Baytown (May 1, 2011) -
Harley-Davidson® Screamin' Eagle®/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines paced the Pro Stock Motorcycle field at the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway, guiding his Harley-Davidson® V-Rod® through four rounds of eliminations to take his first event win of the 2011 season. Hines defeated Attitude Apparel Suzuki rider Michael Phillips in the final round.
"We got off to kind of a rocky start here on Friday," said Hines, "but we turned the corner in the last qualifying session on Saturday. The weather today was the same as on Saturday, so we didn't touch the tune-up and the bike ran consistently all day. The graphs for each run are identical. When the bike is working like that, it's great for my confidence."
Hines posted an elapsed time (ET) of 6.901 seconds in the final round of qualifying on Saturday and claimed the third slot for Sunday eliminations. Harley-Davidson® Screamin' Eagle®/Vance & Hines rider Ed Krawiec qualified eighth at 6.921 seconds. Nitrofish Suzuki rider LE Tonglet led all qualifiers with a pass at 6.849 seconds.
Tonglet, the defending Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, was eliminated on a starting line foul in the first round on Sunday. Krawiec defeated Suzuki Extended Protection rider Jim Underdahl in round one, and the Steve Johnson Suzuki in round two, before losing to Johnson in the semi-finals.
"We need to figure out what happened to my bike in the third round," said Krawiec, who had a 6.990 ET, a significant drop-off from a 6.910 in round one. "We may have hurt the motor or been off on the tune-up. My V-Rod should not have been running that slow."
Hines opened the Sunday rounds with wins over Kuryakyn Buell rider Chip Ellis and SAF Suzuki rider Gerald Savoie, and then made the day's best pass at 6.888 seconds to defeat Karen Stoffer on the Geico Suzuki in round three. Hines led from the start in the final, with a 0.028 reaction time and 6.900 ET to beat the 0.034/6.946 run of Phillips.
"We are extremely happy with the way our V-Rod motorcycles are performing so far this season," said Hines, who now has 24 career NHRA final-round victories. "The bikes are just running a chalk line down the track. We came close to an all-Harley final today, and I'm sure we'll have some this season."
After two events, Krawiec leads the Pro Stock Motorcycle division in points with 202. Hines is second with 184 points, followed by Stoffer with 179 and Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana with 141.
The Pro Stock Motorcycles will next race at the 31st annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, May 13-15, at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga.
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.