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Sovereign-Star Racing Team closing in on competition

Team takes home Full Throttle Hard-Working Crew Award

Racer John Hall advanced to the Sovereign-Star Racing team's first semifinals round of the NHRA Full Throttle season. He also moved up one spot to No. 11 in the overall point standings.

AMERICUS, Ga. – The Sovereign-Star Racing Team continued their forward progress this season by advancing to the semifinals and moving both drivers up in the points standings this weekend at the Lucas Oil NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Nationals in Brainerd, Minn.

The team’s racers, John Hall and Scotty Pollacheck, were able to qualify both bikes in the top half of the field at Brainerd International Raceway.

“I went out there Friday with a clear mind, without trying to change things. When you go out there like that it works out well until you go back to the trailer and look at the numbers. Then, sometimes you decide to try something different and it screws you up. When you try to throw thinking in there with driving it can throw you off a little bit, which is what happened to me on Saturday,” Hall said.

Pollacheck and Hall were able to maintain their good qualifying positions at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively, despite some complications during Saturday’s qualifying rounds.

“Our racers both had beautiful laps on Friday and Sunday,” Star Racing owner George Bryce said. “On Saturday, we just kept breaking things on Scotty’s bike because we had gotten new parts. We finally got it figured out for Sunday, and we’re catching the other teams for sure! Both of our guys drove really well on Sunday; they both had great lights.”

Driver Scotty Pollacheck made the team's quickest pass of the Brainerd race weekend with his 6.922-second pass against Steve Johnson to win Round 1.

As the teammates went into Round 1 Eliminations on Sunday, Hall took the win against Michael Ray. Pollacheck ran the team’s best time of the weekend with a 6.922-second pass against Steve Johnson, who he has also defeated in two other rounds this season.

“That’s the third time that we’ve faced each other. The first time was Gainesville and also in Denver. He was running well this weekend too, so he was hot on our heels,” Pollacheck said of Johnson.

Hall later claimed his and the team’s first Round 2 win of the season with a great reaction time of .008 seconds against Michael Phillips. In Round 2, Pollacheck couldn’t outrun Andrew Hines on his double overhead cam Harley-Davidson.

Hall then advanced to the Sovereign-Star Racing Team’s first semifinals of the season to face Eddie Kraweic, also of the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines team. Kraweic took the win against Hall and went on to also win the event after Hector Arana Jr. fouled against him in the final round.

“It was a great weekend for us. There were several firsts for us this weekend: our first semifinal round of the year; first time that both bikes were qualified in the top eight; first time both drivers had lane choice in the first round; and the first time we ran that close to the competition. Both drivers left first on everybody they raced,” Bryce said.

“Basically, we stayed with our game plan. We went rounds, and we got points. That’s what we went in there to do, and that’s what we did. We need to carry that over into Indy – do it all over again and hopefully come out with the same results,” Hall said.

Following their successful Brainerd weekend, the Sovereign-Star Racing teammates both advanced one spot in the Full Throttle NHRA season point standings. Pollacheck, who has been at No. 7, 8 or 9 most of the season, moved up to the No. 6 spot.

Hall moved up to No. 11, a position that the entire team hopes to see improve following the U.S. Nationals in two weeks when the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship begins.

“That’s the best position I’ve ever been,” Pollacheck said. “The cool thing about the points is that with both of us moving up, John’s really close now to getting into the top 10 – it’s definitely within reach.”

The Sovereign-Star Racing crew’s hard work was recognized off the track as well this weekend as they were presented with the Full Throttle Hard-Working Crew Award. ESPN’s NHRA telecast crew presents this honor to one team out of each of the four NHRA categories.

“Our guys really deserved that! We needed that because we’ve been working hard from Gainesville until now. We had to be the hardest working crew – especially to have only assembled everyone and started it all about two weeks before Gainesville. It’s definitely been a lot of hard work,” Hall said.

“That was definitely cool for the boys to win that for all their hard work this season,” Pollacheck said.

The team’s next race will be August 31 – September 3 at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Ind.

The 2012 Sovereign-Star Racing Team is a partnership between Georgia-based Star Racing and the Hungarian-based Sovereign Racing Team, the 2011 UEM European Pro Stock Bike Championship Team, owned by sugar distributor Jeno Rujp.

The Sovereign-Star Racing Team would like to thank the following sponsors: Sovereign, Star Racing, S&S Cycle, Daytona Sensors, Worldwide Bearings, CP Pistons, Permatex, Americus Motorsports Complex, Who’s Up Next?, and Quality Tire.

John Hall
Scotty Pollacheck

Star Racing Fast Facts:

  • Based in Americus, Georgia
  • Six-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Championships
  • 78 NHRA national event wins with nine different riders
  • Owned by George & Jackie Bryce

John Hall Fast Facts:

  • From: Hamden, Connecticut
  • Job: Real Estate Investor
  • Years in racing: 16

Sovereign Racing Team Fast Facts:

  • Based in Budapest, Hungary
  • 2011 European Championship Team with rider Jesper Thiel
  • Owned by Jeno Rujp

Scotty Pollacheck Fast Facts:

  • From: Medford, Oregon
  • Job: Owns “Quality Tire” store
  • Years in racing: 27


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