A display of sandbags poking fun at Eddie Krawiec and his Screamin’ Eagle team did little to get inside of the defending series champion’s head.
Thus far this season there hasn’t been a lot the rivals could do to break the stranglehold on the Pro Stock Motorcycle class Krawiec and teammate Andrew Hines have dominated. Together they have won every race this season in the class.
This is why when a fellow motorcycle racer made a display of three sandbags, a clear reference the Screamin’ Eagle team was sandbagging, Krawiec unleashed on the field.
A two-time series champion, Krawiec opened with a 6.801-second elapsed time at 198.35 miles per hour run to stand as the quickest for the entire day. As badly as Krawiec wanted to run quicker in the second round, a headwind kept him and the rest of the field in check.
If his run holds, it will secure his third No. 1 qualifier of the season.
“Coming to Sonoma is always a good thing because you know you are going to have good air,” Krawiec said. “It’s an awesome facility with incredible atmospheric conditions. I love Northern California in driving through the rolling hills.
“It’s a big switch from Denver. When you go from Denver to Sonoma, you are going from 8 – 9,000 feet of air to about 700 here. To go a 6.80 at 198 miles per hour, this is just an awesome way to start my weekend. I just want to keep my momentum going forward.”
Krawiec’s performance also netted both track records leading to speculation the first Pro Stock Bike 200-mph run could transpire over the weekend.
“I’d love to say yes, but this isn’t one of those things you can ask to happen. Everything has to play out right.”
Everything, Krawiec adds, will be the winds not changing directions as they did between sessions on Friday.
“About a half-hour before the run, the flag pulls a 180 and starts going in a different direction,” said Krawiec. “We know it was a headwind immediately. The Saturday morning session is usually a good one for us. It’s going to all come down as to whether the wind wants to work for or against us. You never know here.”
The 200-mph drag racing milestone will require overwhelming perfect conditions.
“If we had these conditions helping us, and it would never work without the wind,” said Krawiec. “We need Mother Nature to turn the flag the other way.”
At this point, Mother Nature and beating himself could be his two major challenges.
“The biggest challenge is myself,” Krawiec. “I think that’s the easiest way to look at it. If you start racing the other people then you mess up. The key is to keep your focus headed into race day and do your job. If you’re the rider and you have the good bike under you, you have a good shot at winning.”
And to hear Krawiec talk about his competition, the Screamin’ Eagle team isn’t the only one with good bikes.
“There are a lot of good bikes out there,” Krawiec said. “I honestly don’t know why a lot of the field is struggling. I think there should have been a few more 6.80s or low 6.90s. I think it’s the swing, when you are coming off of Denver, and you have these guys sneaking up on the tune-up and being more cautious. Luckily for us, we run great in this great air. We have good notes and I am excited when we get into this kind of weather. “
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