Stotz blasts records at AMA/Prostar
November 13, 2004
Photos: Matt Polito, www.dragbikephotos.com
AMA/Prostar Streetbike Shootout champ Kent Stotz had a steep hill
to climb to garner an unprecedented fifth championship: At the
season-ending Diamond Powersports World Finals at Gainesville,
Stotz would either have to stay three elimination rounds ahead
of rival Barry Henson or set a new national performance record
and stay two rounds ahead – not an easy task when you consider
Stotz and Henson have the two quickest and fastest Shootout bikes
in the world.
Stotz pulled out of the gate hard on his 500+ horsepower Honda
CBR1100XX, blasting both ends of the record in the first round
of eliminations with a clean 7.256 elapsed time at 200.49 mph.
"My plan was to push this little Honda as hard as it would
go and get the records right from the start," said Stotz.
“You never know how the situation is going to change. We
had decent air and a tight racetrack so we had to put the wood
to it early.”
In the second round of eliminations the strategy nearly cost him
as his over-taxed turbocharger failed, slowing Stotz to a 10.13
e.t. Fortunately Stotz’ opponent, Houston’s Robert
Washington, had mechanical difficulties as well and Stotz was
able to turn on the win light and advance.
After replacing the turbocharger between rounds, Stotz went up
against fellow Chicago-area racer Phil Stoll. Stotz took the win
over Stoll but also saw Henson steal the e.t. record away by two
thousandths of a second with a 7.254 win over Chuck Cunningham.
Stotz’ championship hopes were dashed in the semifinals
as Henson opened up the round with a win over Mike Slowe to seal
the championship plate for 2004.
"I saw his win light come on and decided if I couldn't have
the #1 plate I would do what I could to back up both ends of the
records,” said Stotz. “I pre-staged, revving it a
little higher than normal, and it pulled me too deep into the
lights resulting in a red light." The miscue gave Rickey
Gadson the win as well as the points needed to get around Stotz
for second place in the championship.
“I was really disappointed at having a strong shot at the
championship and ending up in the third position,” said
Stotz, still the class’s only multi-time champion. “Still
I am proud of job my team did. The fans were the real winners
in this one. This was one of the most exciting championship battles
I can remember and we were in the middle of it until the very
end. We never stepped away from the challenge.”
The bright spot for Stotz was recording the event’s only
200 MPH pass and ending 2004 with the speed record and the official
title of “World's Fastest Streetbike”.
In the exhibition V-Twin Extreme class Stotz rip off a 10.07 @136
MPH on his turbocharged VTX 1800 running a bone-stock motor with
a Velocity Racing turbo kit, and MTC lock-up clutch.
Pre-race testing told Stotz he could safely turn up the wick in
the bike. "We usually experience ring land failure around
15 lbs of boost with stock components,” said Stotz. “But
with nothing failing we just kept turning up the boost until we
got to 25 lbs, producing 271 horsepower and over 250 ft lbs of
torque on the stock VTX."
Stotz's first pass saw nothing but wheelies out of that 895 pound
bike. Turning the boost down to 18 lbs made it controllable enough
to short shift and run a 10.07 at 136 MPH. "That wasn't very
fast for me but it was a hell of a lot of fun,” he said.
Stotz is looking forward to next year with a lighter version of
his 200 MPH Blackbird and an even racier Turbo VTX 1800.
“None of the records or championships would be possible
without my sponsors,” said Stotz. “I want to mention
Honda Rider's Club of America, Honda Pro Oils, Velocity Racing,
Joe Rocket, JE Pistons, Star Racing, Pingel Enterprise, RC Components,
Hyperpro Suspension, Airtech, Falicon, Schaumburg Honda, and our
series sponsor Mickey Thompson. We work very hard, but would not
have the success we have had if not for the product, and more
so the service, that these companies provide to the racers. We
really owe a debt of gratitude for their support. I want to tell
them all; ‘Thanks for a great season’.”