I can’t believe the end of the season is approaching us quick. It seems like yesterday we were preparing for the season to start. I am thinking the older you get the more time flies by. These last several races have been pretty good to us. Taking over the points lead in St. Louis was huge. Our teams have great bikes and have had them all year. We have had a couple of hiccups in the way but it has seemed to all work out now. As you all know Scotty Pollacheck joined our team a couple of races back. He has been so great to work with. Scotty reached his first semifinal with our team in St. Louis. We were proud of the way he came over and adapted to a totally different motorcycle so quick. Sometimes that’s hard to do because as a rider you like the bike you ride and that’s it. So all in all the transition was crazy but it all worked out well in the end.
Going into Reading you have to expect the unexpected. What I mean by that is you never know if it’s going to rain, snow, sleet, and any other weather condition. We honestly didn’t know how many qualifying runs we were going to get. The forecast changes rapidly up there. We were very fortunate to have sunny beautiful blue skies the whole time. It was amazing. That’s the first time I have ever been to Reading and it didn’t rain. In qualifying we tried to put our best foot forward and get some bonus points but we only managed to get a few at most. There were other bikes out there just running a little faster. Matt was a little bummed by that but it didn’t steer his focus on the big picture. On raceday he knew he had to do his job and so did the other bikes in our camp. At the end of the day Matt was standing on the podium with the trophy and the points lead. He was proud and so was his team. As I have always said it is not over yet. I never count my chickens before they hatch if you know what I mean. We live in a world that anything can happen so I will only say that it looks better than it has during the regular season. Fingers and toes are crossed that we can bring this Championship back to North Carolina and Matt can share it with his father. From a motorsports media standpoint I think that will be huge for a father and son to win a championship in the same sanctioning body the same year.
Well since we only have two weeks at home before we head west we do have some work to do. The first order of business is to get Matt’s bike fixed. He broke the handlebars and a few welds for the frame will fix it quick. Then the plan is to dyno a few motors through the bikes. In our spare time, which is weekend time Matt plans to finish up the new shop with the wiring of new lights and things like that. It’s coming along quite nice. When we get home from Pomona that’s when all the fun will begin. The moving process will be lengthy and long but when it’s done it will be nice.
It’s been a great year so far for this Viper/MSR team. We are striving to be on top at the end of Pomona so we can add to the 2007 trophy. We just got to maintain these last two races. Thank you for all the kind words and support on the social media networks. I hope to be sharing news of a championship very soon.
After leaving Sonoma and having a 41-hour drive home we had a lot of time to plan what was going to happen at MSR for the next couple of weeks. With the schedule change this year we had more time to prepare for the Countdown to the Championship. I am pretty sure that’s going to benefit us when we come down to the last couple of races of the year. I will say that we really missed going to Brainerd this year. That’s always such a fun race because of the awesome fans at the Zoo. Hopefully someday we will make it back up there for a reunion.
Our first thing on the agenda to do when arriving home was to get all these motors apart and order parts. It’s midseason and time to order enough to get through the end of the year. After being on the phone a lot we have finally got all that accomplished and shipments were arriving daily. Matt has also been in the process of designing some new parts for us to use on our Viper S&S-powered Buells. These keys items should be an asset to us when it all starts to count.
We had a test session scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday this past week. With the weather forecast not promising we were unsure of how much we were truly going to get to test. We arrived Wednesday morning early at the track with an 80 percent of rain at 9:00 a.m. Not the forecast you even want to show up at the track for. We had to put our positive spirits on and hope for the best. We were testing four Pro Stock bikes and one Pro Mod bike. So we had a lot to accomplish and we didn’t need rain. After warming all the bikes up Wednesday morning and servicing them we were ready to go up. The boys were getting their suits on and the bottom dropped out of the sky. It basically flooded the track and rained for a couple of hours. The folks at the track finally called it for the day. Not a successful day for us. That meant we had a ton of work to do the next day. Matt chatted with someone who had the track rented on Friday and they said we could test then as well. So I was relieved. Thursday was very successful. Dawn Minturn and Keith Nichols come in so Dawn could test her bike she will be riding in Indianapolis next week. Also John Hall and Bobby Webb made it up as well to test. Matt tested a motor in his bike and Matt rode Tyler’s Pro Mod bike. Needless to say it was extremely busy. Everyone did a great job testing. Matt went 4.16 and 170+ on Tyler’s Pro Mod bike. That was a huge gain. We had been struggling with some issues with the bike but thanks to Steve Nichols and Eric Gash from Haltech they got us all fixed up.
Finally after the dust had settled it was almost time to enjoy some dinner but not before we had a little something go bad. I was changing motors in Matt’s bike when Chad Hester came over from working on Rickie’s car to get me in a panic. I said what’s wrong. He yelled come on something happened to Rickie. I immediately went into my medical mode. Rickie touched the fan on his car and cut his finger COMPLETELY off. Yes I said completely. He was in some major pain. We had to get an ambulance there and get him to the hospital. I was helping Rickie while saying they had to find the other part of the finger. Previously I had to deal with this a couple of years ago with my mother so I knew what to do. We found the portion he cut off and got it on ice so we could send it with him. Needless to say after Rickie got to the hospital they could not put it back on because it wasn’t a clean cut. I will say this. Rickie Smith is one bad man and dedicated is an understatement. He was back at the track that night and tested his car the next day. I don’t know anyone that would do that. I’m just thankful I was there to help and thankful he was ok.
