In one of the most incredible sessions in class history, Hector Arana Jr. started things by resetting the national speed record. Before the round was finished, the speed record was then re-set three more times, capped off by Eddie Krawiec’s spectacular blast of 6.785-seconds at 203.37 mph on his Vance & Hines/Mission Foods Buell.
It increased the previous world record, which was set by Matt Smith at Gainesville in 2019 before Saturday’s wild round of qualifying, by nearly two miles per hour as the bar continues to be raised in the two-wheeled category.
In a thoroughly entertaining version of “Can you top this?” the riders put on a spectacular show, starting with the second pair of the second qualifying session.
Scotty Pollacheck went 6.736 at 201.16, jumping into the No. 1 spot and setting the track E.T. record in the process. It was a huge improvement for Pollacheck, who won in Atlanta but didn’t make a full run during Friday’s lone qualifying session and gave him the ninth-fastest pass by the end of the day.
Meanwhile, Arana Jr. sent shockwaves through zMAX Dragway with a massive run of 6.803 at 201.79, momentarily setting the new mark. Arana, of course, was the first member of the 200-mph club back in 2018 at Gainesville with a run of 200.23, but this time, his record run only lasted a very short time.
Two pairs later, Smith and Andrew Hines put on a terrific speed display, with Hines going 6.773 at 202.15. Hines, who made his first career 200-mph pass two weeks ago in Atlanta, only had the record a split-second as Smith crossed the finish line almost immediately after with his run of 6.773 at 202.18, just eclipsing Hines’ run.
It marked the first two 202-mph runs in class history, but Krawiec quickly topped that a few minutes later. Running out of lane four, Krawiec reached the 203-mph mark before anyone, lowering the boom with his 203.37-mph run.
“It’s great to be back out racing,” said Krawiec, a four-time world champ. “Our Vance and Hines Buells are fast, but we still do have a little work to do on the chassis. and bike setup. But the big speed really makes me smile.”
Krawiec has been on a 200-mph tear since debuting the team’s new Buell’s two weeks ago in Atlanta, as the more aerodynamic bikes have helped the veteran standout deliver five runs of 201 mph or better in just the last two races.
It was a spectacular capper in a session that won’t be soon forgotten. In all, Saturday’s second qualifying session included the four fastest runs in Pro Stock Motorcycle history, five of the top 10 runs, and seven out of the top 13 runs.
In all of the midst of all the record-setting madness, Joey Gladstone had a significant run as well. He got bumped from the No. 1 position to third, but he also made his first career 200-mph run, becoming the last member of the Denso 200-mph club.
Gladstone went 6.765 at 200.23, rounding out the eight-bike club in dramatic fashion. He’s the third rider to hit the 200-mph for the first time this season, as the class rockets forward in incredible fashion.
Saturday’s historic and memorable session was simply the latest example of that.