Madison: Angelle Savoie final qualifying summary

Angelle claims top spot in St. Louis qualifying. Angelle Savoie and the Star Racing team remained as hot on the second day of qualifying as the midsummer weather that competitors battled throughout the first two days of the Sears Craftsman NHRA...

Angelle claims top spot in St. Louis qualifying.

Angelle Savoie and the Star Racing team remained as hot on the second day of qualifying as the midsummer weather that competitors battled throughout the first two days of the Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals in Madison, IL. After breaking the track record during Friday's qualifying sessions with an elapsed time 7.171 and a top speed of 187.05 mph, Angelle and the CVEC Suzuki again paced Pro Stock Motorcycle field on Saturday, although the higher temperatures on Saturday precluded any improvement.

This is Angelle's fourth No. 1 effort in the last five races, as she looks to win this event for the second time in three years.

"I really love this racetrack. I don't remember it being this smooth, but right now it so much fun to drive my CVEC Suzuki on because there are no bumps dips or grooves to worry about. I could do without the heat, however, as I'm sure the race fans could too. My heart goes out to them, because I can't stand being out there for five minutes, and they've been in it all day. They're wonderful.

"As far as our performance I am so proud of my Star Racing team and all the hard work they do. I even asked George (team owner Bryce) this morning what we were doing to go so fast."

Angelle did take time to take a light-hearted stab at an old rival who had accused the Star Racing team of improprieties at the last event in Columbus, Ohio.

"I do have one question for that one competitor who made all those allegations in Columbus. He made all those accusations and now he is running just as fast as we are. I'd just like to know why he is suddenly able to run as well as we are."

Team owner George Bryce then took time to offer his observations on his team's recent string of strong performances.

"There are several reasons why we are running so well. The first is that Angelle, our champ, is not a rookie anymore. She's got lots of years under her belt, and is making the best laps of anyone in our class. I watch every one of our competitors run, and she is just doing a better job than anyone else. She's running straight, she's shifting on time, and the CVEC Suzuki leaves great.

"I also have to give credit to everyone back at our shop in Americus, Georgia. They've been working on the same engine design since 1980. That's twenty-two years, and if you can't figure out how to make something run as well as you can in twenty-two years, you need another job.

"The bottom line is we're making more power, she's driving better, and we've been to this racetrack for lots of years, so we have a great amount of data to help us tune in the heat. When we arrived here, we looked at every run we had made in the last three years, and it showed us what we needed to do to get the bike to run well here. We focused on that and went out and made four really good runs."

Fast Facts:

- This is Angelle's 28th career No. 1 qualifying performance (and fourth of 2002) and second at Gateway International Raceway.

- Angelle had the quickest elapsed time in three of the four qualifying sessions.

- This is the 59th No. 1 for the Star Racing Team.

- Angelle will be looking to win from the No. 1 position for the thirteenth time in her career, having last accomplished this feat at this year's Chicagoland Dodge Dealers Nationals in Joliet, Ill..

- Angelle has now qualified in the top half of the elimination ladder (eighth or better) at every one of the 83 races in which she has competed in her Pro Stock Motorcycle career.

- Angelle has not suffered a first-round setback since August 22, 1999 at Brainerd, Minn. That span of 39 races represents the longest current streak in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing. Should she defeat Sam Hurwitz in the first round tomorrow, she will tie the all-time mark of 40 set by Bob Glidden.

-sr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Sam Hurwitz , George Bryce