2021 NHRA U.S. NATIONALS - PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE NOTEBOOK
EDDIE KRAWIEC CLAIMS HIS THIRD U.S. NATIONALS WIN IN PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE - Eddie Krawiec’s emotion was obvious moments after winning the prestigious U.S. Nationals Sunday.
The Pro Stock Motorcycle star’s voice was cracking when talking about his win over his Vance & Hines teammate Angelle Sampey in the finals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
Krawiec clocked a 6.844-second elapsed time at 198.58 mph on his Buell to defeat Sampey’s 6.880-second lap at 195.51 mph on her Suzuki.
“I feel like I’m going to cry like a baby,” Krawiec said. “This means a lot to me.”
Krawiec, a four-time world champion in 2008, 2011-12 and 2017, had just one national event win since the 2019 season and that came in Houston in the COVID-19 abbreviated 2020 NHRA season.
Krawiec, who competes out of the powerhouse Vance & Hines stable, won his first NHRA national event on a Buell. Vance & Hines ran Harley-Davidson motorcycles the previous 20 years.
This was Krawiec’s 49th career national event win and his third at the U.S. Nationals. He also won Indy in 2014 and 2017.
Krawiec qualified No. 1 and then ousted Andrew Hines, Michael Phillips, who had a red-light start, Joey Gladstone and Sampey.
“It was a little bit of luck, it was being good, and it was just hopefully things fall your way,” Krawiec said. “I came out with the No. 1 motorcycle right off the truck and was in good shape and got down the track and from there it kind of went all downhill. We had a pretty good first round and second round was my lucky round. The bike bogged and we were kind of off on the set-up. We’re trying to learn all the changes that we made. Coming here we didn’t have the opportunity to test. We just kind of came here cold turkey. We made a bunch of changes straight off the dyno. Really, what we are trying to do is cater to the power to the way that our chassis needs it delivered. We kind of changed our engine combination up a little bit and then went to the final round.”
Krawiec acknowledged he wasn’t happy about his performance in the final round.
“I got the timeslip and was upset that I was like 47 (reaction time), you shouldn’t be 47 at Indy in the final,” Krawiec said. “I did a horrible job driving in the final but managed to get the win light and was just excited. An all-team Vance & Hines final, Mission Foods and everybody who supports us. We’re back. We’re back in the winner’s circle.”
Krawiec entered the U.S. Nationals eighth in the points standings. However, with this victory and the points being reset in the for six-race Countdown to the Championship, Krawiec moved up to fourth in the standings just 40 points behind leader and reigning world champion Matt Smith.
“I would say the best thing to say is we needed some time to implement our changes,” Krawiec said. “It gave us a month and the last break (between races), and we thought we would have plenty of time to go testing. We sent our truck here and actually brought our bikes here in the back of pick-up trucks because we didn’t have the time to get them in the back of the (hauler). When you think you have time, you don’t have time. There’s never enough time.
“We just wanted to try and play it safe and have time to go test and make laps and the test session at St. Louis was going to be awfully hot with spotty rain and we didn’t want to take the risk of going out there and not really having the opportunity to make any runs. We knew Angelle’s bike was going to be fast. We just had to work on it a little bit more. But the more important thing is trying to get into the Countdown and making sure you have that opportunity because if you’re not in the Countdown you don’t have that chance to race. The cool thing about Pro Stock Motorcycle is there are actually 11 guys who are going to race for the top 10 spots, and I think that’s an awesome deal. I know my outlook on the Countdown got a whole lot better.”
With the prior rounds as a barometer, Krawiec was an underdog against Sampey, but he stepped up his tuning.
“What I found is how far I was really off on my tune-up,” Krawiec said. “As the day progressed and got hotter and hotter and hotter, I started getting further away from center. So, I went back and looked at my data for the finals and kind of made the proper changes I thought were going to do it. We can’t leave well enough alone being tuners. We always seem like it is a great opportunity to go slower by tuning on it. That’s generally what you do because you have to learn.”
Krawiec said he and Andrew Hines about three weeks ago did a bunch of changes to the way they were running the Buell motorcycles.
“We have been struggling and what we have been doing in the past that we’ve done for the past 15 years has not worked since we switched to the new Buell body work,” Krawiec said. “Once we got the Buell bodywork straightened out, we needed to get the chassis straightened out and we haven’t got there yet, but we’re getting closer and we’re on to it now, especially with my motorcycle, but tune-up is even more critical. I think as we learn our tune-up with our engine combination it will get better and better.”
