Early Exit for Llewellyn in E-town Peggy Llewellyn and the Karl Klement NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing team had an admittedly lackluster weekend at the ProCare Rx Supernationals in Englishtown, New Jersey. One race after the team's first 6 ...
Early Exit for Llewellyn in E-town
Peggy Llewellyn and the Karl Klement NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing team had an admittedly lackluster weekend at the ProCare Rx Supernationals in Englishtown, New Jersey. One race after the team's first 6 second pass in Chicago, hopes were high for Llewellyn to qualify well and go deep in eliminations. Instead, qualifying was a litany of nagging disappointments for her and the team. By Saturday night, they felt lucky to be in the field at all.
"We have more power than we expected," said co-crew chief Shane Maloney, who indicated that he and fellow crew chief George Bryce weren't giving Peggy the clutch set-up she needed to get into the top half of the field on Friday.
On Saturday, an awkwardly swelling tire was blamed for Llewellyn's Buell making a move to the left off the starting line. "I thought it was something I was doing," said Peggy. "The first pass, the crosswind had a lot to do with it. The second pass, I thought 'Did I forget how to ride?' But one thing I'm working on is, when something happens, not to get down on myself. Now that we found the problem, I'll be ready tomorrow."
"We've fixed so many things today, it's amazing we were running 7.0," said Bryce. "We're gonna run 6.90's tomorrow."
"We're gonna kick their ass tomorrow," said team owner Karl Klement. "Really, everything's great. The bike's running great and everybody's working great together."
But while Llewellyn was loose and smiling in the staging lanes Sunday morning, Maloney wore a look of concern. "There's something wrong with the bike and we can't quite figure it out," said Shane.
It was hard to tell if Llewellyn had the bike to beat Antron Brown in round 1 or not. After a poor light, Peggy ran a 1.069 60 foot despite a heavy lean to the left side. Her rhythm disrupted, Llewellyn then missed her shiftpoints. "I don't know if it's possible to be too loose and confident, but I had total brain fade," said Peggy. "I went to ram the clutch and my hand didn't release, then I made it go toward the centerline. We thought that I'd hurt our good motor, but it's not hurt too bad. This is just one of those deals where you want to keep on moving forward and making headway in this countdown. The good thing is we have a race next weekend and I get to go out right away and regain my name!"
"We were hoping that we were gonna improve on our Chicago experience, but we were unable to lay down a solid run in the extraordinary Englishtown conditions," said Bryce. "Something went wrong every run that we could have fixed if we'd made another run. But we'll just have to wait 'til Norwalk."
"The only positive that came out of this weekend was that we qualified," said Maloney. "We didn't hurt too much. We just need to do some cylinder head work, nothing too major. But we've got our work cut out for us. Everyone behind us in points keeps going rounds and we've gotta do better. We had a lot of little problems this weekend that added up to not running good. But everybody worked hard and worked together as a group. I was gonna go to Norwalk this week and take some time off and go to Cedar Point, but we didn't do good enough to deserve a trip to Cedar Point. I'm not on vacation here, I'm just gonna go to Ohio and work."
Peggy and the team race next at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals June 28-July 1 in Norwalk, Ohio.