Screamin’ Eagle / Vance & Hines rider Eddie Krawiec rode a Harley-Davidson V-Rod to win the opening round of the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle season at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. Krawiec defeated Rum Bum Buell rider Shawn Gann in the final round of eliminations.
Krawiec prevailed over a very quick field of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle riders. Eight of the 16 bikes qualified for the event with a run under 6.9 seconds, and all but three were under 7.00 seconds. Suzuki rider Karen Stoffer topped qualifying with a 6.855-second run in the last round of qualifying to set a new track record for the class, and established a new national ET record for Pro Stock Motorcycle with a 6.851-second run in the first round of eliminations. Krawiec qualified second at 6.868 seconds. His Harley-Davidson V-Rod teammate Andrew Hines was fifth in qualifying at 6.883 seconds.
Krawiec advanced to the finals with a win over Coffman Tank Trucks Buell rider Angie Smith in round one, a free pass in round two when Suzuki rider Steve Johnson fouled at the start, and a very close win over Valvoline Suzuki rider Craig Treble in round three. Krawiec used a 6.903 ET to overcome a reaction time of 0.076 seconds to get past Treble (0.011/6.971) and win by just 0.0033 seconds.
“I almost gave it all away in the third round,” said Krawiec. “I had a terrible start but used that V-Rod power to get past him right at the end. I think I won by just a few inches.”
There was no drama in the final round, as Krawiec posted a 0.045/6.899 run to defeat the 0.054/6.908 pass by Gann and take his sixth career victory.
“Once again we won by being consistent and steady,” said Krawiec who had runs of 6.864 (a new career-best ET), 6.856, 6.899 and 6.908 on the day. “We were really going to have to be on our game to win against this field. This is a great way to get the season rolling.”
Hines defeated Suzuki rider Jim Underdahl in round one, and went out in round two after leaving the line early. His reaction time in round one was 0.007 seconds.
“We were trying something a little experimental with my bike that we did not have an opportunity to test before the race, and didn’t quite have it dialed in,” said Hines. “It’s something we can fix before the next race, now that we have a baseline. This was a tremendous field, and it’s clear the other teams were doing some R&D work in the off-season. I think 2010 is going to be a very competitive season.”
With one round of the 17-race 2010 NHRA Pro Stock season complete, Krawiec leads the class with 119 points. Gann is second with 94 points, followed by Stoffer with 84, and Geico Suzuki rider Hector Arana in fourth with 76. Treble is fifth with 75 points, followed by VRoom Racing Buell rider David Hope with 58 points, and Hines in seventh place with 54 points.
The next Pro Stock Motorcycle event on the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule is the inaugural Four-Wide NHRA Nationals, March 25-28, at zMAX Dragway, Concord, N.C.
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