Gator Grip on PSM Continues for V&H

It was (depressing?) double vision deja vu as the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines/Harley-Davidson team celebrated another Eddie Krawiec win

Defending event and world champion Krawiec rode his bike to winner’s circle with a 6.824 at 198.44, defeating teammate Andrew Hines in the final following a mock staging duel that was as sincere as Eddie Haskell. But at this point, the team has to entertain themselves and attempt to entertain the fans as well.

“Right now, I’m riding with the confidence that no one can beat me,” Krawiec said after his sixth Gators win and third straight. “I have a great motorcycle underneath me and a great team behind me. Anytime a rider or a driver has confidence it just makes them that much better.”

Krawiec was the No. 2 qualifier and reached the final via LE Tonglet, Steve Johnson, and Hector Arana.

Team Liberty ready for round 1 of eliminations
Ken “Big” Johnson
Angelle Sampey gloves up for her first round match-up with Ryan Oehler
Ryan Oehler would lose to Sampey 6.94 to 6.90
Cory Reed ended Hector Arana Jr’s 200 mph weekend in E1
Hmmmm….what’s Jerry Savoie thinking about? Maybe he’s thinking “Why is Juan Mata staring holes into the back of my helmet?”
What Savoie probably wasn’t thinking about was getting burned .009 to .086 by Karen Stoffer in E1. Savoie’s 6.88 lost to Stoffer’s 6.93
Karen Stoffer with the eye of the tiger
Angie Smith threw away another first round by redlighting away a quicker ET—this time against Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson’s win against Angie would be his only round win as a WAR rider
Bud Yoder in the house! Bud was helping long-time PST teammate Mark Paquette
Paquette overcame bewildering sensor problems to qualify on the bump but was 2/10ths off against polesitter Andrew Hines in E1
Joey Gladstone qualified brilliantly in third but lost to Hector Sr. in round 1….
….giving Joey plenty of time to hang around with Boo Brown!
Jimmy Underdahl lost to teammate Scotty Pollacheck in round 1
JT Norton on the job!

Saturday: Hines #1 PSM Qualifier at the Gators

Andrew Hines raced to the top of Pro Stock Motorcycle order during the fourth qualifying round at the 49th annual Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. His 6.773 at 198.64 beat his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammate Eddie Krawiec by .012. Hines’ last victory at Gainesville was in 2004 and he was the runner-up in 2017.

Hines offered little new in his media interview. “Last year we figured out how to get our Street Rods off the starting line a lot more consistently. Coming here it was just a progression of taking our notes from last year and just making sure we are making the proper calls at the right time.” He did admit to doing nothing fun over the winter, but with a new baby in the house, that might be expected. Except for for with the baby, I guess. Babies are fun, right?

Today’s pairings in Pro Stock Motorcycle—1. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.773, 199.05 vs. 16. Mark Paquette, Victory, 6.943, 193.21; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.785, 199.67 vs. 15. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.929, 196.64; 3. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.793, 196.93 vs. 14. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.917, 198.64; 4. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.806, 201.01 vs. 13. Cory Reed, Victory, 6.910, 191.67; 5. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.816, 197.51 vs. 12. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.902, 195.59; 6. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.821, 196.50 vs. 11. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.889, 195.14; 7. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.855, 197.74 vs. 10. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.889, 196.10; 8. Angelle Sampey, Victory, 6.856, 196.07 vs. 9. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.881, 195.22.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Matt Smith, 6.945, 195.87; 18. Kelly Clontz, 6.970, 192.11; 19. Lance Bonham, 7.205, 694.44; 20. Andie Rawlings, 7.223, 182.45.
Saturday’s biggest PSM news was this post about a “limited schedule” by Steve Johnson. This caught White Alligator Racing’s Jerry Savoie and Tim Kulungian completely by surprise. More on this later.

 

Gainesville-loving Joey Gladstone is “best of the rest” in third. His Gary Stoffer/Greg Underdahl tuned “Poison Dart” is the same bike the retired Joey Desantis rode.

 

Mark Paquette’s Victory had a shiftlight malfunction in Q1 and an apparent sensor issue that kept the bike from starting up for Q2. “We just forced it to star for the third round,” said Paquette, who along with guest co-tuner Steve Nichols finally had some data to work with and pushed the bike into 16th in the last round. They were still looking for their starting problem’s cause deep into the night.
Scotty Pollacheck sits 5th with a 6.81
Angelle Sampey’s Victory survived being dropped off the lift to qualify 8th with a 6.856. She’ll face 9th qualifier Flyin’ Ryan Oehler (6.881) in E1. Oehler smoked a wiring harness in the pits last night and was last seen with the bike completely disassembled.
Friday: Not a Care in the World for #1 Krawiec
Eddie Krawiec channels the late, great Gary Clark as he cocks the wheel during his Q1 launch

Defending NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Eddie Krawiec currently sits in the No. 1 qualifier position with a 6.785 at 199.67 miles per hour on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson at the 49th annual Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

I’ve known Eddie since he was a teenager, and I’ve seen him go through many stages. The good racer on a great Yamaha that would get spooked when he got as far as the semis in Supersport 600. The driven independent who drove to Columbus and—with Joe Marasco’s help—assembled his Suzuki in the National Trail pits and still qualified. The surprise choice by the Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team to ride their motorcycle, and then had to fit himself into a rigid corporate culture previously unknown to the Englishtown track manager. The championship winning racer, usually outpacing his teammate. The confident racer, consummate corporate man, and respected V&H representative.

And now with this fourth championship in his trophy case, a new, more relaxed, loose, and humorous Eddie Krawiec than I’ve ever seen. Watch the interview video in the Eatmyink Facebook group and you’ll see what I mean.
“It’s good to be back out racing,” Krawiec stated. “We pretty much started right where we left off and that’s our motive heading into these next couple races. We really didn’t change anything from Pomona on our motorcycles so we could come here to be fresh and ready.”
Denso spark plugs shows off Angie Smith’s new livery as they announce the formation of a 200 mph club for PSM and a $10,000 prize….
….which NGK-equipped Hector Arana Jr promptly went out and took. More about this in a separate article.
Steve Johnson sits in 6th, just behind his new team owner Jerry Savoie

 

Former WAR rider LE Tonglet had to borrow a motor from Freddie Camarena and sits 14th with a 6.93
Ryan Oehler—shown here alongside ROY rival Kelly Clontz—made his first ever 6.80 pass, an .88 in Q2 good for 8th in the order.

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