BRAINERD, Minn. (August 22, 2011) - Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines rider Ed Krawiec advanced to the semi-final round of eliminations and took the lead in the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle season points at the Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. With just one event left before the Countdown to the Championship playoffs begin, Krawiec holds a 51-point lead over Karen Stoffer, who lost in the first round of eliminations at Brainerd.
“Today we put ourselves in a strong position,” said Krawiec. “A win would have clinched the top seed, but I feel confident we can hold the top spot into the Countdown.”
Pro Stock riders in the top-ten in points following the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis over Labor Day weekend will qualify for the six-event Countdown, with the standings resetting in 10-point increments. The rider leading in points gets a 20-point bonus, and will open the Countdown with a 30-point lead over the second-place rider.
Krawiec was riding a strong Harley-Davidson V-Rod® motorcycle all weekend. His 6.885-second run on Friday set a new Pro Stock Motorcycle track record and stood as the quickest round of qualifying. On Saturday, Krawiec set a new top-speed track record at 195.17 mph. Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines qualified third on the team’s other Harley V-Rod at 6.916 seconds.
Both Krawiec and Hines advanced through the first two rounds of eliminations on Sunday. Krawiec defeated The Edge Suzuki rider Michael Phillips and SAF/Motorcycle Specialties rider Jerry Savoie. Hines got a win in round one when Stoffer, who came to Brainerd as the series points leader, fouled at the start on the Geico Suzuki. Hines defeated Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana in round two, but lost to Hector Arana Jr. on the other Lucas Oil Buell in the semi-finals. Krawiec faced defending series champion LE Tonglet on the Nitrofish Suzuki in the semi-finals, and lost at the starting line when his 6.904-second ET was not enough to overcome a 0.084-second reaction time and catch Tonglet, who had a 0.013/6.956 pass.
Tonglet defeated Arana Jr. in the final to take his fourth event win of the season. Arana Jr. also bettered Krawiec’s track record with a 6.881 ET in the second round of eliminations.
Krawiec, who had inconsistent reaction times of 0.109, 0.029 and 0.084 seconds on Sunday, is adjusting to a new clutch setting on his Harley V-Rod.
“I was struggling with the tree all weekend,” said Krawiec. “The way we’ve got the clutch set up now we are getting a good time in the first 60 feet of the run, but it’s tricky to handle for the rider. The bike is slower to leave the line, so I need to recalibrate my reaction. I think I’ll be ready for the next race.”
Both Hines and Krawiec have locked up positions in the Countdown.
“Looks like I’m solid for the fourth spot no matter what, and Ed is in a great position, which means we can go to Indy for the U.S. Nationals and just cut loose and race for fun,” said Hines.
After nine of 16 scheduled Pro Stock Motorcycle events, Krawiec leads the class in points with 735. Stoffer is second with 684 and is now just one point ahead of LE Tonglet, who is in third place with 683 points. Hines is fourth with 573 points.
The Pro Stock Motorcycles will next race at the 57th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Aug. 31-Sept. 5, at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit harley-davidson.com.
The Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Pro Stock Motorcycle team is sponsored by Matco Tools and Dunlop.