(Photos courtesy NHRA)

2016 NHRA season in review: Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Eddie Krawiec

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Over the next three-plus weeks, MotorSportsTalk will feature season-ending reviews of the top drivers of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

Each day, we’ll have one in-depth review of a driver that finished in the top-five in each of the four professional classes (Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle), as well as a compendium of select other drivers that did not finish in the top-five.

The list of drivers we’ve already posted is below. Today, we feature Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Eddie Krawiec.



Driver: Eddie Krawiec

Age: 40

Hometown: Englishtown, New Jersey

Team: Vance and Hines Racing

Sponsor/motorcycle: Screamin’Eagle/Vance and Hines Harley-Davidson

Crew chief: Matt Hines

2016 season finish: Second in Pro Stock Motorcycle

2016 season statistics: 16 races, 5 wins, 2 runner-up, 5 semifinals, 3 quarterfinals. No. 1 qualifier six times. Round-by-round record: 38 wins, 11 losses.

Career statistics: 171 races, 36 wins, 27 runner-up, 31 semifinals, 42 quarterfinals. No. 1 qualifier 33 times. Round-by-round record: 325 wins, 126 losses. 9 DNQ.

What went right in 2016: Krawiec had a strong season, winning almost one-third (five) of the 16 races on the Pro Stock Motorcycle schedule. He and teammate and 2015 (and five-time) champion Andrew Hines put up a strong effort, but in the end, both fell short of 2016 first-time PSM champ Jerry Savoie (Krawiec finished second, 24 points behind Savoie, while Hines finished third, 31 points back).

What went wrong in 2016: Krawiec struggled at times during the six-race Countdown for the Championship playoffs, most notably a first-round loss in the opener at Charlotte and quarterfinal losses at St. Louis and Pomona. Granted, Krawiec did win at Reading and Dallas, but when he lost in the second round of the season-ending race at Pomona, California, there went his chance for a fourth career PSM championship (previously won in 2009, 2011 and 2012).

What to look for in 2017: Krawiec wants a fourth championship in the worst way. Up until 2016, his primary nemesis was teammate Hines. Now he has to also contend with 2016 and first-time champ Jerry Savoie. There’s not much different Krawiec can do to reach the top other than what he’s been doing throughout his career. If he gets a couple of breaks, he very well may earn that fourth title in 2017.

Season reviews already posted:

— Antron Brown (12/12)

— Ron Capps (12/13)

— Jason Line (12/14)

Jerry Savoie (12/15)

Doug Kalitta (12/16)

Tommy Johnson Jr. (12/17)

Greg Anderson (12/18)

Eddie Krawiec (12/19)

Steve Torrence (12/20)

— Matt Hagan (12/21)

— Shane Gray (12/22)

— Andrew Hines (12/23)

— J.R. Todd (12/24)

— John Force (12/25)

— Bo Butner (12/26)

— Angelle Sampey (12/27)

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Pippa Mann returns to Dale Coyne Racing for seventh Indianapolis 500 bid

Photo courtesy Dale Coyne Racing
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Pippa Mann announced Tuesday that she plans to drive in her seventh Indianapolis 500 on May 27.

The native of Ipswich, England will once again return to race for Dale Coyne Racing, with new sponsorship by Donate Life Indiana.

She had previously been sponsored the last four years in the 500 by the Susan G. Komen organization. She’ll continue to carry logos of that organization on the front wing of her car in the 500, Mann said.

Mann, 34, has raced six times in the 500, with a best finish being 17th in last year’s race.

Mann will fill out the four-car Dale Coyne Racing field for the Greatest Spectacle In Racing. She’ll be teammates with Sebastien Bourdais (No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda in a partnership with Vasser-Sullivan), Pietro Fittipaldi (No. 19 The Paysafe Car Honda) and Conor Daly (No. 17 U.S. Air Force Honda in a partnership with Thom Burns Racing).

Mann will make her first practice laps for this year’s 500 on Tuesday, May 15. Qualifying is May 19-20.

Mann’s No. 63 Honda will have a significantly different look than in the last few years. Instead of pink, her car will feature a silvery blue and light green paint scheme wrapped around a Donate Life Indiana logo.

“I am honored to have been asked to drive the Donate Life car this May and to partner with Donate Life Indiana as an ambassador to raise awareness on our mission to help reach even more Hoosiers through our education efforts,” Mann said in a media release. “This is obviously a campaign with a pretty deep personal meaning for me, and I am humbled to have the opportunity to join the racers carrying this cause forward.

“I also want to thank Dale and Gail Coyne for once again giving me this opportunity to pilot one of their entries this May. This will be my sixth year with Dale Coyne Racing and I’m truly grateful that they allow me to do this every year.”

Mann will also serve as a spokesperson for the organization and to raise awareness for youth education initiatives in Indiana, most notably organ, tissue and eye donor registration.

In addition to her driving duties in the 102nd running of the 500, Mann will also visit schools across the Hoosier State to speak about the importance of organ donation and transplantation.

“Our education team is committed to partnering with Pippa and students and teachers across the state to bring the message of organ donation and transplantation to as many students as possible,” said Steve Johnson, board chairman for Donate Life Indiana.

Follow @JerryBonkowski