Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

POWERade Prophecies

Published on May 23, 2003 by   ·   No Comments

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After four rounds of racing, this year’s NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Bike series has produced three different winners and five different finalists. The class displayed incredible parity and set a new record for the quickest field in the history of the sport.  In fact the record was shattered twice this season, with bump spots of 7.26 in Houston and 7.20 in Englishtown.  This is by far the most competitive season ever and several drivers have a legitimate shot at the number-one plate. With only 79 championship points separating positions one through five and 11 races left to go, things should get very interesting down the stretch.  Let’s meet the players and analyze their current status in the championship quest.

Geno Scali
Current Rank – 1st, * Defending 2002 number-six plate holder
2003 Highlights – Atlanta winner, number-one qualifier at Houston
Downfall – two red-light loses

The season so far –

“For a first year team we are doing great,” Scali said.  “We have a lot of dedicated sponsors with us this year and some helpful associate sponsors that have stayed with me through the years.  Without the sponsors we would not have done so well.  It’s all about teamwork and everything is coming together.”

What it will take to win the championship –

“Testing; because we are a new team and we have been busy with things like shooting commercials and getting the truck and trailer lettered, we have not even had time to test,” Scali said.  “This Vance & Hines power and gear ratios are so much different that the Rick Ward Kawasaki I ran last year and the Greg Cope Suzuki I ran a few years back.  When we get time to test and really learn the new motor I think we will step-it-up.”

Shawn Gann
Current Rank – 2nd (-24), * Defending 2002 number-six plate holder
2003 Highlights – Englishtown winner, Atlanta semi-finalist
Downfall – two second-round loses

The season so far –

“We were looking for horsepower all winter and I think we finally found it,” Gann said.  “We are off to a great start and are focused on the top spot. I have lost 15 pounds from the start of the season and it has showed in our performances.  All I eat is one salad a day.”

What it will take to win the championship –

“To get the number-one plate it’s going to take consistent final round appearances, bottom line,” Gann said.  “We need to keep running strong, and a little luck won’t hurt either.”

Angelle Savoie
Current Rank – 3rd (-26), * 2002 series champion
2003 Highlights – Won the first two races
Downfall – first round loser at each of the last two races

The season so far –

“I was not sure what to expect switching from the only team I have ever raced with,” Savoie said.  “Everything has gone great with Team 23. We are in the groove and I am enjoying myself so much I can’t believe it.”

What it will take to win the championship –

“A major sponsor would help us out tremendously in the points race,” Savoie said.  “It is very frustrating that we do not have a sponsor yet because I feel like, what more do we have to offer?  Some people say you don’t have to win as long as you are marketable.  Well, we are marketable and we are winning.”

Antron Brown
Current Rank – 4th  (-29), * Defending 2002 number-four plate holder
2003 Highlights – First round winner at every event, Atlanta runner-up
Downfall – two red-light losses

The season so far –

“We have had some great races so far,” Brown said.  “We have Angelle Savoie on our team now and she is a three-time champion, so I am learning a great deal from her.  She is rubbing off on me and I am starting to learn the champion’s train of thought.”

What it will take to win the championship –

“We are concentrating on staying poised and focused,” Brown said.  “We take it one run at a time, one race at a time.  We will also need a strong engine program and so far this year our crew chief Mark Pieser has done great.”

Craig Treble
Current Rank – 5th (-73), * 2002 series runner-up
2003 Highlights – Runner-up in Houston and Englishtown
Downfall – Failed to qualify in Atlanta, first round loss in Gainesville

The season so far –

“The bike is running really strong,” Treble said.  “The LED lights have given me some trouble.  We have actually had to slow the bike down off the line to keep me from bulbing, which really stinks. I thought you were supposed to get rewarded for good reflexes.”

What it will take to win the championship –

“Without a doubt it will take consistency,” Treble said. “A lot of teams out here tend to hop-skip around and we can’t do that.  I am going to continue bracket racing to stay sharp and hopefully my experience will shine through for us.”

Reggie Showers
Current Rank – 6th (-116), * Defending 2002 number-seven plate holder
2003 Highlights – Semifinalist in Englishtown
Downfall – first-round loser in Gainesville

The season so far –

“This season has been nothing but improvement,” Showers said.  “It was a really hard decision initially, to switch from Vance & Hines to Star power.  It was a business decision and I needed help.  George Bryce has been an incredible teacher and coach, and he has actually changed me into to a much better rider, racer, and person.”

What it will take to win the championship –

“The hard work and focus is already there,” Showers said.  “I think it will just take some time and everything will click.  I have lost 14 pounds already this year.  I have been working really hard in the gym and George has been working hard on the motors.  I want to concentrate on racing my lane and not my competition.”

Mike Berry
Current Rank – 7th (-138), * Defending 2002 number-eight plate holder
2003 Highlights – Semifinalist in Gainesville
Downfall – three red-light loses

The season so far –

“We have ran into a few mechanical problems this year and I have had a little trouble with the new lights,” Berry said.  “We are running a brand new bike so we are still learning every race.”

What it will take to win the championship –

“We are going to have to run teens at just about every track to stay competitive,” Berry said.  “I think we can do that with a little more testing.   Our problem is just lack of laps.  We will have to be right on top of our game this season.  It used to be that we could come out and miss the tune-up a little and still be in the top-ten.  This year is way different, it is a lot more competitive.”

Andrew Hines
Current Rank – 8th (-161)
2003 Highlights – Recorded the quickest elapsed-time ever for a Pro Stock Harley
Downfall – failed to qualify in Englishtown

The season so far –

“We are very happy to have put the Harley in the show three times,” Hines said.  “The Harley is a very wild ride compared to the Suzuki I rode last year.  It’s louder, it carries the front-end further, it shakes more, it’s less aerodynamic, and it has more power.”

What it will take to win the championship –
“We will not be fully satisfied until we can qualify both Harleys at every event,” Hines said.  “The competition is so close we feel like if we can make the field we have a shot to win.”

“Fast” Freddy Collis
Current Rank – 9th (-172)
2003 Highlights – Qualified in the top ten at every event, 2nd at Englishtown.
Downfall – has lost every race on the line
The season so far –

“We are off to a slow start this season,” Collis said. “We are a brand new team and we are slowly gelling.  I think a win will be coming up our alley very soon.”

What it will take to win the championship –

“To win I will have to do my job perfectly,” Collis said.  “I am always looking for that perfect run.  I have got to cut a good light, shift on-time, and go straight.  The competition is fierce but we are up to the challenge.”

Karen Stoffer
Current Rank – 10th  (-179)
2003 Highlights – Semifinalist at Houston
Downfall – failed to qualify in Gainesville

The season so far –

“Overall we are very pleased with the start of the season,” Stoffer said. “We struggled down in Gainesville with a set-up problem, but figured it out the very next day after the race.  Houston was great and I think we will continue to elevate our performance.  Greg Cope makes a ton of power for me.”

What it will take to win the championship –

“I think testing is key for us to continue to perform well,” Stoffer said.  “So far we have improved every weekend and we will need to continue to do so.  I want to run in the 7-0s at every race.”

Along with racing towards the NHRA POWERade championship, competitors are striving to be the first to break into the six-second zone. Mickey Thompson Tires has put up $10,000 to be given out to the rider that posts the category’s first official six-second pass at an NHRA race.  With the rising cost of motors and racing components, the extra money could have a significant bearing on who wins the championship.  Keep an eye on the NHRA two-wheelers as the competitiveness will continue to heat-up this summer.

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