NHRA Makes “Parity” Adjustments for Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Mod

Apparently, having one team and one rider figuring most prominently in this year’s NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Motorcycle class means that everyone else running similar equipment must suffer for the team and driver’s skill at preparation and racing.

Citing “performance data”, NHRA’s technical department has decided to add five pounds to the Suzuki motorcycles running Vance & Hines’ four-valve cylinder head. Their motorcycles, racing at 635 pounds through last weekend’s Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals on the Bristol Dragway dragstrip, must add five pounds before decamping in Norwalk for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals this week.

Gaige Herrera is having a remarkable season with Vance & Hines equipment – NHRA photo

Granted, the V&H head is an admirable piece of equipment. In the hands of Gaige Herrera, it’s won three of four races held to date. Herrera fouled out in his final round against veteran Steve Johnson, who just upgraded his Suzuki motorcycle to the Hayabusa3 body kit in time for the Bristol, TN race and won, albeit using Monster four-valve heads, not Vance & Hines Suzuki four-valve equipment. And because of his victory – or maybe in spite of it – every V&H four-valve head user in the class now has to add five pounds to their motorcycles before running at Norwalk.

The result is a bunch of entrants that aren’t terribly happy with NHRA’s technical department. This writer agrees with them. Herrera is having a champion’s season because he’s with a winning team that is utilizing his innate talents to the max. Vance & Hines have been the purveyors of these heads since they developed them and have made the equipment available to anyone that wants – and can afford – them.

The open market appears to like what Vance & Hines are offering. And the open market appears to like what Monster is offering, too. That kind of flexibility in racing needs to continue, but continue without the sanctioning body butting into the competition unless and until it gets thoroughly out of hand. After all, Gaige Herrera won his first race in the season starter against Angie Smith, who rides a Buell.

HIs second, in the Charlotte four-wide Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, came in a four-way Suzuki contest between Herrera, Matt Smith (using Monster heads), Herrera’s teammate Eddie Krawiec and Johnson. His third victory came in NHRA’s return to Joliet, IL for the Gerber Collision & Glass NHRA Route 66 Nationals against the Buell of occasional contestant Chip Ellis, racing for Matt Smith Racing. Theirs was a very tight race, with Herrera’s MOV over Ellis all of .0627 seconds (6.717 to 6.791).

So what’s the problem here? There appeared to be good parity in this class with both Buell and Suzuki motorcycles performing well. There’s an obvious advantage with the Gen3 Hayabusa bodywork that many are adopting, as Johnson did last week, but to impose yet another penalty to the Vance & Hines Suzuki riders seems to be a bit over the top.


Justin Bond won the most recent round at Bristol – NHRA photo

And that’s not all – NHRA decided its FuelTech Pro Mod Drag Racing Series needed its own dose of parity adjustments as the 10-race season edges to its midway mark. Effective immediately and for the Norwalk race this weekend, June 22-25 is a laundry list of changes to a variety of cars: those entries that are nitrous-assisted get a weight gain of 20 pounds, going from 2,545 to 2,565 pounds; centrifugal supercharged cars must now weigh 2,775 pounds, up from 2,740; screw supercharged entries get a break, going from 2,700 pounds to 2,675.

Pro Mod entrants must add 20, rather than 25 pounds if they’re using  4.9 bore space supercharged combination, while the maximum supercharger overdrive limit goes from 16.5% to 18.6% on all Roots-based combinations, the screw supercharged maximum (numeric) rear-end gear ratio has been changed from 3.90-to-1 to 4.11-to-1. Converter pressure must be recorded on each pass down the quarter-mile and must be visible in the data logger, NHRA’s rules department decreed.

These updates were posted on June 14th for Pro Mod and a day later for Pro Stock Motorcycle, giving racers less than a week to comply. There might be some push-back once everyone convenes in Ohio.

By Anne Proffit

About Anne Proffit 1266 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.

2 Comments on NHRA Makes “Parity” Adjustments for Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Mod

  1. There needs to be a new sanctioning body to take drag racing to the next level to insure it survives the next 20 years.
    The NHRA has lost any appeal it had , it is just a mont machine for them selling advertising for broadcasts that air late.
    Camping World sees there is no future, that’s why they left.
    We need benefactor like Winston to pump it up again.

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