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Jerry Savoie's White Alligator Suzuki takes a bite out of points deficit with win

Jerry Savoie continued his push for a second Pro Stock Motorcycle championship by taking out points leader Andrew Hines in the semifinals and Eddie Krawiec in the final round to become the first racer in the 2019 Countdown to win more than one event,
20 Oct 2019
Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor
Race coverage
Jerry Savoie

Jerry Savoie continued his push for a second Pro Stock Motorcycle championship by taking out points leader Andrew Hines in the semifinals and Eddie Krawiec in the final round to become the first racer in the 2019 Countdown to win more than one event, He previously scored in Reading and is in third place, just 94 points out of the lead with his Tim Kulungian-tuned Suzuki.

Beating Krawiec in the final also had to be cathartic for Savoie, who was racing in his fifth straight final at Texas Motorplex but with just one previously, in 2015. He had lost to Krawiec in the finals in 2016 and ’17 and to L.E. Tonglet last year. He also was 1-7 against Krawiec in other finals.

"It was a great day," he said. "We knew we had a good bike. The last two races we had a good bike, too, but some misfortune, but we said if we can hold our composure we could win this race. We've been blessed at this track in the past; it's a great place and today was a great day. The win gives us hope [for the championship]. We knew Andrew [Hines, points leader] had to go out early and give us the window to win the championship. Those guys are struggling; look at the times they ran today. I feel for them but we're not the ones to help them, even though they do build our engines I try not to get caught up in the [points scenarios] too much; I try to be as calm and collected as I can."

Savoie got his run started with a 6.827 but all eyes were on the other lane when rookie Jianna Salinas’ Suzuki got dangerously close to the guardwall. The first-year rider was able to gather it up despite kicking up some dust. Savoie then squared off with his WAR teammate, St. Louis winner Karen Stoffer, in a great second-round race. Stoffer, who was second in points, left on him by four-hundredths but had to womanhandle the bike early, allowing him to eke by and win by just .003-second.

Hines drilled the Tree against Savoie with a .009 light in the semifinals but Savoie’s white Suzuki was right there with a .012 and outran him the rest of the way, 6.87 to 6.91, to reach his third final round in the last five races and open that window.

For the first time since Angelle Sampey joined the team over the winter, all three Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidsons reached the semifinals. Sampey defeated red-lighting Hector Arana Sr. in round one and Scotty Pollacheck in round two before falling to Krawiec.

To reach the final, Krawiec needed a quick left hand in round one, where his .017 light allowed him to beat Ryan Oehler on a holeshot, 6.91 to 6.90, then faced No. 1 qualifier Matt Smith, who had received a bye in round one but fell to Krawiec, 6.89 to 6.93. Krawiec then outran Sampey, 6.95 to 6.98 to reach his seventh final of the year and the 85th of his career.

Krawiec remained winless in his last 10 final rounds, including seven this year, but remains part of the championship race.