Racing against his friendly rival Sampey lost some of its luster this time because Sampey, who lives in the New Orleans, La., area, is dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
“For her this has been a whole stressful week,” Krawiec said. “I don’t even know if she had fun. She did at a certain level, but when you go through something devastating like the whole Hurricane (Ida) deal and the impact it has had on people down South and in Louisiana where it hit, I think (being here) is more of a relief. When you’re told you’re not going to have power for a month what are you going to do. She tried enjoying the race as much as she could, and I knew it meant a lot to her to get her. I’m glad I’m the one who beat her for the win because the win at least stayed in our camp.
“As a whole for us just to get both motorcycles in the final, one a Buell and one of our shop’s Suzukis that was something special. This is a true Vance & Hines win. I was never part of the team as a Vance & Hines only sponsor motorcycle. We have Mission Foods aboard as an associate and to do that for those guys, we’re one team. There’s a shop out in Indiana and there’s a shop out in California. The guys out in California make the exhaust and we (in Indiana) are the RDC, the race shop, that makes all the race parts for everybody out here, but we are one team, and it is just really cool to do that for everybody.”
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE NOTEBOOK
SAVOIE SITTING OUT U.S. NATIONALS – There’s one competitor missing in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class at the 2021 U.S. Nationals – Jerry Savoie.
Savoie, the 2016 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion is sitting out the U.S. Nationals to clean up in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida as it roared through his residence in Cut Off, La., earlier in the week.
Savoie responded with a thank you text after CompetitionPlus.com sent him a text offering prayer to his family in this difficult time.
“Cut Off, La., was in the direct path of Hurricane Ida and it came on pretty strong,” said Karen Stoffer, who is riding the lone Suzuki for Savoie’s White Alligator Racing team at the U.S. Nationals. “Unfortunately, he has some damage, and they are out of power down there and he has his business that needs to have certain things. His house is OK, and his family is OK, but there is damage and the power outage and there’s no water and no food, there’s a lot of things going on. Even though the storm is gone, the aftermath and damage and devastation made it where he had to stay home and focus on things. You can’t go without power, food, and water so he’s trying to get everything squared away there. He is healthy and safe, and he just needs to make things livable and get things back together. It’s pretty devastating.”
Stoffer, who didn’t compete in the COVID-19 abbreviated 2020 season is competing at the U.S. Nationals for the first time since 2019.
“It has been a minute since I have been here,” Stoffer said. “I had not been since 2019 and this has definitely been a different year than 2019. It has been raining all day (Saturday). Usually in Indy it is sunny, hot, and warm and all that. I’m excited to be back. I’m excited to try and carry the torch for WAR (White Alligator Racing). This is Jerry’s track. He’s done very well here. I have done generally so well here and hopefully I can step up and do good this weekend.”
Savoie won the U.S. Nationals in 2015 and 2019. Savoie is 12th in the season points standings.
In Q1 Friday, Stoffer qualified No. 8 with a 6.954-second time at 190.48 on her Suzuki. She matches up in round one against Michael Phillips, who came in the No. 9 spot with a 6.970-second pass.
“It is definitely going to an interesting year in Indy,” Stoffer said. “My mindset is my job every time I sit on the bike it to best I can and try and be consistent for my crew chief (Tim Kulungian) and my team and WAR and try and win rounds for Big St. Charles (Motorsports) and Skillman Racing and all my sponsors. This is a job. I try not focus on things I have no control over and focus on things I do. We gone out there with only one hit of qualifying, which we have done that before, I’m going go out and myself and my WAR team are going to do our best to put the package together to turn the light on.”
Stoffer entered Indy seventh in the points standings on the strength of one win in Sonoma, Calif., the 10th of her career.
“Tim is a fantastic tuner, and he has both the 4-valve and the 2-valve that he’s trying to get the maximum performance out of,” Stoffer said. “We have struggled with the 4-valve, but he seems to have turned that around and that’s really what Jerry has been riding. I have been on the 2-valve the whole time and absolutely I think he’s always given me a great bike.
