Baytown: Peggy Llewellyn final summary

Llewellyn Snags First Round Win Texas native Peggy Llewellyn scored her first NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle round win at Houston Raceway Park's O'Reilly Spring Nationals, the closest stop on the POWERade tour to Llewellyn's San Antonio home. It ...

Llewellyn Snags First Round Win

Texas native Peggy Llewellyn scored her first NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle round win at Houston Raceway Park's O'Reilly Spring Nationals, the closest stop on the POWERade tour to Llewellyn's San Antonio home. It was also the Texas debut for her Decatur, Texas based Karl Klement racing team.

With her S&S powered Buell sporting a special tail section wrapped with an Eric Medlin memorial, Peggy's weekend started off well with a fifth place qualifying lap in round 1.

"The first lap off the trailer we had a halfway decent tune-up," said Shane Maloney, who shares tuning and crew chiefing duties with George Bryce. "Then we misread the weather the second run. Peggy did her job and could have gone faster, but we didn't give her the motorcycle."

After that, rain washed out the second day of qualifying and Llewellyn had to stand on her Friday times. "If we hadn't lost those two qualifying passes, we might have moved up," said Peggy.

The track finally dried for eliminations, and Llewellyn was set to face Eddie Krawiec of the championship winning Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines team in round 1--a tall order. But Krawiec redlit and Peggy's first round win was in the bank.

"I thought I'd lost," said Llewellyn, who didn't see the redlight or her winlight while concentrating on her target. "Then I saw the cameras coming over to me at the end of the track. I had to take my helmet off, and I have my gloves taped around my wrists. It's a habit I've always had. There's a lot of extra material around the wrists, and I guess my wrists are pretty small. So my hands were shaking and I had a hard time taking off my gloves and helmet for the interview. But I'm sure I'll have more practice!"

"I was so excited and it lifted our whole team up," said team owner Karl Klement. "Peggy really practiced hard between races and it paid off."

"I'm really proud of Peggy. She did what she said she would do, cut an .030 light," said Maloney. "Then she didn't see the redlight and hit the revlimiter trying to catch Eddie and wore out the valvesprings. If George and I were smarter about it, we should have changed valvesprings. But we didn't, and the bike slowed for the second round."

"But we couldn't have run a .94 that round anyway," continued Maloney. "Angelle (Sampey) laid down that .94 in pretty poor conditions, so we have a big hill to climb. The Suzukis are making good power, but we've got a new engine in the trailer that we're gonna try out. It's something a little different that we're working on and gonna try. So we're gonna test next week Monday and Tuesday in Valdosta and see what happens."

"Shane had the motorcycle prepared great this weekend," said George Bryce. "To get the motorcycle qualified in the first half and get a round win is very good. It's an evolutionary process, and Peggy's come a long way in two short races. I really appreciate Karl and Kim Klement giving me the opportunity to work with new talent like this. We'll test a lot between now and Atlanta and she'll do even better there."

"My dad, my aunt, friends, and people from my niece's school have all contacted me and were excited to see us on TV," said Llewellyn. "And it was great to do well while we had the Eric Medlin memorial on the bike. He reminded us a lot of John Myers and how he reached out to the fans, whether they were corporate executives or the fan in the stands. And I want to thank all the fans for coming to the track and hanging around all weekend in the rain."

"I didn't think it was ever gonna quit raining," said Klement. "It sure makes the weekend long. But everybody's attitude is great and we're all getting along good and the bike is running great. I just think we're on the right track and I'm really looking forward to Atlanta. I think we've got something for 'em. We're gonna win some this year, you watch!"

Llewellyn and the Klement Racing team hit the track next at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, April 26-29 at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia.

-credit: kr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Peggy Llewellyn , Eddie Krawiec