A dominant and incredible regular season was one to remember for relative Pro Stock Motorcycle newcomer Gaige Herrera. Now, the second-year rider hopes to enjoy the same success in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship, which opened at this past weekend’s 38th annual Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
It’s the first appearance in the Countdown to the Championship for Herrera, but the points leader seems eager to embrace the challenge on his Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki. His points lead will be 29 points over reigning world champion Matt Smith to open the six-race playoff, with a host of talented riders close behind.
Herrera, though, has plenty of confidence, thanks in part to a standout season that has included six victories in nine Pro Stock Motorcycle races thus far and eight No. 1 qualifiers. With the challenges only getting bigger starting this weekend in Reading, Herrera hopes to take his own performance up a notch.
“Going into the Countdown, I’m really excited for it,” Herrera said. “I’ve had an incredible season so far and I think the playoffs are going to be awesome. We’ve had a stellar season to this point and I always love close competition, which is what’s going to happen in the Countdown. But it’s also going to light a fire under me and help me push harder, so I’m really looking forward to it. I’m just out there having a lot of fun and I think that helps me a lot as well.”
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