American Suzuki’s Le Tonglet has claimed stake to the 2010 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Championship at the series’ last event held this past weekend at the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, CA.
The 20-year-old rookie is the youngest Pro Stock Motorcycle Champion and only the third rookie champion in NHRA history. Tonglet also took home the 2010 NHRA “Road to the Future” award at the NHRA banquet last night, which is presented to the top rookie competitor of the year.
Tonglet entered the Pomona finale in second place, 34 points behind the series leader. After qualifying on the same side of the ladder as the leader, Tonglet took advantage of his competitor’s misfortune with a red light in round one; a win in round two would give him the championship.
And a win is what he scored as Tonglet and his Suzuki-powered pro stock machine laid down a near perfect run with a .007 light and a 6.86.
LE Tonglet (Suzuki NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle) says: “This is just awesome going back home with this championship,” said Tonglet. “We were on a tight budget, and thankfully, Kenny Koretsky stepped up at the right time, and we’ve just been on a roll since Indy. This is just huge for my dad because he hasn’t won one of these. We came close a few times.”
Tonglet’s season is one for the record books. His regular 2010 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle season was highlighted with a win in Chicago, but it was in the playoffs where the 20-year-old came to life with wins in Indy, Charlotte, Dallas and Las Vegas.
Tonglet received incredible support from his close-knit family and friends. Suzuki Team owner and longtime NHRA competitor Kenny Koretsky stepped up and signed a deal to help support Tonglet at the beginning of September.
From there, hard work and support from Tonglet’s family and Koretsky helped propel the young Suzuki rider to his record-setting season finale.
“We’re very proud of this young champion and what he was able to accomplish on a Suzuki in these tough economic times,” said ASMC’s Pat Alexander.
“To see him, his family and supporters pull off such a feat is a great testament to what’s possible with good hard work, resourcefulness and heart.”