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Stotz Racing’s 2005 debut is Nick Ienatsch’s excellent adventure
06.06.05
Photos: Matt Polito, www.dragbikephotos.com

How good is Stotz Racing’s new 2005 turbocharged CBR1100XX? So good that team owner Kent Stotz chose to debut the mighty Honda at the 2005 AMA Prostar Pro Street Series in the hands of novice drag racer Nick Ienatsch. On June 4-5, Ienatsch – an AMA road racing champion and contributing editor to Cycle World magazine - took the bike all the way to the semi-finals at Gateway International Raceway in his first professional motorcycle drag racing competition.



“We knew coming into St Louis that we had picked up 65 more horsepower over the winter running the same 30 pounds of boost as last year,” said Stotz, the Blackbird’s regular pilot. “And I just can’t say enough about Nick. We first worked together in Cycle World magazine’s UFO project and I knew that he had the physical skills, mental sharpness and sheer guts to do well in this sport. He exceeded everyone’s expectations.”

On his first pass ever on a Pro Street bike, Ienatsch clocked a 7.98-second quarter-mile at 180.84 mph. His second pass was even better, netting him a 7.57 at 191.46. At the end of the qualifying session, Ienatsch sat in the fifth position. In the semi-final against last year’s champion Barry Henson, Ienatsch ran a 7.62 at 194.44 mph; Henson won the round but it was an impressive showing for motorcycle drag racing’s “newest” rider.



“I am pleased with my performance, but I really know that I can do better,” said Ienatsch. “As a road racer, you hear so much about drag racing but, until you compete in this sport, you can’t possibly appreciate the incredible intensity these guys experience in such a short period of time.”

What impressed the former AMA 250 GP champion? “You’ve got to do three things very well and very fast. Your reaction time has to be spot on, then you have to put all the power to the ground in the first 60 feet, and then you must time your shifting to get maximum top speed at the end of the run. It sounds simple, but most guys forget that you’re unleashing 500-plus horsepower in the time it takes most of us to dump the clutch. Let’s just say I had a couple of pretty good moments.”

Stotz was also pleased with the performance of his Honda CBR1100XX. “Each year we find a way to make the motor stronger and stronger, yet with the exception of the pistons, rods and cams, it is virtually a stock motor. It’s unheard of in drag racing to run this many stock components. I just can’t say enough about Honda’s engineering.”
The next stop for Stotz Racing will be a special appearance at the Honda Hoot™ in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 21-25, sponsored by the Honda Rider’s Club of America (HRCA). Then the team heads into competition at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tennessee on July 9-10 for the debut of the turbocharged XX at the 2005 NOPI (Number One Parts, Inc.) Drag Racing Association Series in the HRCA-sponsored Honda Pro Street Tire-Bike Class.

 

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