Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines charged from the middle of the pack to earn a hard-fought Pro Stock Motorcycle victory at the NHRA Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway. After qualifying seventh, Hines battled his way through the field as his Harley-Davidson V-Rod motorcycle gained performance in the hands of the experienced Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines team. The win moved Hines into the Pro Stock Motorcycle points lead and makes the defending champion the top seed heading into the six-race 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
“The Screamin’ Eagle team really had to work hard to get my V-Rod running right today, but we saved that best run for the final,” said Hines, who also won at the prestigious U.S. Nationals event in 2012. “This race is our biggest show. It’s the Super Bowl or Indy 500 of drag racing. It’s a long weekend and there’s so much tradition and everyone is racing hard; it’s really challenging to win here on Monday. To do it twice and put the Harley-Davidson bike back in the winner’s circle is a real honor.”
After five rounds of qualifying, Hines had posted a best run of 6.864 seconds, good for the seventh spot in the 16-bike field. According to the NHRA no rider has ever won the U.S. Nationals from that deep in the qualifying order. Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Ed Krawiec qualified third with a run of 6.848 seconds on the team’s other V-Rod race bike.
Hines has won five times in seven final-round appearances in 2016, and now has 47 career Pro Stock Motorcycle final-round victories.
Krawiec lost in the second round and gave up the Pro Stock Motorcycle points lead he’d held all season to Hines. The points standings will re-set as the top-ten riders in the Pro Stock Motorcycle field qualify for the Countdown playoffs, with a 10-point increment between each rider and a 20-point bonus to Hines for being the points leader.
“Earning the number-one seed is a 30-point swing for me,” said Hines, “and we met our goal of getting the two Screamin’ Eagle V-Rods in the Countdown field and seeded 1-2. The Countdown brings out the best in every competitor and we can’t let anyone sneak up on us. This is a very stout field. We have our work cut out for us if we want to repeat as champions.”
Heading into the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship, Hines is seeded first with 2110 points. Krawiec has the second seed with 2080 points.
The Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines drag racing team will open the NHRA Countdown the Championship at the NHRA Carolina Nationals, Sept. 16-18 at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.