Victory Motorcycles is entering the world of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle competition with the creation of Victory Factory Racing, which will boast the riding team of two-time NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world champion Matt Smith and his wife, Angie.
“Victory is excited to enter the world of NHRA Pro Stock drag racing,” said Steve Menneto, VP Motorcycles for Polaris. “It is Victory’s intent to continue to test ourselves at the highest levels, and the Victory Factory Racing team is the perfect opportunity for us.”
According to Matt Smith, Victory first approached NHRA at the fall Las Vegas event, kicking off a whirlwind of effort to get the body designed and approved by NHRA. The Smiths were chosen from three teams under consideration by Victory, whose street lineup features premium cruisers, baggers, and touring models. The race vehicle will be patterned after the company’s popular Gunner model.
Smith will be able to transplant his powerful S&S V-Twin powertrain right into the Victory bike.
Smith, who worked all winter with Minnesota-based Victory on the body design, is expected to take possession of the first body this week and will take the bike to the wind tunnel Jan. 30.
The Victory Gunner sports a small front windscreen similar to the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidsons as opposed to the wraparound fairing more commonplace in the class.
“I won’t know how I might have to adjust my riding stance until we get to the wind tunnel, but I think it’s going to be better,” said Smith, who plans to test the bike on the track in Florida in mid- to late February in advance of the Pro Stock Motorcycle season opener, the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 12-15. “It’s pretty different from what I’ve ridden in the past, but it’s got a smaller frontal area than the Buell, which is always a good thing.”
Both bikes will run in the gunmetal gray color shown below, but Matt’s bike will incorporate Nitro Fish, and Angie’s bike will include Kandy Magazine; both will enjoy backing from Stockseth Racing.