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

(Getty Images)

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

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”