“There are things he’s working on and trying, and I think we definitely have a package for the Countdown. I’m excited and I’m happy. Not only Tim, but the whole crew is working really hard to try and stay on top and prove that the 2-valve can be competitive and I’m very fortunate to be able to ride it.”
Stoffer is clearly grateful to still be competing in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class. She made her debut in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class in Denver in 1996 along with Angelle Sampey and Stephanie Reaves.
Stoffer’s first PSM NHRA national event victory came in 2004 when she beat Antron Brown in the finals in Houston.
“I feel very fortunate,” said Stoffer about still riding in the PSM class. “I actually don’t have my bike anymore because we are working with the Salinas’ and my equipment is over there, so I don’t really have a bike to ride. It was nice that the WAR team had an opportunity and presented it to me, and we were able to collaborate, and we work well together. I’m glad Jerry had a spot open on his team and he invited me on it.
“I’m blessed every day I get to ride a motorcycle and maybe that’s why I try not to worry about the stuff I can’t have any impact on because I’m trying to do really good for the team and very fortunate again that I can actually ride.”
POLLACHECK EYES REPEAT – There’s no question veteran Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Scotty Pollacheck would love to have history repeat itself Sunday.
A year ago, at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Pollacheck won his inaugural national event title, capturing the crown at the Denso U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in September. That helped him finish a career-best third in the points standings.
In the finals in Indy in 2020, Pollacheck clocked an event-best 6.790-second elapsed time at 200.53 mph to defeat Andrew Hines out of the Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson stable.
Pollacheck, who eclipsed the 200-mph barrier multiple times that weekend as well, is optimistic about his team can do on race day. In the lone qualifying session Friday, Pollacheck clocked a 6.866-second time at 197.74 mph which put him third in qualifying after Saturday’s two sessions were washed out because of rain.
“After not being on the bike for a month since Pomona, Calif., we were pretty happy with the way we started out there, going 86 and end up third,” Pollacheck said. “Last year was a killer weekend all the way around and we pretty much have the same kind of stuff that we had last year. There’s no reason why we can’t do something like we did last year. It definitely gives you confidence coming into this race and knowing we want to defend that title we won last year.”
Pollacheck meets Ron Tornow in round one Sunday. Pollacheck came to Indy third in the points. He has one win in Atlanta and three semifinal performances.
Pollacheck is riding again as part of the Matt Smith Racing stable piloting a Gen 2 Erik Buell Racing motorcycle, the same one he drove in 2020.
“As a team, we definitely had an incredible year, and I had a dream weekend in Atlanta winning there, and winning on my wife Susan’s birthday,” Pollacheck said. “We are definitely excited with all we have going on. She wasn’t with me when I won Indy, so that’s why it was so good at Atlanta because she was there, and it was her birthday.
“That would be so amazing to say I was a two-time Indy winner and have another one with Susan being here at Indy, and you got to love Indy with everything that it means, that would be amazing if we could win again.
ARANA JR. TURNS HEADS IN Q1 – Team Arana is proving its determination this weekend at the U.S. Nationals.
Earlier this season, Hector Arana Jr., and the team lost Lucas Oil as its primary sponsor.
After last competing at the at the NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, N.C., May 16, Arana Jr, returned to the track this weekend for the U.S. Nationals.
Hector Arana Jr. clocked a 6.871-second pass at 196.64 mph in Q1 Fri to qualify fourth. He meets No. 13 qualifier Jianna Salinas in round one.
“It looked like Saturday was going to be a rainout and we looked at our data and put a conservative tune-up in the bike top make sure we got down and we went right down the track and made a nice run,” Arana Jr. said. “We definitely have some more in there. We feel really confident here this weekend racing.”
Arana Jr. wasn’t complaining if he stayed in his No. 4 qualifying spot because of Mother Nature’s visit Saturday.
“I saw that number 87 and everybody else kept running and they were slower,” Arana Jr. said. “I thought we were looking pretty good. I know we will know what to do to do (Sunday).”
Arana Jr. won Indy in 2011, and he would love to repeat history this weekend.
“It would mean a lot to win Indy again,” Arana Jr. said. “No. 1 it would great to get the win and give our team the confidence and show what it takes to win. People are looking at us and we are hunting for sponsors, and we want to show them that we are a contender and a competitive team. We want to show that we been on a hiatus, and we can still come out here and qualify that well right out of the trailer shows a lot about our team and our performance.”
