ENNIS, TX – October 13, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Starting the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship with a first-round loss is usually not an ideal recipe to winning a world championship.
It’s the exact scenario Pro Stock Motorcycle standout Eddie Krawiec was faced with, but the three-time world champion has recovered in impressive fashion. He won the most recent race at Maple Grove Raceway, surging to just 38 points behind teammate and points leader Andrew Hines, and will look to keep that momentum going at this weekend’s 31st annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex.
“We had that bad race early on and hopefully we’ve shown we can recover from that,” said Krawiec, who has four wins in 2016. “The key is just to stay consistent. We’ve left a lot on the plate and could be in a better position, but I have a saying that after the race you move onto the next one no matter what. If you think about yesterday, you’re not focused on tomorrow. You need to learn from your mistakes and if you can do that, you’re only going to become that much better.”
Richie Crampton (Top Fuel), Del Worsham (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were winners of last year’s event that will air on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) for the first time. On Sunday, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage starting at 2 p.m. (ET). It is the fourth of six races in the Countdown to the Championship and Krawiec has recovered nicely from his slow start.
The first-round loss was the first of the season for Krawiec, who started the year with nine straight trips to the semifinals or better on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. That kept him in first place for the majority of the regular season, falling to second after the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
But as the likes of Savoie, Chip Ellis and three-time world champion Angelle Sampey faltered early at Maple Grove Raceway, Krawiec turned in one of his best performances of the season, knocking off rookie Cory Reed to jump back in championship contention.
“One thing you have to do is be consistent and we were great at that during the beginning of the year,” said Krawiec, who has 35 career victories. “Everyone has picked up and there’s so many good motorcycles in this class. When you get in these types of situations, you have to be able to take advantage when one is presented to you. If you can’t, you’re going to be in trouble.”
Tracking down teammate Hines, who has five wins in 2016 and is after a third straight world title, will be difficult, but Krawiec is up for the challenge. The team spent the week off before Dallas searching for more horsepower and Krawiec is excited to see the end result at the Texas Motorplex. Ellis, Sampey and Savoie all remain within striking distance, but Krawiec has always preferred these high-pressure situations.
“Personally, I like the pressure,” Krawiec said. “I feel like I perform well under pressure and I would rather be in those situations. I know what I have to do in these races and I try to stay focused on what’s in front of me.
“My mindset is no different than any other race. I want to go there and win. We’ve got good momentum behind me, so there’s no reason to try to change things up. We’re trying to be a little more consistent and I think we’re onto some things.”
Defending Top Fuel event winner Crampton is seeking his first win of 2016. Everyone is chasing points leader and defending world champ Antron Brown, who has two wins during the Countdown and holds a 77-point lead over Doug Kalitta.
Worsham’s win a year ago helped propel him to his first Funny Car world title, but Ron Capps remains the points leader. Tommy Johnson Jr. closed to just 24 points back of Capps after his victory at Maple Grove Raceway.
Dominating the new era of Pro Stock is points leader Jason Line and Greg Anderson. Line has eight wins and has a 45-point lead on Anderson, who has seven wins in 2016.
The AAA Texas NHRA Nationals will also feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 4:15 and 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 12:45 and 3:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call 800-668-6775. Tickets also are available online at www.texasmotorplex.com. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. For more info, visit www.NHRA.com.
AAA TEXAS NHRA FALLNATIONALS
WHAT: 31st annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, the 22nd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the fourth of six races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.
WHERE: Texas Motorplex, Ennis, Texas. The track is located at 7500 W. Highway 287.
COURSE: Championship drag strip; Track elevation is 500 feet above sea level; Track direction is southwest to northeast.
WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 13-16
THURSDAY, Oct. 13 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
FRIDAY, Oct. 14 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 4:15 and 7:15 p.m.
SATURDAY, Oct. 15 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 12:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
SUNDAY, Oct. 16 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
Friday Oct. 14, FS1 will televise one hour of live qualifying coverage at 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Sunday Oct. 16, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 1 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, Oct. 16, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage starting at 2 p.m. (ET).
2015 EVENT WINNERS:
Richie Crampton, Top Fuel; Del Worsham, Funny Car; Erica Enders, Pro Stock; Jerry Savoie, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
John Force, FC, 7; Tony Schumacher, TF, 6; Warren Johnson, PS, 5; Cruz Pedregon, FC, 4; Greg Anderson, PS, 4.
Top Fuel – 3.705 sec. by Richie Crampton, Oct. ’15; 329.18 mph by Dave Connolly, Oct. ’15
Funny Car – 3.909 sec. and 326.32 mph by Jack Beckman, Oct. ’15
Pro Stock – 6.457 sec. and 214.59 mph by Greg Anderson, Oct. ’15
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.744 sec. and 198.99 mph by Jerry Savoie, Oct. ’15
Top Fuel – 3.671 sec. by Steve Torrence, July ’16, Sonoma, Calif.; 332.75 mph by Spencer Massey, Aug. ’15, Brainerd, Minn.
Funny Car – 3.822 by Matt Hagan, Aug. ’16, Brainerd, Minn.; 335.57 mph by Hagan, May ’16, Topeka, Kan.
Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.; 215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ‘14, Englishtown N.J.
PS Motorcycle – 6.728 sec. by Andrew Hines, Oct. ’12, Reading, Pa.; 199.88 mph by Hector Arana Jr., March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.
TICKETS: For tickets call (800) 668-6775. Tickets are also available at www.texasmotorplex.com.
GLENDORA, CA — Points standings (top 10) following the 32nd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, the 21st of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –
1. Antron Brown, 2,377; 2. Doug Kalitta, 2,300; 3. Brittany Force, 2,259; 4. Shawn Langdon, 2,258; 5. Tony Schumacher, 2,236; 6. Steve Torrence, 2,214; 7. Leah Pritchett, 2,188; 8. J.R. Todd, 2,183; 9. Richie Crampton, 2,159; 10. Clay Millican, 2,136.
1. Ron Capps, 2,368; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., 2,344; 3. Jack Beckman, 2,275; 4. Matt Hagan, 2,258; 5. Del Worsham, 2,246; 6. John Force, 2,230; 7. Tim Wilkerson, 2,196; 8. Robert Hight, 2,193; 9. Courtney Force, 2,182; 10. Alexis DeJoria, 2,099.
1. Jason Line, 2,389; 2. Greg Anderson, 2,344; 3. Vincent Nobile, 2,306; 4. Bo Butner, 2,256; 5. Shane Gray, 2,242; 6. Chris McGaha, 2,189; 7. Allen Johnson, 2,160; 8. Drew Skillman, 2,157; 9. Jeg Coughlin, 2,115; 10. Erica Enders, 2,104.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
1. Andrew Hines, 2,341; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 2,303; 3. Angelle Sampey, 2,289; 4. Chip Ellis, 2,274; 5. Jerry Savoie, 2,271; 6. LE Tonglet, 2,215; 7. Cory Reed, 2,196; 8. Hector Arana, 2,159; 9. Matt Smith, 2,150; 10. Hector Arana Jr, 2,149.
About National Hot Rod Association
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 23 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Source: National Hot Rod Association