LE Tonglet Returns to Pro Stock Motorcycle

2010 Pro Stock Motorcycle champ LE Tonglet is returning to the class - Anne Proffit photo

His first chapter happened in ancient times, at least in the racing universe. LE Tonglet, whose brother GT rode for Vance & Hines in NHRA’s Pro Stock Motorcycle class as a teammate to Andrew Hines in 2004, burst on the scene in 2010 with his family-owned and run Suzuki. With father Gary and GT doing the tuning, presenting the younger family member to NHRA’s two-wheeled class became a master class in riding.

In his first full season of riding in this class, LE Tonglet won NHRA’s Rookie of the Year award en route to earning a championship in his chosen Pro Stock Motorcycle class. NHRA hadn’t seen this kind of brazen superiority. After earning his two laurels in 2010, Tonglet raced sporadically with his family and with fellow Louisianan and 2016 champ Jerry Savoie, earning his 20th and most recent Wally trophy in 2018 at Dallas, defeating Savoie to earn the win.

Now he’s returning to the Mission Foods NHRA Drag Racing Series’ Pro Stock Motorcycle class, despite being a full-time fire fighter in Metairie, Louisiana. Tonglet has continued backing from Kenny Koretsky’s banquet of sponsors, including the Nitro Fish clothing line.

Tonglet will lease a Vance & Hines Suzuki Hayabusa 3 and will have the benefit of both Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec turning the knobs. Acknowledged as a natural behind the handlebars of a motorcycle, Tonglet is looking forward to having the latest, greatest equipment to race in 2024.

Tonglet rode Fred Camarena’s motorcycle at the 2023 season finale in Pomona – Anne Proffit photo

“I might have been a bit rusty last year when I rode Fred Camarena’s [Suzuki] bike, but I don’t think I’ll have any problems once we get to Gainesville,” Tonglet said. Despite never having won at the Gatornationals, where he’ll test on Wednesday, March 6 prior to the season-starting Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals that begins the new season on Friday and runs through Sunday, March 8-10.

“I have to thank Kenny Koretsky and the team at Vance & Hines for making this happen,” Tonglet continued. “I’m in the process of losing a few pounds and I’m really looking forward to getting back out there!”

Kenny Koretsky, who has on-track NHRA exploits in both Top Fuel and Pro Stock, has been itching to get Tonglet back on a bike, particularly in the type of competitive equipment he’s leasing for the rider. In addition to Tonglet, Koretsky maintains a sponsorship affiliation with son Kyle in Pro Stock, as well as Funny Car standout Bob Tasca III. He’s the owner of Maple Grove Raceway at Reading, Penn., together with other members of his family.

2010 Pro Stock Motorcycle champ LE Tonglet is returning to the class – Anne Proffit photo

“LE Tonglet has done a lot of great things for the Nitro Fish brand, including winning a world championship. I’m excited to see him back out here,” Koretsky said. “Kyle is going to take some time off this year, but we’ll probably run the last ten or 12 races with the Pro Stock car. That helped open the door to bring LE back, and once we got the opportunity to work alongside Vance & Hines, it became obvious that we needed to make this deal happen.”

Vance & Hines’ new customer lease program will make its debut with Tonglet’s Suzuki Hayabusa 3. The motorcycle will be powered by the same four-valve Suzuki engine used by factory rider and reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Gaige Herrera, together with new teammate Richard Gadson. Having the benefit of Hines and Krawiec, who have ten championships and 107 race wins between them, doing the tuning could give Tonglet the opportunity to earn his second title, 14 years after his first.

About Anne Proffit 1248 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

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