Denver: Angelle Savoie Saturday summary

Angelle's exciting day in Denver includes the No.1 qualifying position. After placing third during Friday's opening qualifying sessions for the Mopar Parts Mile High Nationals, Angelle Savoie and the Star Racing team looked to improve their ...

Angelle's exciting day in Denver includes the No.1 qualifying position.

After placing third during Friday's opening qualifying sessions for the Mopar Parts Mile High Nationals, Angelle Savoie and the Star Racing team looked to improve their standing on Saturday. Taking full advantage of the improved conditions during the mid-morning time trial, Angelle and the CVEC Suzuki powered down the quarter-mile in 7.560 seconds with a top speed of 175.37 mph to reclaim not only the No. 1 position, but also the Bandimere Speedway elapsed time track record by one thousandth of a second.

Although rising temperatures on Saturday afternoon ensured Angelle's hold on the top qualifying spot would not be threatened, the Star Racing entry still provided the most notable run of the session. From the moment it left the starting line, Angelle's motorcycle pulled toward the centerline, and despite her best efforts to bring it back in the groove, it did not respond, and as a result, Angelle's foot contacted the last foam timing cone at the end of the quarter-mile.

"I was hanging off the left side of the bike the whole way down the track, and it kept pulling me to the right, so I rolled off the gas and hit the shifter once to make sure I was in sixth gear. I really didn't think I would hit the cone, because I had shut it off and was trying to pull it back, but it suddenly just shot off to the side. That's when I realized the bike was going to hit, while forgetting about my foot and that's what actually hit the cone.

"This was one time where my size was a disadvantage. My bike is probably sixty to seventy pounds heavier than some of my competitors, so I have to make any corrections much sooner in order to maintain control. Our data shows that I had made the necessary adjustments, but we're pretty sure a gust of wind pushed me over, and I really had no way to bring the bike back."

This is Angelle's fifth No. 1 effort in the last six races, as she looks to win in Denver for the third consecutive year.

"This morning's run was awesome, and it wasn't even a perfect one. The Star Racing Suzuki went pretty straight, but I was afraid the motor was going to over-rev, so I shut it off a little early to save parts.

"When George (team owner Bryce) said it was a 7.560, I was a little scared that I had let off too early and that Matt might come back with a 7.559 to beat me. But just as I was about to panic, he ran his 7.561, and I started to celebrate. It's been a roller coaster weekend for the Star Racing team, with our great run this morning, and the problems this afternoon. Now we just have to make sure to have this ride end in the winner's circle."

Fast Facts:

- This is Angelle's 29th career No. 1 qualifying performance (and fifth of 2002) and second at Bandimere Speedway.

- This is the 60th No. 1 for the Star Racing Team.

- Angelle will be looking to win from the No. 1 position for the fourteenth time in her career, having last accomplished this feat at the Sears Craftsman Nationals in Madison, Ill. three weeks ago.

- Angelle has now qualified in the top half of the elimination ladder (eighth or better) at every one of the 84 races in which she has competed in her Pro Stock Motorcycle career.

- Angelle has not suffered a first-round setback since August 22, 1999 at Brainerd, Minn. That span of 40 races represents the longest current streak in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing, and is tied on the all-time list with Bob Glidden. Angelle will be looking to break the record in the first round tomorrow.

-SR-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Glidden