SEELING LOOKS TO CONTINUE STRONG BIKE START AT CASTROL NATIONALS ENNIS, Texas -- Angelle Seeling is walking on air these days. No, her petite physique hasn't enabled her to achieve this physically-impossible feat. Mentally, however, she...
SEELING LOOKS TO CONTINUE STRONG BIKE START AT CASTROL NATIONALS
ENNIS, Texas -- Angelle Seeling is walking on air these days.
No, her petite physique hasn't enabled her to achieve this physically-impossible feat. Mentally, however, she feels invincible. A recent confidence injection has produced her free-flowing stride.
After an incredible performance at Gainesville Raceway, Seeling has established herself as an early favorite for a Winston championship in Pro Stock Motorcycle. She rode her Team Winston Suzuki to a dominating victory at the Flordia quarter-mile, which also featured a national elapsed time record (7.212 seconds) and No. 1 qualifying effort just for good measure.
She'll try to repeat that impressive performance at the third annual Castrol Nationals presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts, April 22-25 at the Texas Motorplex. The $1.5 million race is the second of 14 Pro Stock Motorcycle events in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. It is the first NHRA event at the Texas Motorplex to feature Pro Stock Motorcycle since 1991.
Seeling, who posted career-best elapsed times of 7.212, 7.224, 7.228 and 7.240 seconds at the bike-opening event, totally erased defending champion Matt Hines' pervious national record of 7.245 seconds, established at the 1998 Gatornationals.
"I think we could have ran a little quicker at Gainesville," Seeling said in a serious tone. "We really enjoy running those kinds of numbers. But when you get down to the basics, it doesn't matter what the number is as long as the win light comes on. We feel like records will be a possibility at Dallas, but we want to see that win light come on four times. That's the most important thing."
Seeling will need that kind of performance to achieve her round victories at the Texas Motorplex if she's going to net a second-straight victory. Top competitors Hines, Gainesville runner-up John Smith, Antron Brown and Steve Johnson have already proved that they are equally as capable of running low numbers, posting high speeds and winning races.
"I think it's exciting that the racing has come this close," Seeling said. "It's like Pro Stock cars now. Dominating the competition is one thing; but when you can win when you have a lot of great competition, it makes it that much sweeter. Just like at Gainesville -- we earned that win. We had to work for it. We expect the same kind of competition at the Motorplex."
Seeling, who came on late in 1998 with a string of victories to finish second in the Winston point standings, says she and her Team Winston crew are very hungry for a championship. She says the work the entire team put in during the off-season is a testament to that.
"The guys at Star Racing are great and they never give up," Seeling said. "Last year we struggled a little early. They had never finished worse than No. 1 or 2 in the points before I joined the team. Then we finished seventh, fifth and No. 2 last year. I promised them we were going to get the championship this year. We're going to have to work really hard, because it's not going to be easy."
Indeed. Seeling's arch-rival, Eagle One Suzuki rider Hines, has claimed two consecutive titles with unbelievable performances. Seeling's Gainesville showing resembled Hines' domination in the past. She says she's going to focus on being patient and making the most of her opportunities.
"It's hard not to think about the championship this early in the season," Seeling said. "You tell yourself that you're just going to take it one round at a time. But deep in my heart, I do think about it. It is such a confidence builder to start the season with a race like Gainesville."