Chris Rivas rode the G2 Motorsports/Drag Specialties/S&S Cycle V- Twin from his first pole-qualifying position to his first career NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Motorcycle win today with a victory in the Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals here at Route 66 Raceway. The winning final round, in which his 7.051-second elapsed time (e.t.) at 185.43 miles per hour defeated Craig Treble’s 7.134 e.t. at 185.38 mph, capped a consistent series of elimination runs for the 41- year-old Fresno, Calif., native.
Rivas posted a 7.030-second, 184.50-mph lap to defeat Wesley Wells (7.215 seconds at 183.84 mph) in the first round of eliminations, then followed with a 7.063-second run at 184.7 mph to best Karen Stoffer (7.157 seconds at 185.54 mph) in round two before defeating Angelle Sampey in the semi-finals by running a 7.054-second at 186.74-mph lap against her 7.290-second at 185.05-mph lap.
“We ran great throughout the weekend,” he said. “From the second qualifying run Friday, we ran in the 7.0s in the next seven rounds. Big George Smith (crew chief) and the guys on the team gave me a great motorcycle, one we knew we had. Everything finally came together.” Smith agreed with Rivas citing execution and attention to detail by his entire team as the key.
“We had struggled in the first few races, fighting a variety of gremlins,” he said. “We finally put together the accumulated knowledge and experience from those races to get us here. Ken Johnson, Derrel Mullis, Derek Churchwell and George Bryce – the guys at the G2 Motorsports shop in Americus (Ga.) – did a lot of work and testing to get the motorcycle right.”
The final round against Treble also brought some history, according to Rivas. “Treble tried to play with me at the tree, but I knew what he was doing from years of racing each other in the old days,” he explained. “I didn’t let it bother me because I went into this event with confidence, knowing if I ran my own race, and did not react to who was running in the other lane, I would be fine.” The win jumped Rivas two spots in the 2008 POWERade Pro Stock Motorcycle championship to fifth place where his 309 points put him 173 behind the leader. A rider must be in the top 10 at the conclusion of the 12th race of the season to qualify for the five-race Countdown to the Championship, essentially the NHRA POWERade playoffs.
He looks forward to his 50th NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Motorcycle race in two weeks at the Lucas Oil SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township (N.J.) Raceway Park. “It’s about having fun; it’s supposed to be and if can’t have fun, why do it?” he said. “And winning is a lot of fun!”