Nine days after his stunning Pro Stock Motorcycle victory at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals – NHRA’s preeminent event at Indianapolis – newcomer LE Tonglet marveled at what it meant to his family’s race team.
“When we went to our first race of the year at Gainesville,” he recalled, “we were just hoping to qualify. My dad said when we started that we would probably go to just a few races, but then I went to the finals at St. Louis. And then I won at Chicago and it really pumped up my dad.”
Gary Tonglet was able to turn his son’s winnings into enough parts and pieces to keep their Tonglet Racing Suzuki competitive at ensuing races. He also made a crucial call prior to the last event when he changed motors. “We picked up a new motor on Wednesday before the race, put it in Thursday at Indy and ran it Friday,” LE noted.
That motor ran was stellar all weekend and propelled LE to his quickest elapsed time (6.869 seconds) and fastest quarter-mile speed (195.22 mph) in his title-round win over Andrew Hines, the No. 1 qualifier and series points leader. It also elevated Tonglet from seventh to second place in NHRA’s Countdown to 1 title playoffs. The performance caught the eye of entrepreneur Kenny Koretsky and two days later LE joined the Nitro Fish team. He is now preparing to show off the new paint scheme on his Nitro Fish Suzuki Friday when the O’Reilly Auto Parts Nationals begin at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C.
“We can’t thank Kenny enough for helping us,” said LE. “We are really excited to have his support. We are looking to go rounds this weekend and go really fast. We showed we have a bike that is quick enough to win the championship. If it runs like it did at Indy, then we should be alright.”
Tonglet trails Hines by 78 points going into the second of six Countdown to 1 races.
“Our goal is to go to the semifinals at each race and see what happens from there,” Tonglet said. “If we can do that, we should be a top three finisher.
“I don’t really know how to explain how incredible our season has been . . . considering where we started.”
The words may come easier should LE Tonglet’s amazing journey take him all the way to the championship.