Jim Underdahl Saturday report

Gainesville Gatornationals

Underdahl ready to take on Reigning NHRA PSM Champ in Round one at Gators

Jim Underdahl
Jim Underdahl

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 12, 2011) - Jim Underdahl got a tough draw in the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle eliminations ladder after four rounds of qualifying at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals. Despite earning a respectable No. 11 position with his quarter-mile qualifying pass of 6.918 seconds at 196.87 mph to his opponent's only slightly quicker 6.880-second run, and regardless of the fact that both riders will be on the back of Suzuki motorcycles, there is one big difference. One.

"His bike has a big number ONE on it," Underdahl said with a laugh.

In order to get past the first round of eliminations on Sunday, 25-year-old Underdahl will have to take out the reigning NHRA Full Throttle PSM Champion, 21-year old LE Tonglett. Call it confidence or just a young man's delusions, however; Underdahl is completely un-phased by the pairing. By his way of thinking, Tonglett will have to beat HIM.

"When I pull up to the starting line, I don't think I have to beat someone else, I think that they have to beat me. LE and I are friends, but, when we meet, or whoever I meet in the following rounds, they have to beat me, not the other way around. We have been running with a lot of consistency, even from last season through now, and my dad (Greg Underdahl) and Ben (Kriegsfeld, crew chief) know that we have more in the bike that they can pull from tomorrow," Underdahl said.

If the performance of other bikes is any indication about the remarkable track and weather conditions, Underdahl’s assessment is valid. Both a national time and a national speed record were set during eliminations, moving the marks considerably from their previous spots.

"The weather will be incredible - like high-70's, and we've already seen that the track will hold record-setting runs, so, I'm completely confident we’ll go far," he said.

Eliminations are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. EDT on Sunday. ESPN2 is scheduled to begin coverage of the event at 6 p.m.

-source: jim underdahl PR

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Greg Underdahl , LE Tonglet , Jim Underdahl
Tags gainesville, gatornationals, nhra, pro stock