MEDICINE HAT, AB – From the Medicine Hat Drag Strip to NHRA Nationals in California, it’s been an incredible 2017 season for local motorbike racer Riley Toth.
On November 12, Toth rode his ‘02 Kawasaki ZX-11 bike to a NHRA national title over defending champion Curtis Spracklin in the ET motorcycle class.
It’s the first NHRA championship for Toth, who beat Spracklin by less than one-hundredth of a second to cross the finish line with a time of 8.605 seconds total.
Toth said everything fell into place for him to claim his first NHRA title.
“It’s was probably the best day of my entire life,” said Toth. “It just started in the morning, first round was good, second round got a little lucky, and third round was the best in the final. I saved my best for last and it ended up working out good.”
Family and friends were on hand at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, as Toth hit speeds of over 230 kilometres per hour in the final heat.
Performing in front of packed stands at the highest level of drag racing, Toth said his heart was racing as he pulled up to the start line.
“There was a lot of nerves going in there,” he said. “When you turn that corner in Pomona and you see the stands, there’s just a ton of fans there and all the pros were right behind us. I was pretty nervous, but I was pretty confident as well.”
It’s been a stellar season for the 22-year-old, booking his place in NHRA Finals in September with a win at divisional qualifiers in Oregon, before taking home the pro bike class title at the Medicine Hat Drag Strip.
He said this season has opened a lot of doors and is looking for more success in the coming years.
“This season has meant a lot to my racing career,” he said. “It’s probably the best season I could possibly have and it means a lot. Hopefully, it gets better going forward.”
The NHRA Finals championship finishes off the season for Toth, who will return to the Medicine Hat Drag Strip for the 2018 campaign in May.
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