used an .021 light to set the stage for his all-dragbike final round victory over Homer England of Ohio. NHDRO dominator John “Spooky” Markham and Norwalk legend Craig Adams—also on dragbikes—both went down in the semis....continued

MORE about NHDRO's Big Money race HERE

It Never Rains in Cali (or Santa Pod)...

...for 3 Days Anyway....

story and photos by Steven Moxley

 

Rikard Gustafsson!

It was California weather for the first three days of the event with hot and humid (Louisiana?) conditions. Over night rain delayed the start of eliminations come race day and a heavy deluge ended the event early in the evening (5.45pm). Only the first round of the eliminations where completed in Top Fuel Bike, Pro Stock Bike and SuperTwins.  Super Street Bike started their second round before rain stopped the event.

There will be a new Top Fuel champion this year after reigning champ Ian King announced he was racing in the USA this season....continued

MORE from Santa Pod's Maine Event HERE

Kahne Wins Crashfest 400

story and photos by Tim Hailey with help from IMS and press releases

 

Jimmy Johnson came out with the short end of a 3-wide battle into turn 3

Kasey Kahne passed Brad Keselowski on the final restart in overtime to win the 24th annual Brickyard 400 on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The whole ordeal started at 2:44 p.m. and finished at 8:58 p.m., just eight minutes before sundown. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was halted three times for red flags for a total of two hours, 31 minutes, including a rain delay of one hour, 47 minutes after the first 12 laps were completed.

"The history here, winning at this track is unreal," Kahne said. "This Farmers' Insurance Chevrolet was great out front. I just had to get there. Man, I'm exhausted. To win at Indy is unbelievable." After being interviewed by NBC after the race, Kahne sat on the ground next to his No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, dehydrated and cramping from a long, taxing day in the cockpit. The effort to win was so demanding that he needed intravenous fluids at the infield care center after the race....continued

MORE Brickyard 400 HERE

Travis Davis Wins 4th Straight

video, captions and photos by Tim Hailey, text by PDRA

 

 

Watch this video interview with chassis builder Walt Timblin and the Davis family

Travis Davis continued his winning streak that began in March when he won the second race of the season. He used his best pass of the weekend, a 4.029 at 174.64, to beat Chuck Wilburn’s 4.116 at 170.62 and win his fourth consecutive final round aboard his Walt Timblin-built Suzuki. 

“They were all tough,” Davis said of his four event wins. “You have to be changing and moving and doing something different at every race. We’ve won rounds where we were down on performance. We struggled some when we ran in the heat of the day, but I felt like the numbers would come back when the cool conditions came back, and they did....continued

MORE PDRA from Indy HERE

Terry Chandler: Devoted to Giving

story courtesy of DSR, photo by Tim Hailey

 

Terry Chandler with Antron Brown in 2015

Terry Chandler's commitment to helping others has left an indelible mark on the National Hot Rod Association and Don Schumacher Racing, and her memorable presence at racetracks and with her Make-A-Wish families and the Infinite Hero Foundation will continue to live on in the hearts of thousands.
 
Sadly, Terry lost her valiant fight with brain cancer on Tuesday afternoon. She was 65 when she died in Florida with family and loved ones at her side.
 
"Terry is a great human being who devoted the past few years to helping the Make-A-Wish and Infinite Hero foundations with her love and kindness by funding two of our Funny Car teams," said Don Schumacher, DSR owner and close friend. "Terry is such a beautiful person. She was so much more than a friend and partner. She is family. We will always see that wonderful smile of hers at the starting line....continued

MORE about Terry Chandler HERE

Tharpe, Millican Big Bristol Winners

photos by Tim Hailey, story by Hailey, NHRA and team reports

brought to you by Ben "Treating Media Right" Knight

 

 

Watch the interview with Tii Tharpe, Jay Turner and Mark Conner above

Epping winner Tii Tharpe is on a roll, qualifying number one right off the trailer at Bristol and beating teammate Jay Turner in the final. Tharpe's Dixie 6.549 at 205.01  was one of his slowest of the weekend but good enough to defeat Turner, who dropped a cylinder and ran 7.603 at 134.20. 

Turner and the team were responsible for three bikes in the semis, including Coon Ass Randal Andras. Turner let Tharpe pick out which of his two bikes he wanted to ride this year—every regret that decision Jay now that Tii has two straight? "Nah, it's good business," grinned Turner, who has enough championships under his belt—including this years'—to focus on business...continued

MORE from NHRA Bristol HERE

The 101st Indianapolis 500

Sato clearly fastest at the end of the day

captions, video and photos by Tim Hailey, story courtesy of IMS press releases

 

Second row starter Alonso's McLaren orange Dallara gets swamped at the start of the Indy 500 by row 3

Takuma Sato capped off another thrilling Indianapolis 500 that featured a record number of drivers leading the race. The driver of the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda edged three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves to the finish line by 0.2011 of a second to become the first Japanese winner of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Sato passed Castroneves for the lead on Lap 195 - the last of 35 lead changes in the 200-lap race on the historic 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and the seventh straight year that the decisive pass for the Indy 500 lead occurred in the last six laps. Sato held off aggressive charges from Castroneves, the driver of the No. 3 Shell Fuel Rewards Team Penske Chevrolet, in the sixth-closest finish in Indy 500 history....continued

MORE Indy 500 HERE

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