SULLIVAN FAMILY LEARNING CURVE GAINING MOMENTUM AFTER DENVER Morrison, Colo. - The matriculation of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle sophomore rider Katie Sullivan received a huge boost after a first round loss to Steve Johnson at the MOPAR Mile High...
SULLIVAN FAMILY LEARNING CURVE GAINING MOMENTUM AFTER DENVER
Morrison, Colo. - The matriculation of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle sophomore rider Katie Sullivan received a huge boost after a first round loss to Steve Johnson at the MOPAR Mile High NHRA Nationals contested at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo.
The Sullivan Drilling / Fields Performance tuned Suzuki qualified for the 16-bike field in the number 15 position, after an event best 7.647 second elapsed time. During the team's first qualifying session, the Corning, Calif. based group used the team's newest Suzuki engine with devastating results. As the bike hit the top of 3rd gear, heavy smoke started to pour out of the exhaust pipes. As the bike crossed the finish line, a small fire erupted and burnt several important computer wires in the process. The team was forced to wait until the third qualifying session to put their spare motor sans on board computer between the rails of the "Zebra-Zilla" themed bike.
"When the 'stroker' motor broke our whole team was very disappointed," noted Sullivan, the 20-year old college student. "We got back to the pit area and could not understand why the motor let go so early into the run. We placed our home built motor in the bike for Saturday's session so we could entertain the fans who were very supportive of us during the entire event. Since our computer wires were burned in the qualifying fire, we could not gather any run data."
Sullivan ran a 7.64 with the Fields Performance tuned engine which placed her in the 15th position, setting up a round one date with the number 2 qualifier Steve Johnson. Knowing she had to take a chance on the tree against the two-time NHRA US Nationals Champion, Sullivan just barely missed the green at the hit and lit the red light, handing Johnson an easy round one victory. The round one loss however, brought up a solution to the team's recent struggles.
"We were approached by a fellow racer who looked at our set-up who noticed our exhaust system was not tuned to our bike," Sullivan stated. "Since we've been testing the motor, Boss-Dad has been running the largest carb jets by a ton, but the bike has been missing so much power. The exhaust system was simply not allowing the engine to breath. So, we picked up the correct exhaust from a fellow competitor in Denver and will have it ready for Brainerd in two weeks."
-source: sullivan family team