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Defending Indy winner Eddie Krawiec still looking for milestone 50th victory

The next victory for Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Eddie Krawiec will be a big one, as the four-time world champion is one win away from his 50th career NHRA victory.
02 Sep 2022
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Eddie Krawiec

The next victory for Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Eddie Krawiec will be a big one, as the four-time world champion is one win away from his 50th career NHRA victory. The fact that the milestone victory could come during the biggest race of the year, the 68th annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, would make it even sweeter for the Vance & Hines rider.
Krawiec has been close on a couple of occasions this year, finishing as the runner-up at the past two races on his Vance & Hines Suzuki. Both of those defeats came to points leader Joey Gladstone, but it also tells Krawiec the team is closing in on a victory at the perfect time. As a three-time winner at the Big Go, including a victory last season at the U.S. Nationals, Krawiec fully knows about the prestige of winning in Indy, which is why a 50th career win coming at the illustrious race would likely make for a pinch-me moment.
“For sure it would be an awesome deal,” Krawiec said. “I’m right there, and I feel like I’ve got a really good motorcycle. You just need things to roll your way. You have to be good, you have to get a little luck, and, sometimes, you have to make your own luck. You’re just not going to show up and a win is going to happen for you. It’s too deep, and there’s a lot of great motorcycles in the class, but Indy is the race you want to win. To have three wins at Indy, it’s just cool to say I’m a world champion and I’ve won Indy.”
The U.S. Nationals is the final race before the Countdown to the Championship playoffs begin, and Krawiec is the No. 3-ranked rider in the class. He’d love to move to first or second, and based on his recent results, he’s trending in the right direction. Krawiec has vaulted four spots in the points standings over the past two races, showing an increased comfort level on his new Suzuki. After years on a V-Twin motorcycle, the move to a Suzuki was a big transition to start the year, but things are now flowing well at an ideal time.
That could bode well for his 50th career victory coming in Indy, but Krawiec knows just how loaded the class is this season. A total of 22 motorcycles will be on hand at the Big Go, a group that includes points leader Gladstone, teammate Angelle Sampey, defending world champ Matt Smith, Steve Johnson, who has a pair of wins this year, Angie Smith, and Karen Stoffer.
“I’m starting to come into my own with my Suzuki program, and I’m really starting to understand what the bike wants and where it wants to be,” Krawiec said. “It probably took me about five runs to get acclimated, but in this class, getting acclimated is just not good enough. Anytime you change bikes, you have to learn, and it takes time. You can never perfect it, but you want to be able to get it right without thinking about it, and we’re getting closer to that. We’re getting better and better at where the bike needs to be.”
History is certainly on Krawiec’s side as the Vance & Hines team has a rich history at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. In addition to Krawiec’s three Indy wins, crew chief Andrew Hines has two Indy wins while former riders Matt Hines and Terry Vance have five more wins in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class since 1985.