Underdahl's confidence stems from 2010 momentum and a stellar support team; Predicts low-80’s for his team in Gainesville
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 10, 2011) - Confidence flows in 25-year-old Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Jim Underdahl's veins, because he has earned it. The young rider had a stand-out season in 2010: one runner-up finish and three semifinal appearances (including the last race of the season at Pomona), new career-best marks in both elapsed time and speed, and to top it off, he qualified for every event he entered. He also has the support of his father, veteran drag racer and crew chief Greg Underdahl, and the expert tuning skills of Ben Kriegsfeld. Everything, however, is on the line this weekend as the new NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle season launches at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Fla.
Ending last season on a high note of a semi-final finish in Pomona, Underdahl and his team made very few changes to the setup of his Suzuki TL1000R sponsored by Suzuki Extended Protection.
"We were running really well at the end of last season, and we felt that nothing really needed to be changed on the bike other than to freshen it up," Underdahl said. "We painted it completely blue and made some front-end adjustments, but other than that, we left it alone.
"We did make some pre-season testing laps this week, and everything ran smoothly. We were all impressed with the numbers and are confident we should have a good show in Gainesville this weekend," he said.
Last season, Underdahl qualified 12th at this event but was eliminated first round because of a false start. This year, he is determined to go much farther.
"At the start of last season, we were trying to get the whole program off the ground and planning, and I think things got away from me a little. This year, we've got the kinks worked out and we're ready to fight. I think the bike is running a lot better, and I know that all the seat time from last season and going rounds on Sundays made me a better rider. This year will be a lot different," he said.
"They are predicting that the temperature should be in the mid-60's on Friday and mid-70's Saturday and Sunday: perfect for racing. I think we'll be right in there with a low '80 to get in the show and go rounds," he predicted.
"It's a clean slate, and we're all very confident in what we have to offer, so we'll have to see what happens on the track. I know we'll do the very best we can for Suzuki Extended Protection and our fans" Underdahl said.
Qualifying sessions are scheduled for noon and 2:45 p.m. on Friday, March 11 and 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 12. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 13.
-source: jim underdahl PR