SCREAMIN' EAGLE TEAMMATES LOOKING FORWARD TO CONTRAST BETWEEN STURGIS BIKE RALLY AND BRAINERD NHRA EVENT Hines and Tonglet Aim for Repeat of 2005 Results MILWAUKEE (Aug. 7, 2006) -- If you ask GT Tonglet when it really pays off to be a ...
SCREAMIN' EAGLE TEAMMATES LOOKING FORWARD TO CONTRAST BETWEEN STURGIS BIKE RALLY AND BRAINERD NHRA EVENT
Hines and Tonglet Aim for Repeat of 2005 Results
MILWAUKEE (Aug. 7, 2006) -- If you ask GT Tonglet when it really pays off to be a factory-supported member of the Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines V-Rod team he won't hesitate to answer. While he's been a proud member of the NHRA POWERade drag racing team since 2002, this is his favorite time of year.
The 23-year-old racer will have one of the most hectic schedules allowed in the days leading up to the 25th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway and he wouldn't want it any other way.
Tonglet and teammate Andrew Hines will join hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts for the 66th annual Sturgis, S.D., Rally. The drag racers will participate in a number of activities including a Harley-Davidson sponsored ride, before taking a late-night plane ride to Brainerd, Min., on Thursday. Qualifying for the NHRA event starts Friday.
"I love Sturgis," Tonglet said. "It's just so much fun. It's a huge party that celebrates motorcycles and the people who ride them. The history of the event is amazing and it gets more fun each year. We get to check out the AHDRA event, sign autographs at the convention center and in general, enjoy the event. It's a great time to be a Harley-Davidson representative."
Tonglet and Hines will be more than happy to be back in Brainerd once they pull themselves away from Sturgis.
Tonglet beat Hines in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final in 2005. It was the first time in Tonglet's career that he earned the No. 1 qualifying award and race victory in the same weekend.
"I'm trying not to put too much energy into what happened last season," Tonglet said. "Last year Brainerd was the best race event I've had in my career. To be able to qualify in the top position and then go on to win the event was amazing. We also left with the points lead. It could not have been a more perfect weekend.
"But right now this Screamin' Eagle team needs to think about qualifying for this year's event and go from there. We need to qualify well and put ourselves in a position to go back there and win some rounds and that all starts Friday."
Hines is the current NHRA points leader and is coming off his first No. 1 qualifying award of the season. Hines took the top qualifying position in Sonoma, Calif., but came up short in defending his 2005 victory there.
"Sonoma was a great race because it really gave us a good idea of where we are in relation to the rest of the competition," Hines said. "We have spent every spare second between Sonoma and Brainerd beating on these V-Rods to squeeze every ounce of horsepower out of them.
"Now it's time to see if we've done our job back at the shop and head to Brainerd. We both ran well last year and it's great to have teammates finish first and second at any event. Hopefully we can do that again but it's been a tough year. The competition has stepped up and we're doing whatever we can to hang with the rest of the pack."
First, however, the riders can have a little fun with fellow motorcycle enthusiasts.
"Sturgis is a great event and it's something we mark our calendars for every year," Hines said. "Everyone there is excited about racing and motorcycles. It's the first time we get to see the 2007 Harley-Davidson stuff and it's even more fun to hang out at the race track without any pressure. Last year we went on a ride to see Mt. Rushmore, so who knows what we have in store this year?"