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NHRA: Vote for YOUR top 5 Pro Stock Motorcycle riders in 2016 (Poll)

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It’s difficult to write season reviews on every full-time NHRA drag racer because there are so many variables that impact each driver differently.

Who qualifies better than others? Who leaves the starting line faster with regularity? Who has less mechanical issues in individual runs? Who has a history of doing better against certain drivers, and worse against others? Who has the best average to go more rounds than others in eliminations?

So, it’s not all about just wins. That’s the easy part when it comes to reviewing who does what.

That’s why, instead of doing 2015 season reviews for individual NHRA drivers, we’re going to do something a little different here at MST. We’ll have season previews for all four major NHRA classes — Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle — coming up in late January as we prepare for the 2016 season.

But first, starting today and extending over the next four days, we’re going to let you the reader pick who you feel will be the five best performers in 2016, particularly based on what they did in 2015. You don’t have to make your choices in order; we’ll tabulate everything as the voting process goes on and a natural trend will ultimately emerge.

We’re going to start today with Pro Stock Motorcycle, followed by Pro Stock on Monday, Funny Car on Tuesday and Top Fuel will wrap things up on Wednesday.

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Speaking of PSM, Andrew Hines earned his fifth championship in 2015, making him the youngest driver or rider in NHRA pro ranks to win five titles by the time he was 32 years old.

Teammate Eddie Krawiec was a close second, but without question, the biggest pleasant surprise of 2015 was 53-year-old Louisiana alligator farmer Jerry Savoie. After sitting on the sidelines for 30 years so he could grow his business, Savoie took a big chomp out of the PSM ranks in 2015 — and is among my personal top 5 for 2016.

Others to keep your eyes on are Hector Arana Jr., Chip Ellis and Karen Stoffer.

And with that, let’s get ready to rumble … err, vote for your Top 5 riders in Pro Stock Motorcycle in 2016.

F0llow @JerryBonkowski

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
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Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.