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Sovereign-Star Racing taking it one run at a time at Indy

John Hall & Scotty PollacheckAMERICUS, Ga. – The upcoming National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Ind., may prove to be the most important race of the season for the Sovereign-Star Racing Team and their rookie drivers, Scotty Pollacheck and John Hall, as they try to secure their places in the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship.

The long Labor Day weekend at Indy is always the final race in the NHRA regular season before the Countdown to the Championship begins. The Countdown only advances the top 10 drivers in each class and resets their points to within 10 of one another, except for the points leader’s 30-point advantage over second place. These 10 drivers then compete for the Full Throttle World Championship during the season’s final six races.

With Pollacheck sitting comfortably in the No. 6 spot in the points standings and Hall in the No. 11 spot, the Sovereign-Star Racing team is focusing on good tuneups, clear minds and clean passes this weekend in the hopes that the points will follow.

“Typically, Indy has been good to us in the past,” Star Racing owner George Bryce said. “The fans, the media and the racers try to make it a really, really big deal. The points are the same as the previous races. In order to get points, you’ve got to tune good and you’ve got to drive good. And even though we’ve been doing it for 30 years, we can still only make one run at a time.”

“I just hope to carry over the momentum from Brainerd and keep the forward progress going,” Hall said. “And if we get the same results, then we’ll hopefully be in the Countdown. I’m not putting too much thought into it because we can only control what we do and there are others looking to get in just like us.”

“I feel like the team is on an upswing and that we keep progressing and doing better at every race,” Pollacheck said. “So, I think we’re going to continue that. I’m really upbeat about this weekend at Indy.”

In the midst of the biggest NHRA race weekend of the year, Bryce will continue to focus his drivers on making each pass count.

“What I’ll endeavor to do with my rookies at their first Indy race is to continue to remind them that the only run that counts is the next one. We try to turn the volume down, turn the pressure down and just concentrate on the run at hand. We try to tune the bikes well, drive well and learn from each run. The team that does all of this the best by the end of the weekend will have the most points,” Bryce said.

“You just have to concentrate on what you know how to do and then go out there with a clear head, stay relaxed and get it done,” Hall said. “Now I go out there with the same mentality as when we’re testing in Valdosta. George drove it into my head to just act like we’re testing – no one in the stands, no one to compete against and all I’m concentrating on is getting a good time slip that I can be proud of.”

No matter how the weekend goes, the teammates both feel that they’ve accomplished a great deal so far during their rookie seasons.

“I had a little list of goals in mind for the season, and one of the things was just to be able to say that I could go out there and do it and actually be competitive in that field,” Pollacheck said. “I feel like we’ve accomplished both of those things already. Another goal, of course, was to win a Wally, which hasn’t happened yet but we still have plenty more chances. It would be nice to check that one off the list.”

“In the beginning of the season, I was just going race by race hoping that I would make George and the guys proud and make all of us look good. I never doubted that I could do it, but it’s nice to look back now and feel like we’ve really improved throughout the season,” Hall said.

For the most part, Indy will be just another race weekend for the Sovereign-Star Racing team as they concentrate on what they’ve been doing for the past 30 years.

“The race goals are always the same. We have to work really hard here at the shop to prepare. When the truck gets loaded and leaves on time, that’s a beautiful thing. After everyone gets to the track, the pit is set up and both bikes are teched in, it’s another minor victory. Then comes the long process of qualifying and finding just the right tuneups for both bikes to get an edge on the competition. All of that is hard enough to do without having to worry about one driver being in the Countdown and the other is not,” 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:

Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus

August 29 - September 3

Indianapolis, Ind.

Qualifying: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 2 (ESPN2)

Qualifying: 5 – 7 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 2 (ESPN2)

Eliminations: 12 – 6 p.m. ET Monday, Sept. 3 (ESPN2)

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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