Savoie Emerges Victorious at NHRA Final
Racers came into the final round of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock Motorcycle series at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California in a near three-way tie for the championship. What has proven to be an unpredictable season full of surprises had come down to the NHRA final round, but rather than the winner-take-all final that was expected, White Alligator Suzuki’s Jerry Savoie earned the crown after his two closest rivals, Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson teammates Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines, both lost in the second round. At that point, Savoie became the NHRA World Champion.
“I can’t believe it,” Savoie said. “I didn’t want to cry, but to only dream of winning one race and to come out here and put a deal together and the support of Vance & Hines and my crew and to win the championship, man. I went to church this morning and the message was encouragement and to get encouraged, and people inspire you. There is a God and he is watching, and I want to thank everybody. I don’t know what to say, but especially thank you to the fans. Without you guys, this would not be possible. You make our dreams come rue, and you guys are my family.”
The NHRA Final event win was still to play for, and Savoie gave it everything he had in the final, but he could not hold off Victory Gunner’s Matt Smith from taking his 18th career title, and the first win for the Victory brand in NHRA competition. Smith faced off against Star Buell’s Angelle Sampey in the final round, and coasted to victory after Sampey fould at the start. It marked Smith’s first win since the end of the 2013 season.
“You don’t realize how much you miss being in victory lane until you get back to victory lane,” Smith said. “To get a victory for Victory; I like saying that. Hopefully we can do more of that next year. I know we are going to have some teammates with Victory bikes next year, and I’m just glad we got to be the first to win a race with this bike.”
NHRA Final results: http://www.nhra.com/schedules/2016.aspx