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Scotty Pollacheck grateful to make Indy return and hoping for more

Scotty Pollacheck, one of the most popular riders in the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle class, has made his 2022 season debut at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals and he's as happy to be back as the fans are to have him.
03 Sep 2022
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Scotty Pollacheck

It took almost a decade for Scotty Pollacheck to get his first Pro Stock Motorcycle victory, but when it finally happened it was well worth the wait. Pollacheck won the 2020 U.S. Nationals title and followed with a second win in Atlanta a year later. For all of his success, Pollacheck  and his wife, Susan, decided to take the 2022 season off in order to devote more time to  family and business matters in their home state of Oregon. That was all well and good until Pollacheck got an offer that was too good to refuse. An offer that has him back on a bike and searching for his second Indy win.

Pollacheck is riding the same Matt Smith Racing Buell that he rode to his first two national event wins and he’s back with support from Mike Salinas and the Scrappers team and new sponsor Pep Boys.

“I wasn’t going to race this year. I was pretty firm on that,” said Pollacheck. “Not that I didn’t want to race but I have a lot going on so I thought it would be good to take some time off. Well, then things changed. I still talk to Matt [Smith] pretty often and we actually discussed a deal for me to race in Denver and Sonoma but that didn’t work with my schedule. Then we started talking about this race and Mike [Salinas] was on board with me racing as part of the Pep Boys team. It’s a great opportunity and at that point I knew I couldn’t turn it down so here I am. For now, we’ve got an agreement to run this race but I hope there is a possibility to do more. I’d be just fine with that.”

The last time Pollacheck rode Smith’s Buell at the Auto Club Finals last November, he qualified No. 6 and beat six-time world champ Andrew Hines in the opening round. Naturally he’s like to duplicate that level of success in his Indy return.

So how did Pollacheck fare after 10 months on the sidelines? Just fine, as a matter of fact. During Friday’s lone professional qualifying session, Pollacheck was 11th quickest with a 6.95 and he also had a very competitive .014 reaction time.

“It felt really good and I was pretty happy with my light and the way the bike ran,” said Pollacheck. “Obviously, I think there is a lot more left but that wasn’t bad for the first run of the year. This is a really great opportunity and I’m happy to represent Pep Boys and Scrappers Racing. I hope we can do more together.”