HINES EARNS 1st CAREER VICTORY AT ROUTE 66 RACEWAY2007-06-11 10:45
Hines Moves From Ninth to Fourth in POWERade Points
Andrew Hines recorded his ninth career win on his Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson V-Rod Sunday at Route 66 Raceway.
It was the first for Hines at the track in two final round appearances just outside of Chicago. Route 66 Raceway plays host to the national event nearest the Harley-Davidson headquarters in Milwaukee.
"The bike ran so well this weekend and to be able to do that in front of all the Harley-Davidson employees who came out to the race and H-D President Jim McCaslin just makes the win even better," Hines said. "My team gave me a motorcycle that can win rounds and we went out and had a great day."
Hines beat Matt Smith and the Torco Racing Buell in the final round of the Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals. Hines turned in a 6.959-second pass at 192.11 mph on the V-Rod to earn the win over Smith's 7.014 at 187.18.
Hines lost on a holeshot in the final round of this event in 2004 - something he hasn't forgotten.
"This is my favorite track by far and it was awful losing it the way I did a few years ago," Hines said. "My team made it possible because they gave me such a great bike and I was calm and confident about riding it."
The team had struggled slightly prior to this weekend, leaving Hines in ninth place of the standings. Hines' best performance of the season had previously been a second round appearance at Atlanta and St. Louis. The Screamin' Eagle squad practically camped at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis and made more than 40 test passes in hopes of making improvements.
"The team really railed," Hines said. "We've all been really disappointed about our performances all year so it was nice to see the hard work and testing pay off, especially here. Moving up to fourth place in the standings is a tribute to how hard we've all worked."
Hines, 24, qualified in the No. 1 position with a track record E.T. of 6.921 at 193.65. It was the first top qualifying award of the season and 20th of his career. It's the third No. 1 qualifier for Hines at Route 66 Raceway (2004-'05).
"The team made some great calls at all the right times this weekend and they definitely deserved the win," Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso said. "This is the closest thing we have to a home track for our Harley headquarters and it couldn't have been a better time to break out and grab our first win of the season in front of all the employees who support the racing program."
Teammate Eddie Krawiec qualified in the No. 13 position with a 7.037 at 190.46. Krawiec lost in the first round after he fouled at the starting line against Angelle Sampey and the U.S. Army Suzuki team.
"It was still a good weekend because the team made some great changes to the V-Rod and it's becoming more consistent," Krawiec said. "It's going to be more predictable and I just have to get into a better rhythm and do my job at being more consistent on the starting line."
This weekend was Krawiec's first appearance at drag racing's only stadium-style venue.
"This is a great event because there are so many motorcycle enthusiasts in the stands," Krawiec said. "We're so close to the Milwaukee Harley-Davidson headquarters and there are a lot of Screamin' Eagle fans all over the place. It's a great facility and it lived up to all of my expectations."
Hines beat Michael Phillips in the first round of Sunday's eliminations. Hines ran a 6.953 pass at 192.38 to top Phillips' 7.082 at 191.02 on his Sharp Contracting Suzuki. Hines beat Geno Scali in the second round. Hines went 6.978 at 191.10 to take the win light over Scali's 7.088 at 189.20 on his Performance Machine Suzuki.
Hines beat Sampey in the semifinal round for just the second time in 14 career meetings between the two riders. Hines clocked a .027-second reaction time and a 7.005 run at 190.67. Sampey had a .088 reaction time and a 6.983 at 190.94.
"The testing was crucial because we were struggling getting off the line quickly before now," Hines said. "We've made some good improvements on that and we're going to keep working on these V-Rods and make sure we're just as competitive at the next race."
Once the NHRA race is over, the Screamin' Eagle team will travel to Milwaukee to visit Harley-Davidson headquarters. Hines and Krawiec will first be joined by their Screamin' Eagle AMA Flat Track teammates, Kenny Coolbeth, Jared Mees, Bryan Smith and Joe Kopp to help launch a summer meals program for kids. Fueling Young Minds provides meals for kids during the summer months when school is not in session. The Screamin' Eagle racers will be at one local school - Bethune Academy - to help kick off the program.
Shortly after that the racers will be at Milwaukee Children's hospital to pass out gift bags for the admitted child patients.
"It's all about the kids and I can't wait to be able to bring the race trophy to the kids, hang out and just have some fun," Hines said. "I think it's great that we can work so hard and leave here with such good positive momentum and bring that to the kids."
On Tuesday the team will be at Harley-Davidson headquarters, greeting employees, answering questions and racing employees on the V-Rod dyno bikes that are part of the interactive Acceleration Nation display that travels to all 23 NHRA POWERade events.
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