Englishtown Pro Bike notebook

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 MOPAR PARTS NATIONALS PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE NOTEBOOK *Another racing Bartone: Joey Bartone actually isn't the most recent racing addition to the Bartone family. ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761

MOPAR PARTS NATIONALS PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE NOTEBOOK

*Another racing Bartone: Joey Bartone actually isn't the most recent racing addition to the Bartone family. Michael Bartone married fellow Federal-Mogul Dragster driver Candy Lebor late last year, adding a fourth Bartone to the staging lanes at NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series national events. Michael and Candy Bartone raced against each other in eliminations as husband-and-wife for the first time at the Pennzoil Nationals presented by Trak Auto last month at Richmond, Va., with Michael taking a narrow victory. *Two-wheeled warrior: While it comes as no surprise to many that Joey Bartone followed his brothers' tire tracks and began drag racing, some were surprised that he chose Pro Stock Motorcycle. Tony and Michael Bartone have enjoyed plenty of success with methanol-powered dragsters and Funny Cars. But bikes were Joey's first choice. "Mike knows I love motorcycles," Joey Bartone said of his brother. "I did plenty of motocross racing in my time. He just thought I'd be a natural on a bike. "It's something different for the family, too. How many more dragsters and Funny Cars do you want? My brothers have stood behind me so far. Everything is going pretty good." *Lighting it up: All three racing Bartone Brothers, Tony, Michael and Joey, and members of their race teams are avid cigar smokers. In fact, humidors are almost as easy to find as toolboxes in their respective transporters. The Bartones have taken their love of stogies to the next level. They had their own brand of cigars, Bartone Brothers Racing, rolled with fine tobacco from the Dominican Republic. The cigar band features the team name with its logo, a skull and crossbones. *Record run: Matt Hines set an NHRA elapsed-time national record of 7.295 seconds on the Vance & Hines Suzuki GSXR at the rain-delayed Pennzoil Nationals presented by Trak Auto in late April. His pass was the first quicker than 7.3 seconds by a Pro Stock Motorcycle in NHRA history. Hines, from Whittier, Calif., broke the record of 7.321 set by Dave Schultz at the Mac Tools Gatornationals in March 1997 at Gainesville, Fla. Hines earned $3,000 from the MBNA World Record Club. *Tough field: The 16-bike field at the Pennzoil Nationals presented by Trak Auto was the quickest in NHRA history. Ron Ayers was No. 16 at 7.573 seconds on the Mac Tools Suzuki. The previous quickest field came at the Slick 50 Nationals presented by Western Auto in March 1997 at Houston, where Brian DeLong was No. 16 at 7.624 on the J&D Racing Suzuki GSXR. "The competition has gotten a lot stiffer this year," Joey Bartone said. "I didn't expect it to be this stiff." *Streaks: Streaks of victories are becoming common at this event in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Dave Schultz has won this event the last three years. His archrival, John Myers, won this event four straight times from 1990-93. *Home cookin': Make no mistake about it: It's harder to race near your home, Joey Bartone said. Bartone, from St. James, N.Y., will feel the pressure of racing in front of the home folks during the Mopar Parts Nationals at Englishtown, less than an hour drive from his home in St. James, N.Y. "There's no doubt, that with the expectations, you want to do the best that you can," Bartone said. "Your family is there, your friends are there, your business associates are there. It's important. "I really want to get out there on the track and qualify in the top half of the field, get by first round and see if we can catch a break or two and get into a semi or get into a final." *Schedule: Pro qualifying starts at 3 p.m. May 16 and continues at 7 p.m. that evening. Qualifying ends with sessions at 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. May 17. Final eliminations start at 11 a.m. May 18. DuPont Automotive Finishes Pro Stock Challenge rounds are scheduled for 1 p.m., 3:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. May 17. Federal-Mogul competition starts at 10 a.m. May 15. *Tickets: Tickets are available for the Mopar Parts Nationals. Call Old Bridge Township Raceway Park at (908) 446-7800. Tickets also are available at Ticketmaster outlets. Call Ticketmaster at (212) 307-7171, (201) 507-8900, (914) 454-3388 or (516) 888-9000. *On TV: The Nashville Network (TNN) will televise 90 minutes of live, final-round competition from the Mopar Parts Nationals at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) May 18. TNN also will show one hour of live, first-round racing during its "NHRA Today" show at 11 a.m. May 18. TNN will show one hour of live, final-round competition from the DuPont Automotive Finishes Pro Stock Challenge at 5 p.m. May 17. *On the Web: The NHRA home page on the World Wide Web at http://www.goracing.com/nhra/ offers more information about NHRA Winston Drag Racing, including qualifying and eliminations results, news, point standings, statistics and driver biographies. -30-

5/6/97-EJ5-073

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 Matt Hines , Ron Ayers