(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.

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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

Recapping the proper Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel rivalry (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).

However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.

However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.

Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.

 

Take a look behind the scenes of Fernando Alonso’s Indy 500 qualifying runs (VIDEO)

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In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth. 

Simulator ride tells what Fernando Alonso can expect in Indianapolis 500 (VIDEO)

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On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).

Check out the above video.  

Legendary announcer Ken Squier gets you ready for Sunday’s big day of racing (VIDEO)

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Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.

Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).