Englishtown Bartone story (Pro Bike)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 FAMILY TIES HELP TO PULL JOEY BARTONE INTO PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Joey Bartone thought all along that he might be the one Bartone brother who...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761

FAMILY TIES HELP TO PULL JOEY BARTONE INTO PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Joey Bartone thought all along that he might be the one Bartone brother who didn't catch the drag racing bug. Bartone, from St. James, N.Y., often went to the racetrack to watch his older brothers, Tony and Michael, race in Federal-Mogul Funny Car and Federal-Mogul Dragster, respectively. "It was like, 'Ah, you can keep this stuff,'" Bartone said. "I guess I did like it in a way, but I never admitted it." He admits it now. Bartone, 31, has fallen head-over-heels in love with NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing. He will seek his first victory at his home race, the 28th annual, $1,695,050 Mopar Parts Nationals, May 15-18 at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. The race is the eighth of 22 events in the $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997. Bartone has emerged as a top-10 rider in the competitive category in just his second season of racing. He was 10th in the NHRA Winston point standings after three bike races this season on the Star Performance Parts Suzuki GSXR. It only seems logical that Bartone would eventually drag race. His family is one of the most successful in drag racing, as Tony and Michael each have won the prestigious U.S. Nationals, and Tony won the NHRA season championship in 1996. Michael suggested that Joey try a Pro Stock bike in late 1995, so Joey went to a motorcycle drag-racing class taught by George Bryce, owner of the powerful Star Racing team. Joey was hooked and ran a partial schedule last year. With help from Star, he will race the full tour this year. "It turns me on to ride," Bartone said. "It's really turning into a second love. There's no doubt that I'm getting more serious at every race. I'm going to give it my all. I'm having fun."

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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Series NHRA
Drivers George Bryce