On the starting line or anywhere else, not much rattles Eddie Krawiec, so if anyone thinks he’s ready to hit the panic button after going winless in the first 10 events of the 2019 season, they’d be sadly mistaken. First, it’s important to remember that Krawiec won the first of his four world championships without the benefit of a national event victory and if he was forced to do that again, so be it.
“Of course, I want to win races and with the bike I’ve got, I should be winning, but I’d be happy to runner-up my way to another championship,” said Krawiec, who entered the Countdown as the second seed in the two-wheel class. “We just haven’t cashed in on our opportunities. I’ve been to a lot of finals but we haven’t closed the deal yet. Now that we’re in the playoffs, I need to start finishing the job. I know I said you could win it with a lot of runner-ups, but really, you’re going to need to win at least one or two races in the Countdown in order to finish the job.
This season, Krawiec’s biggest obstacle has been his own teammate Andrew Hines, who has won seven of the first ten events. The pair have raced five times this season and Hines has won all of them, including final rounds in Gainesville, Richmond, Norwalk, and Denver. Those losses notwithstanding, Krawiec has a very respectable 21-5 record in elimination rounds this season.
“As long as Andrew isn’t in the other lane, I’ve been just fine this year,” said Krawiec. “Honestly, we’re doing what we do best which is putting both of our Harley-Davidsons in the final round. Andrew has just been about unstoppable this year, but our biggest goal is to both make the final.”
Krawiec knows that the tide needs to turn in order to win another title and heading into final eliminations in Reading, he believe’s he’s locked down a mechanical issue that has held his performance in check for the last few races. Krawiec is the No. 6 seed in the field while teammate Angelle Sampey is No.1 for the second-straight race and Hines is No. 2.
“It’s no secret that we’ve struggled with our bike but we found some stuff last night that we think will fix the problem,” said Krawiec. “My bike has had a bog in it and we’ve had a heck of a time getting it straightened out. As long as we fixed the right stuff, there’s no reason to think we can’t run up front with the other two bikes. From sixty-foot on, my bikes is as good as anyone out here. We just need to fix the launch.
“As for the championship, I really don’t care who wins, as long as it’s one of our bikes,” Krawiec said. “I know most people won’t believe that but that’s really the way I feel. Honestly, my goal is to be in it until the end, just like last year. I hated losing in the final in Pomona [to Matt Smith] but it was exciting to be in the fight for the whole Countdown. Between me, Matt, Hector [Arana Jr.], any one of us could have won the championship but we all make mistakes at the wrong time. We made mistakes left and right, otherwise one of us would have run away with it. I think we each gave up two races in the last six. You can’t make those mistakes anymore.”