In a complete role reversal from the norm, the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle division has been at the forefront of the headlines over the last week for two different yet very closely related reasons. Following Eddie Krawiec’s 200.08 MPH blast during testing last week in South Georgia, all eyes were on the reigning two-wheeled champion at the divisions’ season opener in Gainesville as he stood on the cusp of shattering perhaps the last great major performance barrier in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
The Vance & Hines team rider came up short in his bid for the double century mark at the Gators, but what he did accomplish stirred the proverbial pot in an already volatile category.
The Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines machine garnered the single highest weekend points total in class history, capturing the maximum number of qualifying bonus points, out-qualifying the rest of the field by more than .06-seconds, setting a new national record of 6.750 seconds, and storming through the field to meet Screamin’ Eagle Harley Davidson teammate Andrew Hines in the final.
The outspoken George Bryce, a multi-time NHRA championship-winning team owner, engine builder, and tuner, immediately took to a number of media outlets to voice his displeasure with the current state of Pro Stock Motorcycle, citing concerns over parity within the class. Bryce was quoted in one interview stating his belief that the Harley Davidson engines have upwards of a 50 horsepower advantage over their counterparts. This certainly isn’t a new topic, but it’s gotten plenty of publicity this week.
In the strongest response yet to the parity issue in the category, it’s being reported by Motorcycle Street & Strip Magazine that 2010 class champion LE Tonglet and Nitro Fish owner Kenny Koretsky have parted ways, citing the great disparity in the division. Tonglet has confirmed the news via his Twitter account.
Per MS&S, it became obvious to Korestsky that the top-flight power that the Tonglet’s have been able to produce isn’t enough to overcome the lack of parity in the class, making the chances of winning a virtually insurmountable task.
Said Koretsky, “Let me start by saying that this was no easy decision to make. I believe in the abilities of LE Tonglet and his family 110 percent. To me, LE is the best rider in NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing, but in these hard economic times, I need to be smart with my money.”
“Even the best riders cannot overcome the current separation of parity that now exists between the three manufacturer brands in PSM. For this reason alone, I have regretfully decided to immediately cease all support for LE and his Family.”
“I hope that this very unfair and unfortunate non-parity situation can be resolved sometime in the near future so Nitro Fish can reconsider its position on this matter.”