On Friday Matt and I both tested and the results were great for him. We learned some stuff with the motor that was in my bike. Isn’t that what testing is for? Thankfully we will go back to the shop and work extremely hard for the next couple of days until we leave for Indy on Wednesday. I kind of wish Wednesday was here now. A little tidbit about Indy. Colbert Seagraves is so awesome. He got us some new helmets from Simpson and man are they going to be shining bright on Friday. If any of you follow me on Instagram or Twitter I am sure you have already seen some preliminary pictures. I honestly can’t wait to see it in person and to put that baby on my head and take it down the quarter mile. I am excited for Indy. This team is ready to contend for this championship. We are bringing the A game as I always say. WE ARE IN IT TO WIN IT!!! Nothing would be sweeter than to bring Viper Motorcycle Company an NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Championship on there first full season as being a sponsor. LETS DO THIS BOYS!!
Hello to all of our crazy race fans. I hope your summer is treating you well. We survived our northern swing and now we are heading to race our western swing. I will have to say that the northern swing was pretty darn good to the MSR/Viper Motorcycle team. With two out of three wins, that’s not too shabby. John Hall winning at his home track was pretty fantastic. Matt being a repeat winner at Norwalk was awesome to. Matt went to two finals on the swing and got beat by Michael Ray in Chicago. He did a great job and it was just his day to win. Congrats to Michael and to the Star team. Michael talked a lot of trash to Matt giving him a hard time about his light in the final against him. He told Matt he was too old and needed to retire. I think Matt came back and redeemed himself at the next race. Matt had stellar lights every round in Norwalk and he was unbeatable. He won two elimination rounds on a holeshot. In drag racing that means the driver did their job.
We had some work to do at the shop when we got home. With having three races back to back we have to come home and evaluate our motors to make sure everything is working right in them. Come to find out my motor was not performing at the best. With some issues with parts we were glad we took the motor apart. I was happy we found the problems so we could fix them and get everything back ready for Denver. During our brief time off Matt and Trent decided to build a “special motor” for the Denver race. We didn’t have a chance to dyno the motor so it will be interesting to see if it runs better than all of our other stuff. With both Matt and John already winning this season it has been outstanding. I really hope my luck turns around and can get some round wins. I really want to win so maybe it will come so we can have all three members of this team in the winners’ circle. Matt has been pretty successful at getting first time drivers in the winner’s circle. Maybe he can get me there as well.
We are currently en route to Denver now. It’s a long journey out there and even a longer journey on the way home. 41 hours to be exact for the drive from Sonoma to home. The only thing that would make the drive awesome would be if we had 2 Wally’s traveling with us. I am not going to be greedy and say if we had only one it would still be worth it. Wally’s make everything so much better. My fingers are crossed that I get some round wins on this western swing and can be a candidate to get in the Top 10. We will see how the cards fall. I know it would be a pretty sweet deal if we had three Viper/MSR Buells competing for the first ever Mello Yello Pro Stock Bike Championship. Until next time keep it full speed ahead.
Hello everyone. Hope all is well. It has been super busy at MSR lately. We have continued our research and development program. Most importantly we have been working on Matt’s bike in search of the shifting problem. We really think we have it fixed now. We are planning a test session one week from today in Rockingham to give us the assurance we need. Matt and I both really need to get some rounds under our belt this early in the season. I would rather be in with some comfort than be out working really hard to get in.
John Hall has been doing an outstanding job for MSR/Viper team. He has been winning rounds on Sunday and we all know that’s what its all about in drag racing. John’s family got to attend the Charlotte event and we all had a great time. I am sure his family will be around for the Englishtown and New Hampshire race. They are a great group of people and we are thankful to be working with him this year. Just want to say thank you to John on making us look awesome this year. Keep it up.
I have been making better runs down the racetrack. My main focus this year has been just that. I want to make four great qualifying runs that are straight and fast. That’s still a goal for Englishtown. On Saturday in qualifying I made a pretty good run and I was top of the sheet. I have been there a couple of times but I am going to try and make it a habit from now on.
On our way home from Houston we had to stop in Competition Trailers and get our awning extended and some good things like that. So on our way through Atlanta we stopped in to attend the Night of Champions at the World of Coca-Cola. As always we have such an amazing time with all the other Champions and with all the NHRA and Coke representatives. We had a very nice dinner and I got to shop with all the other ladies in the World of Coke store. I would like to say thank you for always giving us a very enjoyable evening honoring our drivers. Thank you.
I’m looking forward to Englishtown because it will be four long weeks we have had to wait to go racing again. I am ready right now. Another thing I am looking forward to is New York City. We were not able to go to New York last year. Matt and I are going this year and we are staying for two nights. I have never had more than four hours in New York City so I am sure by the next blog I will have a lot to talk about. Scotty and Susan Pollacheck will be joining us in New York City for our little getaway. It’s always great to spend time with your track family away from the track. Susan and I are going shopping for sure. Not sure what the guys have in mind. By then Matt might need to just relax after a busy weekend.
As you all know Scott Speed is Matt’s brother in law. He married Matt’s sister Amanda several years back. He competes in NASCAR these days. He had an opportunity to attend the X Games in Brazil to compete in Rally Cross. Not only did he compete in his first ever event in the X Games but he also won the GOLD. What a great accomplishment for Scott on his very first outing. Great job Scott.
Englishtown is less than two weeks away and I am super excited to say the least. Like I said I want to go now. I am confident we have Matt’s shifting problem fixed and we have worked out a couple of bugs with my bike. I think Englishtown will be our chance for this entire Viper/MSR race team to shine. John has been shining since Gainesville and now its time for all of us to shine as a team. I know we are ready. If you’re in Englishtown come by and say hi.