2018 Virginia NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Results – At the recent JEGS NHRA Nationals in Chicago, LE Tonglet lost the Pro Stock Motorcycle final to Matt Smith when he let his Nitro Fish Suzuki drift too close to the wall, forcing him to roll the throttle before the finish line. Tonglet, who is regarded as one of the most technically sound riders in the class, rarely makes such a mistake and when he does, he’s quick to own it. Seven days after his Chicago gaffe, Tonglet did, indeed, make good by beating Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson’s Andrew Hines in the final of the Virginia NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Nationals.
LE Tonglet Wins Virginia NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Nationals
“Last weekend I rode a terrible race in the final,” Tonglet said. “I told my crew that I was sorry. I said ‘This was on me. I’ll make it up to you. I promise.’ I came out here in Virginia and made very straight runs. I corrected the bike very early. Last week I let it drift over too far. I still don’t know what happened but told my guys It wasn’t going to happen again and that we were going to win this race.”
Tonglet got off the starting line first against five-time world champion Hines and maintained the lead to the finish line with a 6.841 elapsed time to Hines’ close 6.848. It was Tonglet’s first win of the 2018 season, and his first since rejoining Jerry Savoie’s White Alligator team after the season-opener in Gainesville, Fla.
“Anytime you race a Harley you know they’re going to be fast,” Tonglet said. “They made a bad run in the semi finals but they were fast. Before I ran Andrew, me and Tim [Kulungian, crew chief] and my brother, GT, talked in the trailer and said we need to repeat the 6.84 run that we made a round earlier and we came pretty damn close. We ran within a thousandth of a second of that run. Our bike is just flying and it’s fun to ride right now.”
“This [win] is going to show that last season wasn’t a fluke and we’re here to win every race that we go to. We had a bad run during the Countdown [playoffs] last year and were going to do a lot better this time. We have five or six very fast engines and we’re swapping them and getting data on all of them so at the last six races were’ not going to have a hiccup like we did last year.”
Tonglet struggled early at Virginia Motorsports Park, a track that had not hosted an NHRA national meet since the 2009 season and had not featured the Pro Stock Motorcycle class since 1998. Tonglet was the fifth-quickest qualifier in the field, well off the pace set by Lucas Oil EBR’s Hector Arana Jr. The only rider to run 0ver 200-mph in NHRA competition, Arana led the field with a track record 6.79-second run at over 199-mph. Tonglet’s best was a 6.858, and he was behind Arana, both factory Harley-Davidson’s and Chicago winner Matt Smith.
LE Tonglet Wins Virginia NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle
Tonglet faced his first test in round two when he faced Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson’s Eddie Krawiec and prevailed in a close 6.871 to 6.875 battle. He lowered the boom a round later when he surprised Arana Jr. with a 6.840 run, a performance he nearly repeated in the final round.
“Judging by each qualifying run and half of race day, we felt like we showed pretty much all we had,” Tonglet said. “Tim made a big adjustment and he went all in. He said we were either going to run fast or slow down a lot. It picked up and that was just a huge confidence booster, not just for this race but going into the next races. We’ve shown that we can run with anyone but we have to be absolutely perfect and we have to have the tune-up dead-on to run with those top guys.”
“In the final round against Andrew I told myself I had to run my own race,” Tonglet said. “I was .006 [reaction time] on the Tree. I wasn’t trying to do that but it worked out. Those Harley guys do bring out the best in us and this is a huge confidence booster.”
Despite the loss, Hines managed to enjoy one of his best outings of the year by riding his Street Rod to wins against Hector Arana Sr., Scotty Pollacheck, and Chicago champ Matt Smith, who red-lighted in the final four. With five of 16 rounds in the books, Hines maintains his points lead over teammate Krawiec while Tonglet has crept into third place, with Pollacheck and Arana Jr. rounding out the top five. The next NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle event will be held at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, June 21-24.
Virginia NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Results:
- LE Tonglet (Suz)
- Andrew Hines (H-D)
Results Link>> https://www.nhra.com/standings/2018/nhra-mello-yello-drag-racing-series/national-championships?tab=pro-stock-motorcycle