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Schnitz Racing



 

Vol. 3, Issue 5

Person of the Week: Aaron Pine
By Keith S. Kizer

 

Born June 3, 1971 in Lynwood, California, Aaron Scott Pine was born with a competitive spirit, which led him to BMX (bicycle) racing. At the age of twelve his parents rewarded his good grades with a Kawasaki KX80. His early days of riding were mostly conducted in the desert but would eventually give way to pavement.

Within two years of having his driverís license Aaron started street racing his 1960 Volkswagen Bug. He and his friends decided that racing on the street was getting too dangerous so they decided to move their passion of drag racing to the safety of the track. Aaron and his buddies started racing at Carlsbad Raceway and then at L.A. County Raceway in Palmdale. Aaronís original VW was a 2332cc turbocharged Bug that ran 10.50ís. Then he upgraded to a full-blown VW race car that ran 9.50ís, but he said that thing was getting way too wild which convinced him that switching to bikes would be a lot safer. Aaronís parents refused to let him have a motorcycle, but when they were off on vacation he and his racing compadre Fred Camarena snuck off and bought a GSXR 750. With engine help from Larry Laye, Aaron was on his way to a motorcycle racing career.

Aaronís progression in motorcycle drag racing covered the gambit starting with Pro ET all the way up to Funnybike hitting almost every class in between including Super Gas, Super Comp, and Top Gas. His reward was five NMRA Championships in Super Gas, Super Comp and Top Gas.

In more recent years Aaron won the 2008 Summit ET Track Championship, 2009 National Dragster Challenge Champion and King of the Track, 2010 California State Champion (put on by NHRA Member tracks), and the 2010 Jegs Sports Nationals in Fontana. Aaron also just missed the 2010 Division 7 championship by only 11 points aboard Glenn and Sharon Merchantís ZX-14. Glenn is the guy behind Bronze Star Racing. Glenn received a Bronze Star during Desert Storm, hense the name. The ZX is the second bike Aaron has ridden for the Merchantís. They used to own an ex-Dave Schultz Pro Stocker that Aaron rode in Top Gas about five or six years ago.

While at the division finals in Vegas, Aaron hooked up with Charlie Sullivan, father of NHRA Pro Stockís youngest racer, Katy Sullivan or ďCalifornia KatyĒ as she is known at the races. Before the weekend was over, Charlie had made Aaron an offer he couldnít refuse. As it turns out, Charlie also owns Mike Berryís old Pro Stock motorcycle and asked Aaron if he would like to race it at the NHRA Finals at Pomona the following weekend. What racer in their right mind would say no to that? Aaron went into high gear to get his entry in time for the event. Even though plagued with bike problems that kept them from qualifying, Aaron was grateful for the opportuity which gave him the hunger for more NHRA action. Aaron hopes to secure an NHRA ride in the near future.

From my own perspective Aaron was one of the standouts during the AMA/Prostar West days and was always professional in his teamís appearance and demeanor. Iíve said it before and it bears repeating, I miss the West Coast series. For me, it was fun running events out West because of the small bike counts. It was easy for the racing staff to have more camaraderie with the racers. Running events with 500+ entries back East left little time for socializing. I use to joke that at Prostar national events the only way that I got to know people is by them ending up in the winnerís circle or storming the tower with a complaint. Iím truly sorry for that.

The photo above is Aaronís oleí standby Top Gas bike which he competed at the Prostar West and NMRA/Prostar events in the late 90ís. He still uses the bike today to fit into extra classes. The bike is exactly the same as it was a dozen years ago, same paint, same motor, virtually unchanged other than freshened up motors from time to time. To you guys East of the Mississippi, Aaron is the Westís version of our Konopacki, Sauer or Baumbach. A force to be reckoned with.

Other Areas of Interest
Residence: La Mirada, CA

Spouse: Tonya

Children: Dakota 16, Gavin 4

Occupation: Diesel Mechanic

Home track: Fontana, CA

Team Name: Bronze Star Racing Group

Crew Members: Bob Pine, Dakota Sun & Glenn Merchant (bike owner)

Sponsors: Lucas Oil, Shinko Tires, Catalyst Racing Composites Penske Shocks, Worldwide Bearings

History of racing bikes and classes:
Pro ET- 1986 GSXR 750, Super/Gas- 1986 GSXR 1100, Super Comp- 1987 GSXR 1216cc, Top/Gas- 1994 MCC Chassis/1991 GSXR 1340cc, Funny Bike- 2004 Hardcore Psychols Chassis, 2003 Suzuki Turbo Hyabusa, Most Recent Prostock Bike- Kosman Gucci Chassis GS Suzuki 1640

Current race bike / class: 2009 Kawasaki ZX-14 Summit Et and NHRA Division 7

Accomplishments:
Championships: 5 Time NMRA Champion (Super Gas, Super Comp and Top Gas)
2008 Summit ET Track Champion
2010 Division 7 runner up, lost championship by 1 round, 11 points.

National Event Wins: 2010 Jegs SportsNationals Winner

Special Recognitions: 2010 California State Champion (put on by NHRA Member tracks), 2009 National Dragster Challenge Champion and King of the track (ran in 2010 as a make up)

Goals: To get a Prostock ride

Interest outside of racing: Spending time with my family, dirt bike riding, building my sons first car. Racing RC cars with both of my boys.

Favorite foods: Thai food and cereal

Favorite movie: The Hangover

Whatís your daily driver ? 1994 Chevy Pickup

Do you own a classic car or truck? 1964 Cadillac Coupe Deville

What was your first motorcycle? 1986 GSXR 750

Hero: My dad


If you are interested in being featured as person of the week, contact Keith Kizer

 


Schnitz Motorsports Inc. - 222 N 3rd St - Decatur, In 46733 - 260.728.9457