Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
Tonglet riding to keep top 10 ranking
It might not be an impossible dream, either. After all, the 23-year-old rider was the runner-up at this event last year. But as Hines and the rest of the NHRA POWERade series competitors prepare to battle at the Automobile Club of Southern California Finals this weekend, Hines is the first to admit that last year doesn't mean anything.
"It's the end of the season and it's great knowing that no matter what, we did our best as a team," Hines said. "But winning the race is my top goal. I had a chance at it last year and I earned a trip to the finals, but didn't win. This race is one of my favorites and I am doing whatever I can to be prepared to compete for the win. I want to be able to cross it off my list of things to accomplish in my career.
"It would be great to get the trophy but it would also mean a lot to end the season on such a good note. It would be awesome to go into the off-season with a race win knowing that you're the guy who finished the season perfectly with four win lights."
A win would also help Hines turn his back-to-back NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championships into a three-some. Hines took over the points lead en route to the event victory at the previous event, the Oct. 29 race in
Hines has been the points leader following five events so far in the 15-race season. Hines said the team wants the positive feelings from
"We have to go into
Teammate GT Tonglet also made strides in
If Tonglet can stay in the top 10 it will be the fifth top 10 finish of his six-year career.
"My goal is to stay in the top 10 and it would help to have another race like we did in
Tonglet said his V-Rod is running well, especially in the beginning of each run.
"The bike is running so well and hopefully it stays that way," Tonglet said. "The bike is getting off the line well and turning in great 60-foot times. It's been awesome and I think the numbers are going to be there in
Hines has earned three wins in five final rounds this season. Now he must juggle keeping the points lead while aiming for a fourth season victory.
"We took over the points lead and now we have to defend it," Hines said. "I have such a great team working on this Screamin' Eagle V-Rod and that makes all the difference in the world. I have a lot more confidence because of the team. I think the bike will be ready and I know I will be ready so we just have to go out and fire on all cylinders and see what happens. I think it's great that the team has earned the right to battle for a third title. That says a lot about the crew."
Matt Hines is part of that crew. The three-time NHRA champion is not only the crew chief for the team, but also Andrew Hines' older brother. The older sibling continues to add more motivation to each race.
"My brother won
What better place for a storybook ending than
"We love this race because of the history and the location," Tonglet said. "We always make a trip out to
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