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Tuneups slow Sovereign-Star Racing Team


 

AMERICUS, Ga. – The Sovereign-Star Racing Team’s hopeful attitude going into last weekend’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago, Ill., was slightly diluted as the crew struggled to find consistency in their Pro Stock Motorcycle tuneups.

"We started off pretty good on Friday, but by Saturday afternoon we had tuned ourselves right out of the show," Star Racing owner George Bryce said.

The Sovereign-Star Racing drivers, John Hall and Scotty Pollacheck, had difficulty during qualifying. Despite being out of the field after Friday’s qualifying rounds, Pollacheck managed to squeeze back in at No. 15 with his 7.068 run on Saturday.

“Qualifying was a huge struggle. We had new stuff that we were trying on the bikes and it definitely didn’t go as planned,” Pollacheck said. “It came down to the final qualifying session before I made it in.”

Hall’s 7.061 run on Friday wasn’t enough to keep him in the field, and Saturday’s tuning issues kept him from getting the numbers to qualify during the two final rounds.

Hall said, “We were qualified but we got bumped out of the top 12 Friday by mile per hour when Mike Berry took the 12th spot from us. If not for that, my 7.061 run would have been enough to get in the show. Then, we were chasing a tuneup Saturday, so we didn’t make it in the field. The good news is that they made a tuneup on Scotty’s bike that helped it run better on Sunday, so I think we’ll be alright for (the NHRA Nationals in) Ohio.”

In Round 1 Eliminations on Sunday, Pollacheck faced Andrew Hines on his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. Hines led at the green, but Pollacheck caught him by the 60-foot. Pollacheck’s efforts didn’t hold out, though, ending with a 7.007 run against Hines’ 6.934. Hines went on to win the event after LE Tonglet went red against him in the finals.

“After looking at qualifying results, we decided we needed to change everything back on the bikes, which got us back on the right track Sunday,” Pollacheck said. “We knew we were in a huge underdog position with (Hines) being the No. 2 Qualifier, but we just concentrated on making the bike faster and doing the best we could. I think we definitely took a big step in right direction with that Sunday run, so we were back where we needed to be.”

The Sovereign-Star Racing drivers went from running mid to low 6.90s at Englishtown, N.J., in early June to this weekend’s average of low 7.000s.

“We’re not used to being out of (the field) on Saturday, so our main focus was getting qualified,” Hall said. “We were just taking it round by round. Hopefully, for Ohio we won’t have this problem and we can try some new things on Saturday.”

Team co-owner Bryce said, “We made a lot of mistakes on the tuning of the bikes and learned a bunch. The decisions made and experiments tried just did not show us the gains needed. The great news is that we worked through all of it, found our way and made the run we should have been running on Sunday.

“So, we took all of the new stuff out, fixed the mistakes I made and put everything back to ‘normal’ and made the sixth quickest run of the first round. We will put the same package and strategy into John's bike for this Friday at the (Summit Racing Equipment) NHRA Nationals and get both bikes to improve a ton.”

According to the NHRA Point Standings, Pollacheck now sits at the No. 9 spot for the season, with Hall right behind him at No. 12.

“Scotty and John made their best runs as far as drivers since we have started the season. They both looked and drove great. I even got several comments from people that they ‘sure have improved.’ So, I’m very happy with the progress they’ve made,” Bryce said.

The Sovereign-Star Racing Team will compete in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals July 6-8 at the Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

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

 

Television Coverage:

Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals

July 6-8, Summit Motorsports Park, Norwalk, Ohio

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

Eliminations: July 8 from 8-11 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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