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Sovereign-Star Racing team getting back to basics at Sonoma


Michael Ray and his Sovereign-Star Racing team are getting “back to basics” as they head into the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma, Calif.
Sovereign-Star Racing driver Scotty Pollacheck is looking for his first national event win at Sonoma as the regular season winds down with only two races left before the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship begins.

AMERICUS, Ga. – With only two races left for the Pro Stock Motorcycle class before the NHRA Mello Yello Series Countdown to the Championship begins, the Sovereign-Star Racing team is ready to get back to normal, sea level racing at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., after a challenging weekend at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver, Colo.

“We were humbled a little bit by our lack of performance at Denver, but it’s just one of those wild-card races where anything can happen. The great thing about it is we don’t have to go home and lick our wounds before we go out and race again at Sonoma this weekend. We didn’t blow up any engines or break any parts at Denver, so we think the bikes will be ready to go really fast when we’re back at sea level in Sonoma,” Star Racing owner George Bryce said.

The teammates, Michael Ray and Scotty Pollacheck, have claimed two NHRA national event wins, three other final round appearances, two No. 1 qualifying positions, two low ETs for the event, and a new track speed record for the Sovereign-Star Racing team so far this season.

“I think we’re kind of getting into the groove, and we’re just practicing for the Countdown. We’re learning, improving and gearing up for that. The bikes are getting better all the time. If we just keep everything moving forward like we have been, I think we’ll be good and ready for the Countdown when it starts,” Pollacheck said.

Pollacheck and Ray are hoping that a good performance this weekend July 26-28 at the Sonoma Nationals will give them a chance to earn some extra points towards the Countdown before heading into the final race of the regular season at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Ind.

“George (Bryce) said it best when he said, ‘If we leave the line first, drive the best and get the best ET every time, then the points will follow.’ That’s what I want to focus on now, especially after Scotty and I both had such a crazy weekend at Denver with both of us going out first round. We just really want to get back to basics and then sit back and let everyone else worry about the Countdown,” Ray said.

The Sovereign-Star Racing teammates have remained in the top 6 competitors of the Countdown to the Championship for the past five races. After winning at Englishtown and Chicago, Ray has held onto his No. 2 position in the points standings for the past three races. Pollacheck is currently at the No. 5 spot with only 11 points, or less than one round, between himself and No. 4 John Hall.

Sonoma also presents another motivation for Pollacheck to do well, since he considers Sonoma Raceway one of his hometown tracks. It is the only racetrack on the NHRA Mello Yello circuit that this Medford, Ore., resident can drive to and would make the perfect place for him to claim his first Pro Stock Motorcycle national event win.

The Sovereign-Star Racing teammates will compete this weekend July 26-28 at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., with television coverage beginning with qualifying sessions on ESPN from 7 – 9:30 p.m. (EST) Saturday, July27 and final eliminations on ESPN2 from 8 – 11 p.m. (EST) Sunday, July 28.

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

NHRA Sonoma Nationals

July 26-28 Sonoma, California

Qualifying 7 - 9:30 p.m. EST (ESPN) Saturday, July 27, 2013

Finals 8 - 11 p.m. EST (ESPN2) Sunday, July 28, 2013

Scotty Pollacheck Michael Ray



Star Racing Fast Facts:

  • Based in Americus, Georgia
  • Six-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Championships
  • 80 NHRA national event wins with 10 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


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