Craig Treble in the spotlight, Part I

Craig Treble Part 1 of 2 He finished second in the 2002 Pro Stock Bike point standings and while he may have come up short of earning his first NHRA POWERade championship, Craig Treble did have a career-best season of competition. He snagged...

Craig Treble

Part 1 of 2

He finished second in the 2002 Pro Stock Bike point standings and while he may have come up short of earning his first NHRA POWERade championship, Craig Treble did have a career-best season of competition. He snagged the first two event victories and went on to win four races in six final round appearances. Treble is driven to win even more in 2003. He has worked throughout the offseason preparing his new Matco Tools Suzuki and wants this to be his championship year. The Pro Stock Bike category opens the 2003 season in Florida at next week's Mac Tools Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. In this Q&A session, Treble talks about what it is going to take to knock Angelle Savoie out of the championship race, why he gets better every season and why he can't stop bracket racing in his spare time.

Craig Treble.
Photo by Greg Gage.

Q: What do you think about the 2002 season considering you had such a good year, but still finished in the No. 2 spot?

Treble: It was good and bad. As far as feelings, we were totally happy with our performance and the new bike and the Vance & Hines motor. Everything was good there. As a team, however, we are still maturing and we made some crucial errors. We went out in the second round five times and that pretty much was our Achilles tendon last year. We definitely need to improve on going more rounds and that is why Angelle is the champion and we're not. We shot ourselves in the foot less than we did in 2001, but (crew chief) Calvin Aswege and I are still learning and we are learning together. Calvin is loyal to Pro Stock Bike and me and I am as well to him. Calvin and I will be together for a lot of years. We'll learn more together as we go and hopefully we'll get a championship.

Q: What will it take to keep Angelle Savoie from making it four consecutive titles in 2003?

Treble: We had a winning record against her. We beat her three out of five times. Unfortunately, nobody else did. I said this on the Internet and its true - people have got to step up. I'll tell you what, this year is looking more promising for that because Geno Scali is going to be on a Suzuki, Andrew Hines is a hungry young lion whose dad happens to be Byron Hines, the world's best engine builder. This class is going to be pretty interesting this year. I don't know what is going on with (Shawn) Gann, but I am sure he will be back strong and Antron (Brown) and all the other piranhas will still be there. They just need to step up and take Angelle out.

Q: What is it going to take to win races and the 2003 NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Bike championship?

Treble: Winning rounds. It is very simple, you have to go one at a time, and win rounds. One of the problems we are having is that I think I am less consistent now than I have ever been. I think that is due to the fact that I have not been bracket racing nearly enough. That is why that shiny black Hayabusa is sitting outside of my trailer. When I am not riding my Pro Stock Bike and I have a little time on my hands, I am going bracket racing and I don't care where it is. Wednesday night in St. Petersburg, Florida, I don't care where it is, I am going racing and I am going to get more seat time. Last year I made about 160-170 passes total. That includes Pro Stock Bike and bracket racing. I did bracket race four times last year. But this year I would like to get 300-400 passes under my belt. That's how it used to be. I used to make at least 300 passes a year. I would be out racing every Friday and Saturday night. I raced my guts out. That's what it takes.

Q: How does bracket racing help you in your Pro Stock Bike events?

Treble: Seat time is very important. But I will tell you another thing that is crucial. Even on a Friday night, the $10 gambler is good for you. Nothing is better than seat time and competition rounds. You're a different animal when money is on the line and it all matters. You get more focused and sometimes you act a little differently towards the tree or whatever. Competition rounds is awesome and helps you perform better on race day.

Q: What's the biggest difference between bracket racing and Pro Stock Bike drag racing?

Treble: The actual racing? I think bracket racing is tougher. There are two ends to bracket racing. You have to tear that tree down and then you have to race on the other end, you have to hang a wheel on somebody. Or dump them. You have to make some split decisions at the top end. Pro Stock Bike racing? You try to hit the tree, but you are more focused on trying to hit your shift points and being smooth. So there are a lot of things going through your mind at the starting line and sometimes you are not always on the tree. Sometimes you set the clutch up differently for certain track conditions and your reaction times suffer. As far as going down the track, you are focused on your shift points in Pro Stock Bike racing. In bracket racing, you have to ask yourself whether you hit the tree or missed the tree. If you missed the tree, you have to feed that guy the stripe. You want to dump him because you don't want to breakout, but maybe you make him breakout. There are a lot of things going on in your mind. It's easier going down track because the shift points are coming so much slower and they are easy to hit and the bike is always going to go straight because it is so slow compared to the Pro Stock. But there are a lot of things going through your mind relating to the top end.

Q: Describe yourself in two words:

Treble: Hungry racer.

Q: What do you want to accomplish in 2003?

Treble: I think that is pretty simple. I want a POWERade championship. That is what Matco Tools wants, that's what we want. That's what everyone wants. That is why everyone is out here chasing that rainbow.

Q: What advantages does your team have over the rest of the competition?

Treble: We've got, I think, the best sponsor in the class. Matco Tools has sponsored us from day one since they came on three years ago. We have Matco Tools as a company and all of their 1,300 distributors out there supporting us from all over the country. Every race we go to we have our own cheering section. Those guys are great.

Q: What were your offseason goals and did you accomplish them?

Treble: This year we worked hard in the offseason because we have another new chassis from (Sandy) Kosman and we have two new bullets coming from Vance & Hines. We completed the bracket bike, we got the old bike ready to do some preaseson testing and got that into race shape just in case the new bike isn't ready to go down the track in Gainesville. We are still working on everything. We have tried to avoid having to thrash on the new bike the week of the race. Last year we were testing the day before qualifying in Gainesville. The new chassis we have coming from Kosman is pretty awesome and we will do whatever it takes to get the bike ready to race.

Part II


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Series NHRA
Drivers Craig Treble , Geno Scali , Andrew Hines