Houston Pro Stock Bike notebook

SLICK 50 NATIONALS PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE NOTEBOOK --Level field: Not only will John Myers' new Kosman chassis help him go quicker and faster than ever, he said it also will put him on an equal footing with teammate Angelle Seeling. ...

SLICK 50 NATIONALS PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE NOTEBOOK

--Level field: Not only will John Myers' new Kosman chassis help him go quicker and faster than ever, he said it also will put him on an equal footing with teammate Angelle Seeling.

Seeling was the new sensation of the category last season as Myers' teammate, winning a national event, setting an NHRA elapsed-time national record and finishing seventh in the NHRA Winston point standings in just six races. She debuted in NHRA competition in July 1996.

But Seeling was using a new chassis that could convert all the extra horsepower found by the Star Racing crew into traction. Myers' older chassis, used to win the 1995 championship, could not.

"That's why my performance fell off last year," Myers said. "Now that Angelle and I have the same frame we'll see how it goes."

And Myers insists there will be no team orders between he and Seeling unless either rider builds a big lead in the NHRA Winston point standings.

"It's every rider for themselves," Myers said. "She's a great rider already."

--No test is best: Many NHRA teams spend hours testing during the offseason, honing new engines and chassis for the upcoming season.

Defending NHRA Winston champion Dave Schultz takes a different approach. He may make two test passes shortly before the Mac Tools Gatornationals, his only test runs of the winter on the Sunoco Suzuki.

"Unless I have a brand-new bike, I normally don't test," Schultz said. "I tend to come out with more fire and venom when I haven't been on my bike in a long time.

"When I'm racing every weekend and testing in between, there's a point where I tend not to be as sensitive to the bike."

--No ordinary rookie: It became obvious last season that Matt Hines was no ordinary rookie as he won two national events en route to being named co-NHRA Winston Rookie of the Year.

Natural talent played a big role in Hines' success. But his family tree also played a major role, John Myers said.

"Matt is learning really, really fast, and his dad is awesome," Myers said of Byron Hines, who also builds and tunes the engines used by his son. "Matt has been around this all his life. It's not like he just learned all this stuff in one year."

Byron Hines retired as an NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle rider after the 1993 season. He and his business partner, Pro Stock Motorcycle legend Terry Vance, produce a full line of performance motorcycle engines and parts through their Vance & Hines company.

--More power: John Myers is one of the many NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle riders who say they would love to travel as quick and fast as NHRA Pro Stock cars.

The quickest Pro Stock Motorcycle run is 7.344; the quickest by a Pro Stock is 6.927. The fastest Pro Stock Motorcycle run is 185.18 mph; the fastest by a Pro Stock is 199.15.

Pro Stock Motorcycles would need a bigger engine to match the performance of the cars because the cars have a more favorable power-to-weight ratio, Myers said. The numbers verify Myers' claim.

A Pro Stock car, which must weigh at least 2,350 pounds with driver, can use engines up to 500 cubic inches in displacement. That means there are 4.7 pounds of weight per cubic inch of displacement.

A Pro Stock Motorcycle, which must weigh at least 600 pounds with rider, can use engines up to 92 cubic inches in displacement. That's 6.5 pounds of weight per cubic inch of displacement. The engine on a Pro Stock Motorcycle is carrying a greater load, proportionally, than the engine on a Pro Stock car.

--Performance prediction: The NHRA elapsed-time and speed national records for Pro Stock Motorcycle could fall at the Slick 50 Nationals if the weather cooperates, John Myers said.

"The Pro Stock bikes are just like the Pro Stock cars," Myers said. "The weather can make or break it."

Both vehicles use engines that rely on carburetors to create more horsepower by gulping air from the atmosphere. The air at sea-level Houston Raceway Park is dense and oxygen-rich, which boosts horsepower.

--Schedule: Pro qualifying starts at 3 p.m. March 21 and continues at 7 p.m. that evening. Qualifying ends with sessions at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. March 22. Final eliminations start at 11 a.m. March 23. Federal-Mogul competition starts at 10 a.m. March 20.

--Tickets: Tickets are available for the Slick 50 Nationals. Call Houston Raceway Park at (281) 383-2666 or check the track's World Wide Web site at http://www.houstonraceway.com for ticket information. Tickets also can be purchased from Ticketmaster. To order through Ticketmaster, call (713) 629-3700.

--On TV: ESPN2 will televise two hours of live, final- round competition from the Slick 50 Nationals at 4 p.m. (CST) March 23. ESPN2 also will televise Friday-night qualifying with a two-hour, same-day show starting at 11:30 p.m. (CST) March 21. All-day, live coverage of final eliminations will be shown on pay-per-view from 10:30-6 p.m. (CST) March 23. The telecast costs $14.95. Viewers must order the programming through their satellite or cable provider.

--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-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines