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Sovereign-Star Racing Team prepares for challenging schedule


John Hall
Scotty Pollacheck

AMERICUS, Ga. – The next five weeks will be especially challenging for the Sovereign-Star Racing Team as they prepare and field two Pro Stock motorcycles in the four upcoming races of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. The team will race this weekend at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries in Chicago, Ill.

During the past four weeks since the NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, the crew has made some significant improvements to the program to prepare for a demanding schedule taking them from Illinois to Ohio, then out to Colorado and California.

“This is our first back-to-back race where the truck and team leave and won’t come back for two races,” team co-owner George Bryce said. “We’re basically looking at four races in only five weeks, and from a preparation standpoint this could be a nightmare for our team or it could be our best advantage. We’ve ramped up our R&D efforts with the bikes to find more power and basically dynoed our butts off these past few weeks!”

The team’s two rookie racers, John Hall and Scotty Pollacheck, have qualified at every race, won four rounds in four races and remained consistently in the top 10 points standings. They are now looking to take their team to the next level.

“I think what we should be shooting for and thinking about is to be the fastest Buell out there,” Pollacheck said. “I don’t know what would happen with the Harley situation, but if we could be faster than the other Buells and Suzukis in the field, that would be making serious progress.”

Hall said, “Going rounds would be the next step because we haven’t been able to put a string of rounds together. Of course we want to win – that’s a given – but we also need to concentrate on the rounds and qualifying in the top half, which makes Sunday a little bit easier and puts you in a better position to win.”

The Sovereign-Star Racing Team kicks off a challenging five week schedule across the U.S. with this weekend’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago, Ill.

Both drivers think the Sovereign-Star Racing Team is headed in the right direction, but they also point out that consistency and small details can make the difference between winning and losing.

“We all need to be consistent in everything we’re doing– from the tuneup to driving the bike. We showed that we can be consistent at Englishtown, and we just need to continue that,” Hall said.

“I think we’re refining a couple of things at this point in the series,” Pollacheck said. “We’ve kind of changed the reaction time goal and the shift point goals a little bit as far as finer details of what rpm to shift at. All of those things are a natural progression of getting better and getting used to the bike.”

Although the team is focusing on this weekend’s race in Chicago, the crew is prepared for the intense five weeks ahead of them.

“I’m glad that we get to do two weekends in a row again,” Pollacheck said. “Having four races in five weeks might be a little tough, though. We definitely haven’t done that yet; so, we’ll see how it goes.”

Bryce, owner of Star Racing, points out that this tight schedule is intensified when fielding two motorcycles instead of one.

“What’s really challenging about this is that we’re ‘double dipping’ with two bikes, two races, double the fun, double the money, double the effort. Everything’s times two. We’re developing two rookies, two engine programs and two motorcycles at the same time,” he said.

“Star Racing’s engine development goals are to show up at each race this year with more power – and that’s what we’ve been doing. When you get close to running 6.80s the improvements seem to be harder to find than when you’re running 7.00s. So, everything we try doesn’t always gain performance, but we are trying a lot of things! I’m even bringing stuff on the airplane with me to Chicago. The team goals are for all of us to become more familiar with the process required to make great laps and to go faster every race,” Bryce said.

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.

Television Coverage:

O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries

June 28-July 1 Chicago, Ill.

Qualifying: June 30 from 6-7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Eliminations: July 1 from 6-9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

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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