Craig Treble Part 2 of 2 Q: Why did you get involved with racing in the first place? Treble: I was brought up by a relative that raced motorcycles in the early '70s when the Z-1s came out for the first time. He took me out there when I...
Part 2 of 2
Q: Why did you get involved with racing in the first place?
Treble: I was brought up by a relative that raced motorcycles in the early '70s when the Z-1s came out for the first time. He took me out there when I was a young kid and kind of stuck that needle in my arm. Unfortunately I was too young to do it at the time. I raced bicycle motocross until I was almost 20 years old. I had a lot of fun, it kept me out of trouble, it kept me focused and I got hooked on racing. When I got old enough to start drag racing, I did. I was addicted from the start.
Q: Will we see the first six-second run in Pro Stock Bike history this year?
Treble: You might. Gainesville or Englishtown, maybe even Reading if it doesn't happen early on in the season. Angelle went the (7.049) in Englishtown, but I will tell you that I was in the other lane during that run and I ran an .09, which was my personal best. It doesn't sound like we are that far off, but you have to keep in mind that those conditions when we both ran those numbers, which was the fastest side-by-side bike race ever, those conditions were absolutely perfect. We had tailwind, we had a barometer that was out of this world. It was overcast, it was 65 degrees and the humidity was low. It was perfect. You have to hit those conditions again to hit that 6.999. It might be the girl, it might be someone else, it might be us. Who knows? I'm not really worried about it. It would be a nice feather in your cap and $10,000 in your pocket (for being the first member of the Mickey Thompson 6-Second Club) but we are after the POWERade points championship and that's what we are focused on.
Q: What is the best thing about going into 2003 after the year you had in '02?
Treble: We know we had a career year, but we also know that we can do better. In fact, the best thing is knowing that we could have done better last year and that's what makes us strive to prove it this season. That is the beautiful part about drag racing. You can take a guy like Warren Johnson. Has he ever had the perfect pass? Absolutely not. I guarantee that. There is always room for improvement in drag racing. Everybody is working for that. You can ask Angelle about her .049 pass that she made and I guarantee she won't say it was a perfect pass. Everybody will tell you that even on his or her personal-best runs, there was something that could have been better.
Q: What is the key to keeping your sponsor happy and how have you maintained that relationship?
Treble: I am a people person. I like people and that doesn't hurt. Performance on the track is obviously going to be a big aide in your sponsorship program, but you have got to take care of those people. You have go out like we do on the (Matco Tools company) trucks and meet the people who sell and use the actual products and thank them. You also have to take care of the media and keep yourself visible. There is a lot to maintaining a good sponsor. There are a lot of people who are out there trying to find sponsorship. I was so lucky when I got hooked up with Matco. I didn't have a PR guy, I didn't have anything. Calvin and I were just two good 'ol boys from Chandler, Arizona out there racing. I was spending every penny I had in racing and I was thinking I wouldn't have enough money to retire until I was 682 years old. Then Matco came on board and things got a lot better. Things were tough before that. We were just in the right place at the right time. The sponsorship gods fell upon us that day.
Q: Describe your relationship with your crew chief.
Treble: The Iceman? If you watch him on TV, you will see that he never shows emotion. I have seen him do one interview, he just hates talking. Calvin likes to speak with his actions and he does that. He does an awesome job and he is very focused. He is the silent but deadly type and I am the vocal obnoxious one. Calvin and I think alike - as far as the racing goes anyway. As far as life in general, Calvin usually looks at me and rolls his eyes. When we are out here, under the Matco Tools canopy working on this bike, we are thinking the same things all the time. Half the time we don't have to talk to each other. He does what I was thinking and I do things he was thinking. We do communicate, don't get me wrong, but most of the time it is very smooth working between us.
Q: What is your dream race? Where are you racing and who do you beat to get the victory?
Treble: Everybody wants to win the U.S. Nationals. It is a Mac Tools race and I am a Matco kind of guy. But we went to the final round last year of the Matco Tools race in Englishtown and most of the distributors of the company are at that race. It's a huge Matco event and everyone comes out of the woodwork for that event. To win that race, I am getting goosebumps right now just thinking about it. To win that race would just be awesome. Englishtown first and the U.S. Nationals would be second on my list of dream races, but they are real close to each other. I would want to race whoever is sponsored by Mac Tools, and beat them for the win.
Q: What do you do beside race?
Treble: Why does everyone keep asking me that? To be honest, not much. I eat, breathe and sleep this racing stuff. If I am not working on the bike, or washing the truck or reorganizing the trailer or bracket racing or anything like that, I am watching TV and that happens about twice a year. This is a full-time job. I worked in construction for 15 years before I got into racing full-time to the point where I'm at right now. I am working harder now than when I had to carry around a 70-pound tool bag on my back, climbing up and down a wall. I used to be a carpenter and I worked my tail off. It paid well and I was in great shape. It was an awesome experience. It was always a satisfying thing to be able to walk away from the job, look at what you did and be happy with the results. This drag racing thing is very hard work. There is always something that can be done and I love it. I would do it for free, I love it so much. I did race for free for a lot of years. I'm getting paid pretty good right now to do what I love by Matco and all of our associates and I consider myself to be an extremely lucky guy. There are about 10 million racers out there who would kill to do what I am doing and I am just fortunate enough to get out of bed, have goosebumps and pinch myself.
Q: Would you like to see the Pro Stock Bike schedule expand from the current 15-race schedule?
Treble: Yes, I want to race at all 23 national events. I don't get enough racing as it is. I would like to have about four more guys on the crew preparing the bikes with a killer shop in the Midwest. Unfortunately that is a Top Fuel budget and that is not realistic for a bike team right now. Maybe one day it will be. If we get all 23 events and get a little bit more TV time then corporations will step up and start throwing more money at us because I think we give them a good bang for their buck. More companies need to step up and start sponsoring these Pro Stock Bike teams. We are professional racers, we put on a good show and you can see that in the way the spectator count went up 10 percent in Sonoma (Calif.) this year when we showed up at that race for the first time. Obviously the fans like it and we love it. It will happen one day, and we will be at every national event. Hopefully it will happen during my professional career.