Seven-time land speed record holder Valerie Thompson returns to NHRA Drag Racing competition to compete in the full season as an independent team owner and driver. Thompson will be riding a Star Racing built Pro Stock Motorcycle in all of the events on the schedule for the PSM class. The team will be led by recently appointed crew chief, Chris Rivas, a former Pro Stock Motorcycle racer with four NHRA event wins and six land speed racing world records of his own.
“Chris Rivas has been successful in drag racing while setting new land speed records. As a crew chief, he will be one of my biggest assets. He understands the difference between quarter-mile and land speed racing, so he can help our team with everything from bike set-up to my riding technique as I transition back to drag racing,” added Thompson.
Valerie Thompson began her motorcycle-racing career in the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA), where she finished third in the V-Rod Destroyer class in 2007 and was featured in a Super Bowl commercial with Danica Patrick. She entered several NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle events in 2008, with a best elapsed time of 7.05 seconds.
“I have a real passion for land speed racing, but I can’t express how excited I am to return to my ‘racing roots’ with a bike built by George Bryce’s Star Racing team. George and his wife Jackie, operate one of the most successful NHRA Pro Stock motorcycle teams in the history of the sport, so I’m confident we will do well next year,” said Thompson.
Star Racing and owner George Bryce have won six NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championships and collected 80 different NHRA national event wins under their 10 different Star riders. The high performance motorcycle company is also a worldwide mail-order parts business, with engine building, a state-of-the-art machine shop and dyno services.
“I’m delighted to see Valerie returning to drag racing and thankful she chose Star Racing to help her new team. We are also looking forward to working with Chris Rivas again,” said George Bryce, Star Racing owner.
While Valerie Thompson returns to NHRA and is excited for the homecoming, she also plans on continuing the quest for new land speed racing records with her team’s BMW S 1000 RR at select events in 2016 as her schedule permits.
Thompson formed her own land speed racing team in 2012, and has went on to record a personal best top speed of 217 mph at the 2014 Texas Mile. This year, Valerie became the first female member of the Colorado Mile 200 MPH Club on her Quicksilver Powersports Lubricants/CTEK BMW Motorrad and is now a member of six-land speed racing 200 MPH Clubs, including the prestigious Bonneville 200 MPH Club. As a result, she is often referred to as “America’s Queen of Speed.”
The 2016 NHRA schedule includes 16 Pro Stock Motorcycle events with the first scheduled for March 17 – 20 at the Gatornationals in Gainesville Florida.