Andrew Hines came dangerously close to going red in his first three elimination rounds, but held off to take the win over Karen Stoffer.
Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines claimed his second NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle event victory of the season, riding a Harley-Davidson V-Rod to a final-round win over Geico Suzuki rider Karen Stoffer at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. With the win, Hines moves into second-place in Pro Stock Motorcycle season points.
“This is still a home-town win for the Screamin’ Eagle team,” said Hines, who grew up in Trinidad, Colo., which for years was also the home base for the Vance & Hines racing operation before the team moved to Indiana. “We have a lot of friends in the area who come out for this race. I don’t think our Harley-Davidson was the quickest or the fastest bike on the track, but it was very consistent and ran straight down the track. Sometimes that’s what it takes to win.”
Hines qualified fifth for the event with an elapsed time (ET) of 7.286 seconds. Screamin’ Eagle/Vance and Hines rider Eddie Krawiec qualified sixth on a Harley-Davidson V-Rod with a 7.295-second run. Racers Edge Suzuki rider Michael Phillips was top qualifier and set a new track ET record for the class with a 7.238-second run.
In Sunday eliminations, Krawiec lost in the first round to Pistonator Suzuki rider Craig Treble. Treble used a 0.002-second reaction time and 7.325 ET to beat Krawiec’s 0.065/7.281 run.
Hines moved through the elimination rounds with wins over Suzuki rider LE Tonglet, Suzuki Extended Protection rider Jim Underdahl, and Phillips. Underdahl and Phillips both left the starting line early to hand automatic wins to Hines. Hines had three consecutive “00” lights in the first rounds of eliminations, leaving in 0.006, 0.004, and 0.007 seconds in rounds one, two and three.
“That was kind of scary running zero-zero lights three rounds in a row,” said Hines. “After the first round, I was really backing off at the line, and I was still cutting it close. I would have gone red in round two if I didn’t hold back just a little on purpose. Michael Phillips had a really fast bike today, so he kind of gave us one in the third round. We were lucky all-around today, because the tree was really loose.”
Hines did not take a chance on fouling in the final against Stoffer, who was the number-three qualifier for the event. Hines used a 0.029/7.342 run to post a solid win, as Stoffer ran 0.033/7.402.
“We made an adjustment to the bike for the final, and set it up for a 0.030 light and that’s just what we got,” said Hines, who now has 21 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle wins in 35 final-round appearances. “We’ve got some momentum now with one race left before the Countdown starts. The bike is really great off the line but we’d like to find some more speed at the end of the run, so there’s some work to do before the playoffs begin.”
Following 10 rounds of the 17-race 2010 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle season, Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana leads in points with 836. Hines moves up to second place with 776 points, with Phillips in third at 746. Al-Anabi Racing Buell rider Matt Smith is fourth with 716 points, followed by Lincoln Tech Suzuki rider Steve Johnson with 648 points and Krawiec in sixth place with 562 points.
The next Pro Stock Motorcycle event on the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule is the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, August 12-15, at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minn.