2017 Denver NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Results

| July 24, 2017

2017 Denver NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Results – The question of how long will it would take for the Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team to get used to their new Street Rod bikes was answered this weekend when Eddie Krawiec rode the new machine to his 38th career NHRA victory at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver. After winning eight championships and 84 events with their tried and true V-Rods, the Vance & Hines team debuted the new Street Rod a month ago in Englishtown, N.J. and struggled to find both performance and consistency. In Denver, where the thin mountain air makes for some of the most challenging race conditions on the tour, Krawiec broke out in a big way when he qualified number one and then rode to his second win of the season on race day. In the final, Krawiec finished rode to a 7.145 pass at 188.28 to defeat Polaris Victory Magnum’s Matt Smith in the final round. After notching his 35th career number-one qualifier on Saturday, Krawiec earned the 38th win of his career.

2017 Denver NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Results

2017 Denver NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Results
Eddie Krawiec defeated Matt Smith in the final at Denver. Photography by NHRA

“We’ve gotten off to a slow start since we had to switch bikes, so we were behind in terms of figuring out the strengths of this new bike and how it works,” Krawiec said. “We really like where we are at currently, and we’re going to try and keep this momentum going on the West Coast.”

After qualifying in the top spot with a 7.178, just a thousandth of a second ahead of the Lucas Oil Buell of Hector Arana Jr., Krawiec defeated David Hope, Joey Gladstone and Scotty Pollacheck as he locked down his third final round appearance this season, but his first on the new machine. Krawiec went on to explain the thought process that led to the design and development of the all-new bike.

“We were kind of off to what I’d consider a very slow start,” Krawiec said. “Harley-Davidson came to us back in January and they told us they wanted to race a bike that they actually sell. They’d discontinued the V-Rod and came out with this all-new Street Rod. We designed and built them but we were a little behind the eight-ball. We only made a few runs [in testing] before we raced them in Englishtown and we stunk up the place. We had 15 years of data on our old bikes. We know its trends and they way it works and this new bike is a different animal. It’s a whole new chassis and a new body and we needed to learn how to make the bike work on all track conditions. Fortunately, we’ve had good success here in Denver and the bike responded once we got here.”

2017 Denver NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Results

Krawiec also noted that the team built a pair of special engines specifically to run at Bandimere Speedway, which sits at the base of the Rocky Mountains, 5800-feet above sea level.

“I’m not sure how many teams do it but we build a pair of Denver engines for our two bikes,” Krawiec said. “It’s only one race a year so it’s not the most cost effective thing to do but we needed to get our butts in gear and get out motorcycles figured out. I also have to mention that Matt [Hines, crew chief] spend an extra weekend in the shop getting these bikes dialed in. Matt and Andrew Hines and the rest of the guys in our shop deserve the credit for this. I’m just the luck guy who gets to ride the bike.”

Smith remains winless on the season but he’s far from discouraged. After qualifying number three on his new Victory Polaris Magnum entry, Smith defeated his wife, Angie, and then went on to score big wins over five-time champ Hines and reigning champ, Jerry Savoie’s White Alligator Suzuki to reach the second final of the season.

“I know our day is coming; it has to be,” Smith said. “We’ve made a lot of progress with this new Victory Polaris bike this year and we’ve been good enough to win the last two or three races. We’ve just had bad luck, mostly. I have to think our turn is coming soon.”

Not surprisingly, the Denver race was dominated by the Harley-Davidson, Victory, and Buell V-twin bikes largely because of their big displacement advantage over the smaller Suzuki engines. Nitro Fish Suzuki’s LE Tonglet came into Denver as the hottest rider in the class with four wins in the first six races, but he was ousted in the second round and teammate Jerry Savoie lost in the semi final round when he lost on a holeshot to Smith.

After racing at the slowest track on the tour, the Pro Stock Motorcycle teams will venture to one of the fastest when the tour moves to Sonoma Raceway next weekend. The Sonoma event will also be the site of the Mickey Thompsons Pro Bike Battle, a special invitation-only event for the top eight riders in the class that offers a $25,000 payout. CN

By Kevin McKenna

2017 Denver NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Results

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE FINAL

  1. Eddie Krawiec (H-D)
  2. Matt Smith (Pol)

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