With less than a week to go before he hits the track in Sydney for the 400 Thunder Pro Series Nitro Champs, Pro Stock Bike rider Corey Buttigieg spent a little time catching us up on all things Buttigieg Racing.
Corey tells us “I started racing motocross in my teens with mates in the country town of Bacchus Marsh (VIC), and this sparked the adrenaline to go fast, which started my drag racing career.”
Corey’s wife Karissa brought a V Rod Destroyer race bike on ebay and it was “straight to the country track, camping overnight with the kids, and having some fun.”
Outside of drag racing, work takes up most of their time. As a civil contractor, the days are filled with building water mains and drainage………leaving only late nights to work on the bike.
Race day is a truly family affair for this team, with Karissa going all out cooking, cleaning and running around keeping everything in check. The kids are never far away, mucking around with other kids and having fun. Their time at the track sparked an interest in a junior dragster for Abbie 11 (pictured left), and Chilli 9. On test days Karissa has been staging and starting the new junior dragster with both the kids, and they are hoping to race competition next season.
When we asked Corey “Why Pro Stock Bike?” his reply was like his riding. Precise, focused and hopeful. “Pro Bike was the next step from Comp, and staying with the Harleys, my (crew chief) Dan pushed for the Buell. The S&S Buell was owned by George Bryce from Star Racing and is an Ex Angel Sampey bike. “It has run fast numbers in the past, which gives Dan and I something to aim for” adds Corey.
“The Buell is a whole new ball game for both of us. Luckily we have had help from a lot of good people to speed things up and push our learning curve along”.
The team’s current PB was at Calder Park this year, running a 7.20 whilst blowing the rear wheel at over 300km at around the 1000 ft mark. The damage sustained stopped the team from attending the next 400 Thunder Pro Class round in Perth.
The team’s game plan for the upcoming 400 Thunder Nitro Champs is just to run the bike straight down the track with no issues. Corey emphasises “I’m still learning how to ride it, and Dan is progressing with the tuning each run we do.” But with that said, be under no illusion that this team is heading to Sydney Dragway just to cruise down the track on May 7.
Corey expressed his views on the position on Pro Stock Bike in the drag racing picture. “I think the people that attend drag meetings like Pro Stock motorcycles. They are cool looking bikes, with close racing. But the sound alone of the overweight Buell is enough to excite most fans.”
Race day traditions for Corey include, wearing the same lucky socks [clean] and having the kids write their names on his race bike for luck. Listening to music during the day whilst working on the bike in the pits, as well as before his run down the track, helps Corey focus on the job at hand.
We got chatting about his race-day menu. “Between our good friend (Pro Stock racer) Lee Bektash, and my wife Karissa, I don’t think there is any food we haven’t had during race day.” Corey’s admission has give us another “must drop in at lunchtime” location at this year’s Nitro Champs.
Corey and Karissa would like to thank and acknowledge the amazing support they receive from Fastamoto, Dan Lesnock – Crew Chief Tuner, Colin and Andrea – Geelong Harley-Davidson, Terry – IM Composite Technologies, Wes Engines, Darren – Rams Head Service, Lee Bektash and his team, Axtell Sales USA, Garath H&K Auto, Smiley – Creative Edge Custom Paints, Andy USA and CJ’s Rod and Race.
Corey approaches his racing like he approaches life. He’s humble, knowledgeable and passionate. That’s why when you’re at the track next weekend, take the time to drop into the Buttigieg pit, because the sooner you know Corey Buttigieg the better.
Corey will be racing at the 2016 400 Thunder Nitro Champs
May 7 & 8
Images supplied by Corey & Karissa Buttigieg