Suzuki Motor USA, Vance & Hines and Mission Foods take aim at the 2022 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Championship

Suzuki Motor USA and Vance & Hines have a long history together of success in the world of motorcycle drag racing. Back in 1978 with the launch of Suzuki’s GS 1000, the motorcycle company partnered with Vance & Hines to manage their factory drag racing team, with racing programs in several sanctioning bodies and series. The partnership certainly seemed to have been “made in heaven”, as years of trophies and championships across the decades have attested.

Terry Vance and Byron Hines were a pair of young motorcycling and racing enthusiasts back in 1970s Southern California, with Terry as the wrist and Byron the brain. Their success on the track and innovative speed mods and parts drew the attention of fellow racers, then street riders, and ultimately motorcycle manufacturers, soon translating into commercial demand for their products and services. The guys officially launched Vance & Hines in 1979, and soon were running factory race programs for not only Suzuki, but with Yamaha, Ducati, and Harley-Davidson, and in other disciplines like AMA motorcycle road racing and flat track as well as drag racing.

Partnered with Vance & Hines, Suzuki would become the winningest and fastest brand at the drag strip, and the popularity of motorcycle drag racing paved the way for the emergence of Pro Stock Motorcycle racing as a professional sport. In 1987 the NHRA established the PSM class as a full-blown national championship with multiple race rounds, and Terry Vance won its inaugural race at the “Gatornationals” in Gainesville, Florida on a Suzuki GS 1150E. Later in the season, Vance set a Pro Stock milestone as the first motorcycle to break a 7-second ET. Since those days, Vance & Hines-built machines have gone on to win five NHRA national titles, including three consecutive championships on bikes piloted by Byron’s son, Matt Hines.

Terry Vance heating up his rear tire before a run. Vance took numerous races and titles across the 1970s and 80s. Photo by Vance & Hines.

The 2022 Vance & Hines/Mission Foods/Suzuki Factory Pro Stock Motorcycle team has its sights set on another NHRA PSM crown, and appear to be an early favorite for top honors this season. The triumvirate partnership brings the tried and true pairing of Suzuki and Vance & Hines with Mission Foods, America’s largest manufacturer of Mexican cuisine and tortillas. Mission has become a big player in the racing world, seeing partnerships with IndyCar, MotoAmerica, and American Flat Track in recent years.

The Vance & Hines/Suzuki partnership is a multi-year program bringing Suzuki’s third-gen Hayabusa beast to the track, posting 6.3 second, 200+ mph ETs in the PSM division. The team hasn’t name-dropped yet who their race wrist will be, but we’re leaning toward seeing veteran fast girl Angelle Sampey back in the saddle as she did for V&H last year. “Suzuki has a tradition of competing at the highest levels in motorcycle racing,” stated Kerry Graeber, Suzuki Motor USA, LLC Vice President, Motorcycle/ATV Sales and Marketing. “Given our history and success in drag racing it’s fitting that we take a high-profile role in NHRA PSM.” Graeber added that “one of the specific goals of this program is to showcase Suzuki’s all-new, third generation Hayabusa sport bike and Vance & Hines is without a doubt the best partner for this initiative. We’re thrilled to be reuniting with Vance & Hines in NHRA to show the extraordinary capabilities of the Hayabusa.”

Angelle Sampey astride the 2021 Vance & Hines Suzuki Hayabusa. Photo by Suzuki Motors USA.

“Vance & Hines was born on a racetrack and has a passion for high performance,” said Mike Kennedy, President of Vance & Hines. “That’s why partnering with organizations with equally strong cultures of winning is perfect for us. We are overjoyed to have Mission Foods return to our program, and to begin a long and successful strategic partnership with Suzuki. This is already a great start to the 2022 racing season.”

The NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle series kicks off in Gainesville, Florida March 10-13, and will run 15 rounds across the race season, ultimately concluding November 10-13 at the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, California. So buy your tickets for a drag weekend nearest you, pack some Mission Foods chips and dip, and experience the thunder, fire and fury of NHRA drag race weekend.

The 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa lineup. They look fast sitting still. Photo by Suzuki Motor USA.

For more on the full NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle 2022 schedule, click here:

NHRA 2022 Schedule

For more on Suzuki Motors USA, and the new Hayabusa in particular, click here:

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa

For more on Vance & Hines history and products, click here:

Vance & Hines

For more on Mission Foods, click here:

Mission Foods

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