Underdahl blasts to semifinal finish in Atlanta
COMMERCE, Ga. - Sunday was a perfect day for drag racing in Georgia: sunny skies, 72 degrees. For Suzuki Extended Protection Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Jim Underdahl, the day was a well-needed boost for his entire team. Underdahl made a semifinal finish in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway and moved into the top ten in Full Throttle Championship points.
In the first round of eliminations, Underdahl was paired with Harley Davidson-riding Eddie Krawiec - the sixth time the two have met in competition. In every prior meeting, Krawiec had always gotten to the finish line before Underdahl - until today. At the flash of the green light, Underdahl took a substantial lead off the starting line and never trailed, beating the hard-charging Krawiec by a mere eight-thousandths of a second - just inches - for the hole-shot win. By the numbers, it was Underdahl posting a 7.050-second run at 189.26 mph to Krawiec's quicker-but-losing 6.997-second run at 189.44 mph. The difference came at the start: .038- to .099-seconds reaction time, with Underdahl getting the nod.
We needed that win to keep us going ...
"That was huge for us, for this team," Underdahl said. "It's the first time we've beaten Eddie, and actually the first time we've ever beaten anyone on the Harley team. We needed that win to keep us going - and to keep us in the points-race, too."
In round two, Underdahl faced off against 2009 World Champion Hector Arana, and again lead for the entire race, start to finish. Underdahl delivered a 7.001-second effort to Arana's 7.084-second blast.
The win set up Underdahl for a semifinal match against Karen Stoffer. Stoffer took the lead off the line and never looked back, ending Underdahl's day: 6.992 to 7.065.
"We had been struggling with the bike all day, despite our good fortune, and on that run against Karen, we just didn't have it. Actually, we were all surprised we got as far as we did. We had engine problems the night before and switched out our motor, so we were really scrambling to get things put together when it came time to run.
"The fuel issues we had been having are cleared up, but we are still chasing something in our setup. Our next race isn't until the end of the month at Englishtown (New Jersey), so we've got time to go through everything with a fine tooth comb to find whatever it is and get the power we're lacking.
"I've got complete confidence in dad (Greg Underdahl) and Ben (Kriegsfeld, crew chief) that they'll find whatever it is. At least at this point, we know what its not, and that's the fuel system we've been working on this weekend. That's a start.
"I do want to take a second to thank Suzuki Extended Protection and AGP Turbo for their amazing sponsorship this season. Thanks to them, we'll be back again, fighting to make the countdown and working to go all the way," Underdahl said.
-source: jim underdahl PR