Arana Jr. said his team has three bikes with the EBR body work and they are working on mounting a fourth one.
“We have a total of five V-Twin Buell chassis,” Arana Jr. said. “If we were to get somebody that we trusted in leasing or maybe even have somebody purchasing one of them. We are interested in setting a program where we could lease out a bike.
“When we do well at a place like Indy it is a good advertisement for us,” Arana Jr. said.
BATTLE OF THE TITANS – The Vance & Hines team will see one of its three Buell motorcycles eliminated in round one Sunday.
That’s because No. 1 qualifier Eddie Krawiec will clash with his teammate Andrew Hines in the opening round. The winner of that battle will face the winner between Karen Stoffer and Michael Phillips.
Angelle Sampey, who is also part of the Vance & Hines contingent qualified No. 7 and will meet No. 10 qualifier Cory Reed.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
KRAWIEC TAKES TOP SPOT IN Q1 – Eddie Krawiec has had his share of glory at the U.S. Nationals while piloting a Harley-Davidson for Vance & Hines.
Krawiec, driving a Buell in 2022, was impressive in Q1 at Indy Friday in Q1. Krawiec clocked a 6.826-second elapsed time at 199.40 mph.
While Krawiec was celebrating his teammate Andrew Hines was in an unfamiliar spot of No. 16 on the ladder with a 7.138-second run.
This would Krawiec’s first No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 49th of his career if it holds.
“The first thing is now there’s data and information to look at,” Krawiec said. “The question is whether the weather is going to hold up (Saturday). We will not even talk about rain. It’s going to be perfect. It’s going to be sunny and beautiful tomorrow and we are going to make two qualifying runs. We will get the opportunity to move around and do a little shuffling and hopefully it is not me shuffling the wrong way. When you’re first, the only way you can go is backwards. There a lot of good motorcycles right now in the category. I think there some unique conditions (Friday night). With grains and air in general.”
Krawiec acknowledged the proximity of the Vance & Hines shop in nearby Brownsburg benefits them.
“We are able to dyno are stuff and Andrew and I were dynoing stuff last night until like 10 p.m. We are trying to sort some things out. We made a bunch of changes and that was baseline one. We didn’t have the opportunity to test here earlier this week. We questioned the weather and everything that was going on so we opted to stay back at the shop and work on our stuff.
“It’s always one of those interesting things you know. You setup your bike and you’re going. I came up and looked at the track earlier in the day and it was sunny out and the next thing you know it was cloud cover, drizzle and a Pro Mod crash and some other things that kept delaying (Q1). You start rethinking your tune-up in the pits. I took the mentality to make sure the motorcycle went down the track because you didn’t know what you were going to have for Q2 and Q3 (Saturday). I think we left a little on the table, but it was first in a long while I had a motorcycle like I used to have.”
Veteran Steve Johnson is second in the pecking order with his 6.860-second elapsed time at 196.56 mph.
MSR READY FOR INDY AGAIN – Matt Smith has established himself as one of the best NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle riders of all time.
Smith has won world titles in 2007, 2012, 2018 and 2020 and is well on his way to No. 5. He enters the Dodge // SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals this weekend first in the season points standings with 813 points. Steve Johnson is in second place in the points 262 behind Smith.
Smith, who runs Matt Smith Racing, also is the crew chief for his wife, Angie’s motorcycle, and Scotty Pollacheck’s motorcycle. The team runs Buells and Matt is thrilled to be competing in the U.S. Nationals again.
“This is the biggest race of the year,” Smith said. “As a rider, you want to win the race, and as a team owner you want to win the race. It doesn’t matter if it is me, Angie, Scotty and we’ve won with John Hall here before. We’ve won this race quite a bit and had success here. I’m just looking forward to running here. I think we have the bike to beat this year and we are going to continue go after and win every race we can and win a championship.”
Smith has won the U.S. Nationals twice and Hall was victorious in 2013 and Pollacheck won the U.S. Nationals in 2020.
Smith qualified No. 6 on Friday with a 6.892 seconds. Angie is fifth at 6.886 seconds and Pollacheck is third at 6.866 seconds.
“You always come back and start with what you did last year,” Smith said. “NHRA can prep the track different. They can use a different spray percentage with the VHT, so all those things play a part and you just don’t know what you get until you make that first run. We always come back and put a baseline tune-up in it and see where we stand.
