On Sunday and Monday, Pro Stock Motorcycle rider LE Tonglet spent time moving equipment in his dad Gary Tonglet’s shop in Metairie, La.,in preparation of Hurricane Isaac coming ashore. Metairie is five minutes from New Orleans.
“We moved everything in the shop from downstairs to upstairs,” said LE, the 2010 NHRA world champion. “We got no damage at all. It is not like Katrina, but areas that did not get wet from Katrina are under water right now. I know a lot of people who lost their houses. It is a tough time again.”
As of Thursday evening, up to 50,000 people in Louisiana's Tangipahoa Parish, which is located 100 miles north of New Orleans, were ordered to evacuate when water from Isaac - which by late afternoon had weakened to a tropical depression - threatened to overwhelm a dam across the state line in Mississippi.
“We drove up here (to Indianapolis) Tuesday morning and my mom and sister stayed behind at home (in Metairie), and thankfully they never lost power,” LE said about Isaac which hit Louisiana late Tuesday night.
Back in August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent floods killed nearly 2,000 people while roaring through Louisiana, specifically New Orleans, and leaving a path of destruction in Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
“I remember Katrina,” LE, 22, said. “We were sitting in the motor home watching it on TV when the wall broke. It wasn’t on the same side as our house, but the water went around and actually flooded our house where all our bikes were kept. Our old trailer that we used to haul the bikes was flooded. Kenny Bernstein actually helped us get this trailer that we are still using now. He had a thing going where he was raising money for us, and without him we probably would not have this trailer.”
Tonglet comes to the U.S. Nationals seventh in the points and will try to secure a top 10 spot at Indianapolis to qualify for the six race Countdown to the Championship which begins Aug. 14-16 in Charlotte, N.C.
More importantly for Tonglet, earlier this week he landed a primary sponsor - ZLOOP Computer and Electronic Recycling Centers – for the final seven races of this season.
“We have them for these seven races and we have talked about next year,” LE said. “I’m pretty sure they will stay onboard (for 2013). We are really excited and ZLOOP is really excited. They are all about bringing awareness about recycling computers and stuff like that. Believe it or not, they contacted us. I was at work one day and they called and the next thing you know they were talking to my dad about sponsoring us.”
The timing could not have been better for team Tonglet. Tonglet races a Suzuki powered by Vance & Hines motors.
“We sat out Sonoma, and they (ZLOOP) called us when they noticed we skipped Sonoma,” LE said. “We were going to come here (to the U.S. Nationals), and then after that it was all up in the air (because of lack of sponsorship). This is relief now because we are guaranteed to go to the next race. We feel that we can make some noise in the Countdown. It is just going to be a matter of keeping everybody on the team calm and keeping the parts lasting. We have not had time for testing with the storm and everything like that, but that should not be a problem. We feel really confident with the set up we have now for Indy.”
Officials from Hickory, North Carolina-based ZLOOP Computer And Electronic Recycling Centers announced today the marketing partnership agreement with GT Motorsports and driver L.E. Tonglet for the remainder of the 2012 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Pro Stock Motorcycle division season.
The alignment with GT Motorsports is the first in the Motorsports sector for ZLOOP in NHRA, but also signifies the company’s launch towards bringing attention to race fans about the seriousness of eWaste and educating them about the proper disposal of used or outdated computers and electronics.
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