FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 SEARS CRAFTSMAN NATIONALS PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE NOTEBOOK *Crossover appeal: Stephanie Reaves' climb into the top 10 of the NHRA Winston Pro Stock Motorcycle point ...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761
SEARS CRAFTSMAN NATIONALS PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE NOTEBOOK *Crossover appeal: Stephanie Reaves' climb into the top 10 of the NHRA Winston Pro Stock Motorcycle point standings has been aided by the work of new crew chief Mike Clark, who formerly worked for the Patrick Racing Indy-car team. Clark worked on the Indy car driven by Scott Pruett. Clark also is a former sprint-car driver. "He has a lot of knowledge and a lot of attention to detail, and that's helped out a lot," Reaves said of Clark. "He's really good about making sure the bike is prepared the night before so we're not doing a last-minute thrash unless we have to." One factor that has helped Clark tune Reaves into the 7.40-second range is her improved riding ability. Reaves is returning to many tracks for the second time this season, and that familiarity and added seat time has allowed her to provide vital tuning input. "I can come back, and we can talk about what's going on and feel comfortable about making tuning decisions based on what I'm feeling instead of just what's on the computer," Reaves said. *Shortcuts: Stephanie Reaves has developed an effective method to complete her business tasks while spending plenty of time with her daughters. She does her computer and correspondence work at night while her daughters are asleep. Her 6-year-old daughter, Jennifer, attend school during the day, so Reaves makes phone calls for two hours in the early afternoon while her 2-year-old daughter, Vanessa, takes a nap. "I'm able to balance it," Reaves said. "They're happy. As long as they're happy, that's the big thing." *It's almost over: Matt Hines will clinch his first NHRA Winston championship at the Sears Craftsman Nationals, Sept. 25-28 at Topeka, Kan., if he holds a 277-point lead after the event. Quite simply, Hines needs to advance one round further than Myers at Topeka to wrap up the title. Hines leads second-place John Myers by 260 points after his victory in this event. Only two Pro Stock Motorcycle races remain on the schedule after this event, the Pennzoil Nationals presented by Trak Auto, Oct. 2-5 at Memphis, Tenn., and the season-ending Winston Finals, Nov. 6-9 at Pomona, Calif. *WJ helps bike rider: Warren Johnson may not be winning in Pro Stock, but he's doing some winning in Pro Stock Motorcycle, where John Smith's Anoka-Ramsey Sports Center Suzuki is benefiting from a radical new cylinder head atop the team's two-valve Suzuki engine. Smith and crew chief Dave Harlander kept the top end of their engine under wraps at the Pioneer Electronics Keystone Nationals earlier this month at Reading, Pa. When the carbon-fiber body wasn't in place, a green towel was hiding the top of the engine from prying eyes. Smith was using the new head, designed and built with the help of engine builder Rick Ward, who did most of the machine work, and the Professor of Pro Stock, Warren Johnson, who looked at the team's existing engine program several months ago and suggested ways for them to improve airflow and performance. "I expect that the new Dart head that is supposed to come out this year will be a lot like what we're running now, but we wanted to get ahead of the game and build our own," Harlander said. "On the dyno, it is a little better than our other stuff, but this combination is still in its infancy. We're still learning how to tune it but obviously we feel like were going in the right direction." Indeed. Smith was runner-up to Matt Hines at Reading, outrunning John Myers in the quarterfinals and Angelle Seeling in the semifinals. Smith also qualified third, one spot ahead of defending NHRA Winston champion Dave Schultz. *Rivals: An interesting rivalry has developed between the two female riders in Pro Stock Motorcycle, Stephanie Reaves and Angelle Seeling. Reaves is ninth in the NHRA Winston point standings; Seeling fifth. Both riders made their debut at the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals in July 1996 at Denver. Seeling beat Reaves in the first round of the Mopar Parts Nationals in May at Englishtown, N.J., their only elimination-round matchup this season. "We're all in a competitive sport," Reaves said. "She and I have totally different programs. I guess to get down to the nitty-gritty, there are some rivalries there. We're both competitive." *Schedule: Pro qualifying starts at 3 p.m. Sept. 26 and continues at 7 p.m. that evening. Qualifying ends with sessions at noon and 4 p.m. Sept. 27. Final eliminations start at 11 a.m. Sept. 28. Federal-Mogul competition starts at 9 a.m. Sept. 25. *Tickets: Tickets are available for the Sears Craftsman Nationals. Call Heartland Park Topeka at (800) 43-RACES. Tickets also are available at Ticketmaster outlets throughout the Midwest. *On TV: The Nashville Network (TNN) will televise 90 minutes of live, final-round competition from the Sears Craftsman Nationals at 4:30 p.m. (CDT) Sept. 28. TNN also will televise one hour of live, first- round competition at 11 a.m. (CDT) that day. *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-