“It would be awesome if we could win Indy again. Lisa from Denso is here and anytime you can win it is special, but when they are in the house it always more special. Winning again is definitely what we are shooting for.”
Smith and his MSR team have been through the PSM battles over the years – primarily with Vance & Hines when they were running Harley-Davidsons. Vance & Hines ran Harleys from 2004-2020, winning 107 races and 10 world championships.
Despite the Vance & Hines powerhouse team, Smith never backed down. He’s just kept battling and now is the class of the class.
“This feels good,” Smith said. “Like I tell everybody, everybody can go buy this motor from S&S. Everybody can go buy this bike and body. We are on a level playing field. Anybody can buy this stuff for a reasonable amount of money, not $200,000 for just a motor. We provide this stuff and we prove to people if you work hard and do your job you can have the same success as we do.”
Smith also took a moment to address the state of the Pro Stock Motorcycle class.
“I think the state of the class is good,” Smith said. “We have just acquired a Suzuki now and we’re going to work on that over the winter and show everybody how fast those things are. I have a Suzuki in the shop that I own, and I have two motors we’re working on, and we are probably going to debut that a couple times next year. If it is really, really fast we might run it more. I think the Suzukis have an advantage still with a 4-valve motor and the weight break they get. Until somebody reputable goes and proves how fast they go on one, I think they have an advantage so that’s why I’m doing it.
“I would probably jump on the (Suzuki) myself and prove how fast it will go. Then, again I might bring somebody who can ride one really good and bring them over and ride some. We don’t know yet for sure. Like I said, I have a lot of work to do with it, but we are working on it. I don’t want to mess up what I’m doing right now as far as my championship run, so this is a winter project.”
Smith’s no stranger to Suzukis.
“I ran Suzukis all the way up until I started this V-Twin program in 2006,” Smith said. “I went to three or four finals myself with my own stuff. I never won on a Suzuki. Then in 2009, I got hired by Don Schumacher to ride his Suzuki before he shut that program down at the end of the year. I think I went to one or two finals there. You know we set the national record on it. I don’t care what bike it is as long as it fast and I have some kind of control of what’s going on, that’s the whole thing. You can’t let people dictate what kind of power you have by them supplying the motor.”
Ever since Smith started having his recent run of success in 2020 and into 2021, it corresponded with him growing out his hair. Smith said his hair might get a trim at season’s end.
“I probably cut after the season is over,” Smith said. “But, right now I’m going to leave it like it is. We have won four races this year and in my whole career of racing, four races is the most races I have ever won in one year. To win four this early in the season, if I can get that fifth one these last six races, that’s history for me and that’s what I’m shooting for.”
Smith has wins in Gainesville, Fla., Norwalk, Ohio, Denver and Pomona, Calif. He has a 23-4 elimination-round record.
ARANA JR. RETURNS TO COMPETITION – This year has been a tough season for veteran Pro Stock Motorcycle pilot Hector Arana Jr., as Lucas Oil is no longer the primary sponsor for the team. The team is headed up by Arana Jr. and his father, Hector Arana Sr.
Arana Jr. last competed at the NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, N.C., May 16.
Arana Jr. qualified fourth and beat Ryan Oehler in the first round with a 6.771-second elapsed time at 203.06 mph. He then was upended in round two by Joey Gladstone. Gladstone clocked a 6.791-second run to edge Arana’s 6.853-second run.
“It’s great to be back out here doing what we love to do,” Arana Jr. said. “We had a really fast bike last time we were out so all we really did was routine maintenance. We just went through the bike and made sure everything was good. We are just searching for more always and never give up. We’re confident we have a good combination coming into Indy.
“We’re looking high and low for sponsors. We have not been successful in finding one yet, but we’re still out there looking. We are just taking things day-by-day and race-by-race. Right now, we have no further plans after Indy.”
Arana Jr. clocked a 6.871-second ET at 196.64 mph which is good for fourth on the qualifying ladder.
In 2017 at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Arana Jr. debuted the new Erik Buell Racing 1190RX body style Buell. Arana Jr. still runs the Buell.
Arana Sr. won his lone NHRA PSM world championship in 2009. Hector Jr.’s career-best finish in the points was second in 2011, his rookie year. Hector Sr. and Hector Jr. won the U.S. Nationals in 2009 and 2011, respectively.
