White Alligator Racing Team press release
Savoie unassuming yet prepared for quick runs down Maple Grove Raceway
READING, Pa. – The temperature is dropping as the Full Throttle Series tour heads east to Maple Grove Raceway for the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals in Reading, and the cool forecast has breathed heightened anticipation into the world of the Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors, especially first-year NHRA rider Jerry Savoie, pilot of the White Alligator Racing Suzuki.
Last season, the event at Maple Grove was moved to a new position on the schedule, and the autumn date provided natural conditions for quicker numbers on the scoreboards. Track records were shattered in every Pro category, and both ends of the Pro Stock Motorcycle track record were reset: No. 1 qualifier Hector Arana's 6.828 and Andrew Hines' 196.56 mph blast replaced the previous marks.
Savoie's own career best times, a 6.836 clocked in Englishtown and 193.68 mph set in Gainesville earlier this year, aren't too far off of those numbers, and when his proven ability to challenge more seasoned riders – particularly at the starting line – is taken into consideration, Savoie cannot be counted out. However, his assessment of the upcoming situation is low-key and unassuming.
"Mark [Peiser, crew chief] tells me it's really going to be fast for everyone out there – the Suzukis, the Harleys, the Buells," said Savoie, an alligator farmer from Cut Off, La. "It's going to be really good, and it is possible there could be a 200 mph run, but we'll have to see. I'm looking forward to it."
The event in Reading is the third race of the final six in NHRA's Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Savoie guaranteed his position in the title chase with a final-round finish at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis and rebounded from a first-round loss in Charlotte by going to the semifinals in Dallas the very next weekend.
"I've been saying that I'd like to finish in the top 7, and right now we're looking pretty good for that," said Savoie, who moved up from 9th in the series standings to 8th after his performance at Texas Motorplex.
"We're not going to be looking for the record in Reading; we're just going to go out there and do our thing and see what happens. If we can run quick, then so be it. We'll have a different engine this weekend than what we had last week, and with the weather conditions, it's anybody's game."