Columbus: Andrew Hines preview

SCREAMIN' EAGLE TEAM LOOKING TO MAKE NATIONAL TRAIL THE REGULAR TURNING POINT OF THE SEASON Hines Aiming for Third Consecutive Final Round Appearance in Columbus COLUMBUS (May 17, 2006) -- In 2004 Andrew Hines rode his Harley-Davidson Screamin'...

SCREAMIN' EAGLE TEAM LOOKING TO MAKE NATIONAL TRAIL THE REGULAR TURNING POINT OF THE SEASON
Hines Aiming for Third Consecutive Final Round Appearance in Columbus

COLUMBUS (May 17, 2006) -- In 2004 Andrew Hines rode his Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines V-Rod into the final round at the Pontiac Performance NHRA Nationals at National Trail Raceway. He won.

In 2005, he again made a trip to the final round. He didn't win last year. Still, the weekend proved to be a turning point in the season for the 22-year-old Indianapolis resident. In the first three events of 2005 Hines had won just two rounds combined. He won three rounds that day in Columbus.

Hines and teammate GT Tonglet not only went rounds that day, they steadily improved their performances, finishing first and second in the final NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Motorcycle point standings of the season.

"We're hoping it can be our turning point track this year too," said Hines, the two-time defending Pro Stock Motorcycle champion. "Last year Columbus was my first final of the year. This season I've been to two finals, but have not come away with a win yet. We've been working so hard to get these two bikes ready for the weekend because we want to bring home a Wally (trophy) for this Screamin' Eagle team. The potential for us to do that is there, we just need to have a strong weekend from start to finish. We like that track and have done well there in the past and hopefully that will help us."

Riders will have four chances to qualify for the fourth of 15 national NHRA events, starting with sessions at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday before wrapping up on Saturday (noon and 2:30 p.m.). Final eliminations will start at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

While Hines is in third place, just eight points out of first, Tonglet is in eighth place. The competition, however, continues to prove itself throughout the entire top 10 this season. The points race is so tight, Tonglet remains just 30 points out of fourth place -- that's less than two rounds of competition (20 points per round win).

"It's really difficult to judge where we are now compared to last year because the competition forces you to change so much in a year's time," Tonglet, a New Orleans resident, said. "I won the race before Columbus last year (Atlanta) and Columbus just helped both us to earn points.

"We're definitely not where we want to be as far as performance right now, but this team has high expectations of ourselves. It's been that way from the beginning and I doubt it will ever change. When you have a guy like Byron Hines who has won in the same category over a span of 30 years, you know the goals have to change often just to stay current. The team has done a lot of work to prepare for this race and hopefully it will pay off even more than last year."

Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso said winning two consecutive championships in the first four years of the Screamin' Eagle V-Rod program breeds high expectations.

"From the first day this team has had big goals and we've accomplished quite a few of them already," Paluso said. "But that just drives the team. We haven't won a race this season, but I have no doubt that we will. We've already been so close and the team is dedicated to getting back to winner's circle."

Screamin' Eagle Performance Parts are inspired by and built in the spirit of the raw adrenaline and power of motorcycle racing. Screamin' Eagle Pro parts are specifically designed for race-use applications, while Screamin' Eagle parts offer street-use performance options for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle owner. Visit www.harley-davidson.com for more information.

The Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Pro Stock Motorcycle team is sponsored by Ford Truck, Dunlop, Matco Tools and S100.

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Andrew Hines , GT Tonglet