Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines came just short of taking it all at the NHRA Mac Tools US Nationals. Hines fell to Suzuki rider Tonglet by a little under .100 of a second.
Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines opened the first round of the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship playoffs by dominating qualifying, setting a new Pro Stock Motorcycle national elapsed time (E.T.) record, and advancing to the final round of eliminations at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil at O’Reilly Raceway Park. Hines’ chance to sweep the event ended in the finals, when he lost to Suzuki rider LE Tonglet.
Hines and the Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson V-Rod paced the field through all five rounds of qualifying for the U.S. Nationals, and set a new Pro Stock Motorcycle E.T. national record with a pass at 6.815 seconds in Saturday’s first session. That broke the record of 6.847 seconds set by Karen Stoffer in March at Gainesville, Fla. Hines later set a new track speed record for the class at 196.76 mph. By dominating qualifying, Hines earned 15 bonus points plus 20 bonus points for setting the new E.T. record.
With the bonus points and a run to the final round of eliminations, and the earlier exit of his closest rivals in the standings, Hines leaves this weekend with an 88 point lead in the Countdown.
“To come in here leading by 30 and leave leading by 88 is a pretty good weekend,” said Hines. “It’s been more than a year since the Screamin’ Eagle team held the national E.T. record, and that’s something we are proud to get back. I’ve got a good, consistent V-Rod to ride for the rest of the Countdown.”
Hines opened the elimination rounds on Monday with a win over Kendall Suzuki rider Wes Wells, who fouled at the start. Hines beat Lincoln Tech Suzuki rider Steve Johnson in round two, and got a win over Suzuki Extended Protection rider Jim Underdahl in round three as Underdahl’s bike broke during the run.
Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Eddie Krawiec qualified third at 6.967 seconds.
Krawiec, who started the Countdown in sixth place, moved through the first two rounds of eliminations with wins over Horne Racing Buell rider Doug Horne and Al-Anabi Racing Buell rider Matt Smith, who fouled at the start. Krawiec lost to Tonglet in the semi-finals with a 6.931-second ET to the 6.901 pace set by Tonglet.
“We struggled in qualifying with my bike, and couldn’t get the 60-foot time down,” said Krawiec. “Then we blew off the tire in the last session and had to start eliminations on a new tire, but by the second round today my Harley was running strong. Anytime you make the semi-finals, it’s good. I moved up in points and in the standings. Tonglet was just fast today and beat me.”
That set up a final-round match between Hines and the rookie, Tonglet, who was the number-two qualifier for the event. Tonglet left the line first at 0.011 seconds and led the entire run with an E.T. of 6.869 to beat the 0.028/6.962 pass put down by Hines, which kept the three-time class champion from making a complete sweep of the U.S. Nationals.
“We lost it right off the line in the final,” said Hines. “First the motorcycle bogged, and then it spun the tire all the way through second gear. By then there was no way I was going to catch LE. He was fast all day.”
After one of six rounds in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown, Hines leads the Pro Stock Motorcycle class in with 2243 points. Tonglet jumps from seventh place to second with 2155 points. Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana is third with 2138, followed by Krawiec with 2119 points and Smith with 2115 points.
The next Pro Stock Motorcycle event on the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule is the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals Sept. 16-19 at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C.
Screamin’ Eagle Performance Parts are inspired by and built in the spirit of the raw adrenaline and power of motorcycle racing. Screamin’ Eagle Pro parts are specifically designed for race-use applications, while Screamin’ Eagle parts offer street-use performance options for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle owner. Visit www.harley-davidson.com for more information.
The Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Pro Stock Motorcycle team is sponsored by Matco Tools, Dunlop and S100.