On this episode of the NHRA Insider Podcast, host Brian Lohnes is joined by Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith, the winning Funny Car crew chiefs from the Denso NHRA Sonoma Nationals, as well as rookie Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Chase Van Sant.
In the case of Oberhofer and Smith, the conversation centers around the long and systematic rebuilding process of their tune-up and race car after the disaster weekend they had in Pomona with a crash followed by a horrible explosion. It is a fascinating thing to hear about their approach, the arduous work, and ultimately when the results began to come to them.
On top of that, the pair talk about the workings of their team, personnel, their approach on race days, and the challenges of Sonoma 2023 with odd weather, a massive oildown, a right lane no one wanted, and what it was like to deliver Kalitta Motorsports a win, their first in a long while.
Van Sant is one of the young riders in Pro Stock Motorcycle forging his name into the ranks of many established players. Van Sant has not ridden like a rookie as he leads the class in average reaction time, has qualified close to the front of the field, and goes rounds more often than he doesn't. In this fun conversation, Lohnes and Van Sant cover a lot of ground from the mental mechanics of being a rider to the pressures, adjustments, and learning curve of being a rookie. Lots of fun here!
Different classes, different lives, the same drive to win. A truly fun show.