Baytown: Two-wheel category heats up

BAYTOWN, Texas - Craig Treble has a lot of making up to do these days. After the Matco Suzuki rider finished second in the Pro Stock Bike standings in 2002, he was a front runner for the '03 NHRA POWERade championship. Treble didn't realize his...

BAYTOWN, Texas - Craig Treble has a lot of making up to do these days. After the Matco Suzuki rider finished second in the Pro Stock Bike standings in 2002, he was a front runner for the '03 NHRA POWERade championship.

Treble didn't realize his or anyone else's expectations. He claimed the last two race victories of the season, and finished fifth overall.

The '04 season kicked off without fireworks too. Treble qualified in the No. 10 spot at the season opener in Gainesville, Fla. before he lost to Mike Berry in the first round.

But don't count him out of the championship race yet. Treble is ready to make up for the '03 season starting at the 17th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park, April 15-18. The $1.9 million race is the fifth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series and the second of 15 events for the Pro Stock Bike category.

"I am very confident going into Houston. I promise a better performance from Gainesville," Treble said. "We've made a lot of test runs. We've made 22 test passes since we left Gainesville and I've competed in two bracket races. Every time we go testing, the numbers are stout. I don't know what happens on race day.

"We've made a bunch of changes and we finally figured out what happened to us in Gainesville. This bike has so much potential. The numbers are there."

The same people helping Treble develop more horsepower are the same people that look to be the biggest competition in the category. Treble gets his engines from Vance & Hines and he said the biggest threat to every race is on the other side of the shop. The Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team earned the first win of the season and Treble doesn't see riders Andrew Hines or GT Tonglet slowing down.

"Those Harleys are the ones to beat," Treble said. "They were more prepared than anyone else and now we are all trying to find a little more horsepower. (Crew chief) Byron Hines has been plugging away at this Harley program for three years and finally they are reaping the benefits. It's cool to see those things hauling so quickly like they are.

"I hope to be on one in the near future. I can't wait to plug high gear and see what those things are all about."

For now, however, Treble needs to get his Suzuki in race-day shape.

"We were off of our game in Gainesville but we have been working diligently," Treble said. "We had fresh motors, but unfortunately we had an electrical gremlin that took us a while to figure out. I think we've corrected that and a couple of other problems. We picked up a tenth in testing after making a couple of changes and that alone would have put us in the hunt. We'll be ready for Houston."

-nhra-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Berry , Craig Treble , Andrew Hines , GT Tonglet