LAS VEGAS (Oct. 28) – LE Tonglet, the 2010 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, will race as a teammate to White Alligator Racing’s Jerry Savoie as part of a two-bike effort in 2017. Tonglet’s bike will carry the familiar colors of Kenny Koretsky’s Nitro Fish brand and both Suzuki entries will be powered by engines from Vance & Hines.
“I could not be more excited to be racing with Jerry and [crew chief] Tim Kulungian next year,” said Tonglet, who spends his weekdays as professional firefighter in his hometown of Metairie, La. “They have built an incredible, competitive program and I can’t wait to be a part of it. Ever since I started racing, it has been mostly me, and my brother [GT] and our dad [Gary]. We haven’t had the resources or the manpower that some of the other teams have. With two bikes, we’ll have twice the data which should help both of us. I can’t thank Kenny and Nitro Fish enough for putting this program together.”
Savoie is a successful alligator farmer who has spent the last six years building a winning Pro Stock Motorcycle program. In 83 career races, Savoie has reached the final round 17 times and recorded five wins. This season, he has been to five finals and recorded a victory at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis. When the opportunity arose to have former champion and fellow Cajun Tonglet join his team, it was too good to pass up. Savoie hails from Cut Off, La., not far from Tonglet’s hometown of Metairie.
“It’s no secret that we’ve been looking to add a second bike to our team,” Savoie said. “We’ve explored some options in the past but we felt that LE was the best choice. He’s young and talented, but more importantly, he’s a genuinely good person who comes from a good family. I raced with his father, Gary, 30 years ago and I can tell you that they are the type of people you want on your team. This is also a good deal for Tim. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the most talented crew chief out here and he’s worked hard to build a winning program but when you have one bike, it’s hard to compete with the multi-bike teams. Now, we’ll have the same data that they do.”
Koretsky, one of drag racing’s best-known entrepreneurs and philanthropists, helped back Tonglet during his successful championship run in 2010 and has remained a strong supporter of the former rookie of the year. With this new partnership with Savoie and the White Alligator team, Koretsky sees the potential for another championship.
“I’m really excited to have LE Tonglet race alongside Jerry Savoie next season,” said Koretsky. “When LE won the championship in 2010 that was a special moment that I’ll never forget. Now, I believe he is in a great position to win another title. If you look at Jerry’s operation, everything is first class. He’s built an incredible team and we’re grateful to be a part of it. This is also a great way to reintroduce the Nitro Fish brand. We have big plans for our apparel line and this announcement is one of the big pieces of the puzzle. I haven’t been this excited about racing in a long time.”
LE Tonglet on Twitter: @LETonglet
Jerry Savoie on Twitter: @GatorJerryPSM
About Nitro Fish Apparel
Nitro Fish Apparel is owned and operated by Kenny Koretsky, a Pennsylvania-based businessman and longtime NHRA drag racer. Koretsky has driven both Top Fuel dragsters as well as Pro Stock cars in a career that dates back to 1976. He is the only driver to qualify in both Top Fuel and Pro Stock in the same NHRA national event, a feat that he accomplished in Phoenix in 1990.
Koretsky, whose other business interests include trucking, land development, and a line of full-service car washes, purchased the Nitro Fish brand in 2004. He has since used the brand to help promote a number of racers including five-time IHRA champion Clay Millican, two-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Matt Smith, and his father, Rickie, a two-time champion in the NHRA Pro Mod series. Featuring a wide selection of T-shirts, hats, decals, die cast replicas, and other memorabilia, the Nitro Fish apparel line is available at trackside locations during select NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events or online at www.nitrofish.com.
About White Alligator Racing
Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Gerald “Jerry” Savoie and his White Alligator (WAR) team made their professional debut in NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing series in 2011. Savoie, who owns and actively participates in the daily operation of his alligator farm in Louisiana, has won five NHRA national event titles in 17 final round appearances on his Suzuki TL1000. Savoie founed WAR with the hope of raising awareness of the eroding coastlines of Louisiana hence the team’s motto, “Racing to Save Our Wetlands.”