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Sovereign-Star Racing returns for 2013 prepared and ready to race


Shown from left are No. 7 Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Scotty Pollacheck, Star Racing owner George Bryce, No. 8 driver Michael Ray, and Sovereign owner Jenõ Rujp.

AMERICUS, Ga. – After important driver announcements during the off-season, the Sovereign-Star Racing team is geared up and ready for their 2013 debut at the NHRA Gatornationals this weekend at the Auto Plus Raceway in Gainesville, Fla.

The team announced in early January that No. 8 Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Michael Ray would be joining No. 7 Scotty Pollacheck as the new Sovereign-Star Racing driver for the 2013 season. This was just one of the many changes that occurred for this team during the busy off-season as they worked to fine-tune their S&S Cycle V-Twin program while also beginning their own Suzuki development program and introducing 18-year-old rookie Chaz Kennedy as a potential third driver for a few races this year.

A whirlwind, but successful 2012 season and new partnership with the Hungarian Sovereign Racing Team re-launched George Bryce and his Star Racing team back onto the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle scene after a three year hiatus from the sport.

Bryce and his crew expect to start out 2013 right where they left off in Pomona last year and to build on what they learned throughout the season.

“The first difference between this year and last year is that we will be ready for the first race. Last year, for instance, was such an unorganized blur of newness for us and we were very unprepared. This season, our drivers are Top 10, seasoned racers instead of NHRA rookies. So, being prepared this year and having experienced drivers, we will see a much different looking team at the first race,” Bryce said.

Although the team’s attention is always on the big picture of winning Wallys and Championships, they also focus on making each pass count in order to make small, consistent improvements along the way.

“My main goal this year is to finally win a race, but my focus going into Gainesville is to get qualified, have a good time getting back into the swing of things and get used to making fast, straight, consistent laps,” Pollacheck said.

“My goals are pretty standard – to win as many events and as many rounds as we can to set us up for the Countdown and then make a championship run in the Countdown. I’m trying to stay focused on winning as many rounds as I can, and we’ll worry about the points when they stack up in Pomona,” said Ray, who broke the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines team’s 13-event winning streak last year with his first NHRA national win at the Dallas AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals.

One positive aspect of this new season is the NHRA rules change for the Pro Stock Motorcycle (PSM) class, which many believe will create a more level playing field for everyone.

“I think it’s going to make everybody a lot closer in performance which was a goal of mine, personally. And I know that NHRA made the right decision this time,” said Bryce, who was a big advocate of the much-needed changes last season.

Many of the PSM racers and crews are happy with the changes and excited about the new possibilities.

“I think the rules change is probably the best thing to happen to Pro Stock Motorcycle in years. Our class had gone away from what has made it exciting in the past, which was watching great drivers go out there and win races,” Ray said.

“Last year, there wasn’t a great deal of hope for most of the teams because they pretty much knew the Harleys would be the fastest out there. Those guys are still going to be fast and competitive, but now everyone else will feel like they have a chance that they didn’t have last year,” Pollacheck said.

Ray and Pollacheck will compete in their first national event as Sovereign-Star Racing teammates at the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals March 15-17 hosted by the Auto Plus Raceway in Gainesville, Fla.

The 2013 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 Jenõ Rujp.

The Sovereign-Star Racing Team would like to thank the following sponsors: Sovereign, Star Racing, Americus Motorsports Complex, S&S Cycle, Daytona Sensors, Worldwide Bearings, CP Pistons, Cometic Gaskets, Quality Tire, and Uncle Hal Gottspeed Racing.

Television Coverage

Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals

March 15-17 Gainesville, Fla.

3/17/13 Qualifying 1:30 - 3 a.m. ET (ESPN2)

3/17/13 Finals 7 - 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

3/17/13 Qualifying Re-air 8 - 9 a.m. ET (ESPN2)

Scotty Pollacheck Michael Ray



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

Sovereign Racing Team Fast Facts:

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

Scotty Pollacheck Fast Facts:

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

Michael Ray Fast Facts:

  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
  • Job: Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Salesman
  • Years in racing: 11

Chaz Kennedy Fast Facts:

  • From: Ormond Beach, Florida
  • Job: High School Student
  • Years in racing: 13




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