Vance & Hines Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
Hines runs to the top
Columbus, Friday: For the second consecutive race Andrew Hines and the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines V-Rod team have earned the provisional top qualifying spot. Hines earned the No. 1 qualifying position Friday with two sessions remaining for the Pontiac Excitement NHRA Nationals at National Trail Raceway.
Hines – the reigning two-time defending NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Motorcycle champion – jumped to the top of the qualifying ladder with a 7.038-second pass at 189.07 mph to take the top qualifying position. Teammate GT Tonglet is seventh with a 7.084 pass at 188.04.
Qualifying continues on Saturday with sessions at noon and 2:30 p.m. Final eliminations will start at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
"Lately the Screamin' Eagle V-Rods have been easier to tune and they respond to the changes we make," Hines said. "We're starting to show some consistency from run to run and that's what we need to win rounds. We're definitely going in the right direction.
"My dad (team owner Byron Hines) and brother (crew chief Matt Hines) found some more power in the bikes between the last two races and it shows in the back half of the two runs we made today."
Hines had the top qualifying spot after two sessions at the last event, at Atlanta Dragway two weeks ago but slipped to third during the second day of qualifying. If Hines can stay at the top of the ladder, it will be his 19th career No. 1 qualifying award.
"I hope we can keep the No. 1 qualifier but our goal is to always improve on each run and I'm sure all the other teams want the same thing," Hines said. "We've improved each time the conditions have improved over the past couple of events and that makes the entire team happy. Everyone that has wrenched on this bike lately has done an awesome job."
Hines is third in the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Motorcycle point standings, just seven points away from points leader Antron Brown.
Luckily for Hines, the team has a good record of performance at National Trail Raceway.
"I don't know what it is about this track but I guess I have to like the challenge it presents," Hines said. "My brother did well here when he was racing and I've been to the final round in the last two years here. But it's definitely a rider's track. There are a couple of bumps and you really have to know how to get down the track. It makes you step up your game as a rider and I think everyone in the class will agree with that. It's fun, but it's a challenge for sure."
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