“Indy is the Big Go and it is the first race I ever won,” Arana Jr. said. “It’s a hometown race. Friends and family, everybody is out there. We have done a lot of testing here and the track is comfortable, and you get amped up and focused because it is the Big Go. It is the race to win.”
Arana Sr. has competed in 326 NHRA national events and has seven national event wins with 16 runner-up performances. Arana Jr. is competing in his 155th career Pro Stock Motorcycle national event this weekend. He has 15 career wins, and 12 runner-up finishes and 22 No. 1 qualifying spots.
After skipping some races this season, Arana Jr. has find ways to keep himself busy.
“I’ve been busy at work and I have been hanging out with my daughter, Sofia (2), watching her grow up,” said Arana Sr., who lives in Long Island, N.Y., with his wife, Nicole and daughter. “I have been mountain biking to stay in shape.”
Arana Jr. works for Curtiss-Wright corporation.
“The division I work on is for a defense contractor and we do a lot of work for the Navy,” said Arana Jr., who has been working for Curtiss-Wright for seven years.
Arana Jr. was quick to point he would love to be out at the racetrack fulltime again.
“Racing is our first love and passion,” Arana Sr. said. “To this day, my dad and I every afternoon, talk about motors and strategy and what we are doing. It is still something we love and that will never go away. I grew up at the racetrack and so did my wife Nicole and we were hoping my daughter could do that. It’s something I enjoyed as a kid and I know it is something she would enjoy, going to races and traveling. Hopefully we will find something (sponsor-wise) so she can see her daddy race.”
OEHLER CRAZY BUSY HEADING TO INDY – The NHRA Camping World Series Western Swing was one of frustration for Pro Stock Motorcycle owner/driver Ryan Oehler.
Oehler suffered first-round losses in Denver, Sonoma (Calif.) and Pomona, Calif. Yet, progress has been made moving forward for Oehler who is fifth in the season points standings.
“We have been working our butts off as soon as we got home from the Western Swing, knowing out on the Western we finally figured out what was happening,” Oehler said. “You go into the Western Swing in Denver and that’s not a good place to analyze your program as far as ‘Hey, I’m off the pace a little bit here. Is it Denver, or is it me?’ In Sonoma, we thought we could kill it because we had great air. That’s when the pieces of the puzzle started to align as to where our performance had been off.”
That led to Oehler addressing the issues.
“We had to make some reliability changes for our engine program and change to the other style crankshaft,” Oehler said. “There was some performance that was lost. We found out how to to replenish that. We knew what we wanted to do to try, but implementing it, manufacturing it and then producing it and testing it is what we had to do when we got home, which is a tall order. We did that. We are working with a new ECU and we went and tested three times in (Martin, Mich.) and spent a day with a guy who is helping me with the ECU.
“We fixed our crankshaft problem, have new computers and new data water system and we have tested and ran well and we feel really good about where we are at. We are at the biggest race in the world and the place with all the people and it is fantastic.”
Now, Oehler knows his team needs to see some results.
“We have to put it on the scoreboard and I’m really hoping we are able to do that,” Oehler said. “We tested in Martin (Mich.) last Wednesday (Aug. 25) and this Tuesday (Aug. 31) and this Wednesday (Sept. 1). We hurt a motor on Tuesday, a motor we just built that was going to solve this crankshaft problem. The first pass, but we had a problem and we had to take it out and send it home. Scotty, my crew guy and my dad stayed up all night and fixed the motor and we went back and got the motor, and we came to Indy.”
The plan for Oehler in the first qualifying session Friday night at Lucas Oil Raceway is to get from A to B.
“Being that it might possibly rain (Saturday), we need hit with a solid pass and put a decent number up,” he said. “We can still pull ourselves out of the grave. There’s always a time for our team when a turning point is necessary, and this is definitely that time. We need to turn a page. We need to show starting in the Countdown to the Championship that we are a championship contender. We are not at that point in our program where we can say we are going to win that championship, but we are in a place where we can we are a top five team and we want to finish in that top five.”
Oehler was left searching for answers Friday after he had a 7.003 second time at 191.76 mph.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: After Q1, several riders were trying to find a way to get into the 16-bike field. The list consists of Kelly Clontz (7.146); Jim Underdahl (7.160); Chris Bostick, Mount (7.160); Charles Poskey (7.162) and David Barron with no time.