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MailTribune.com
  • Pollacheck off to hot start in NHRA

    Central Point resident sitting just out of first in Pro Stock Motorcycle points race
  • With two NHRA races in the books and two straight final-round appearances, Central Point's Scotty Pollacheck is sitting just out of first place in the Mello Yello NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle points race.
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  • With two NHRA races in the books and two straight final-round appearances, Central Point's Scotty Pollacheck is sitting just out of first place in the Mello Yello NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle points race.
    After making the final at the season-opening event at Gainesville, Pollacheck made the final quad at the 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, N.C. — a unique race on the tour where four racers face off at the same time in each elimination round.
    At this early point in the season, Pollacheck, who since late last year has been part of the Matt Smith Racing team, is 11 points behind the Harley-Davidson of three-time series champion Andrew Hines.
    Although Pollacheck has yet to score an NHRA victory in six career final-round appearances, he feels that will change this year.
    "I know we have what it takes to win," he said, "and I am confident we will get there."
    Pollacheck will next race at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals May 16 in Atlanta.
    At the 4-Wide, Pollacheck's first hit at the track resulted in a time of 6.987 at a career-best speed of 196.07 mph. He improved on the time with a 6.843 at 197.91 mph for the fourth spot in the 16-bike field.
    Pollacheck was first across the stripe in the first quad of eliminations, running a 6.885. In the semifinal quad he was defeated by teammate John Hall but still advanced to the final, which would match the Harley-Davidson team of Hines and Eddie Krawiec against Pollacheck and Hall from MSR.
    The MSR racers got the holeshot over the Harleys but Hall had a shifting problem and Pollacheck's bike ran out of steam on the top end as Hines and Krawiec placed first and second for the event.
    "It was a good clean pass but something wasn't happy," said Pollacheck of the final. "We might have hurt something. Matt [Smith] will get it back to the shop and check everything out."
    Charlotte actually marked the third final in a row for Pollacheck counting his runner-up finish at the Pomona Finals last season. This came shortly after Pollacheck teamed up with MSR with four races to go in the 2013 season.
    MSR, helmed by two-time and reigning NHRA national champion Matt Smith, handles all logistics of running the bike — preparation, transportation, tuning and maintenance. Including Pollacheck, MSR had three bikes in the top 10 in NHRA championship points last season.
    With the demise of last year's primary sponsor, Viper Motorcycle Company, Pollacheck and MSR have been actively courting new marketing partners. While they have a host of associate sponsors, Pollacheck's company — Quality Tire — is footing most of the bill.
    In his first full year with MSR, Pollacheck feels strongly about his prospects.
    "It's been a great start to the season," he said. "In these first two races we have really gotten into a groove. The bike is good, I've been solid on the tree, the team is working hard, and Matt is making good tuning calls."
    At MSR each race bike has a bike chief responsible for the maintenance of the machine. Brandon Pettitt plays that role for Pollacheck's machine.
    "I have a lot of confidence in Brandon," said Pollacheck. "I don't have to worry about the bike so I can concentrate on the riding. He has been a really positive influence and a good reinforcement for me."
    With six final-round appearances and no wins to show for it, Pollacheck is anything but frustrated.
    "The closer we get the hungrier we are," he said. "I always ride well when I make a final. I feel confident; it's just that luck hasn't been on our side. It will be soon enough."
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