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LE Tonglet Set to Make NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Return

LE Tonglet, the 2010 NHRA world champion and winner of 20 NHRA national events, will make his return to the Pro Stock Motorcycle class during the 2024 season. Tonglet will ride a Suzuki Hayabusa as part of a lease agreement with the Vance & Hines team. Tonglet’s bike will have a familiar look with backing from Kenny Koretsky and his diverse business portfolio, including Nitro Fish apparel, Maple Grove Raceway, and KPK Development. Koretsky and Nitro Fish were the primary backers of Tonglet during his memorable championship run in 2010.
 
“First off, I’m really excited to be back and be on a bike that should be really competitive,” said Tonglet. “Last year in Pomona, I rode Fred Camarena’s bike and that led to some discussions between Kenny and I. The Vance & Hines team got involved, and then things sort of fell into place. This is a new bike, which I’ve never had before, and I can’t wait to ride it.”
 
A professional firefighter in his hometown of Metairie, LA, Tonglet has made sporadic appearances on the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing series over the last few seasons. His most recent win came at the 2018 Dallas event, where he defeated then-teammate Jerry Savoie in the final round.
 
“I might have been a bit rusty last year when I rode Fred’s bike, but I don’t think I’ll have any problems once we get to Gainesville,” said Tonglet, who has won races at 12 different NHRA national events but never in Gainesville. “I have to thank Kenny Korestky and the team at Vance& Hines for making this happen.”
 
Koretsky, who previously raced in both Top Fuel and Pro Stock, has long been intrigued by the prospect of Tonglet returning to the Pro Stock Motorcycle class on competitive equipment. The Pennsylvania-based real estate developer also maintains an association with his son, Kyle, in Pro Stock and Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III.
 
“LE Tonglet has done a lot of great things for the Nitro Fish brand, including winning a world championship, and I’m excited to see him back out here,” said Koretsky. “Kyle is going to take some time off this year, but we’ll probably run the last ten or 12 races. That helped open the door to bring LE back, and once we got the opportunity to work alongside Vance & Hines, it became obvious that we needed to make this deal happen.”
 
Tonglet’s Suzuki will mark the debut of a new customer lease program from Vance & Hines. The bike will feature the same four-valve Suzuki engine used by current factory riders Gaige Herrera and newcomer Richard Gadson and will be tuned by Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines, who have combined to win ten championships and 107 races.
 
Tonglet plans to test at Gainesville Raceway on Wednesday, March 6, ahead of the season-opening Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.

This story was originally published on February 27, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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