Commerce: Hines, Tonglet Friday summary

SCREAMIN' EAGLE TEAMMATES RACE TO THE TOP OF QUALIFYING AT ATLANTA DRAGWAY After Day One Hines Holds the Top Qualifying Spot, Tonglet is Fifth COMMERCE, Ga. (May 5, 2006) -- There are still two rounds of qualifying left this weekend for the ...

SCREAMIN' EAGLE TEAMMATES RACE TO THE TOP OF QUALIFYING AT ATLANTA DRAGWAY

After Day One Hines Holds the Top Qualifying Spot, Tonglet is Fifth

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 5, 2006) -- There are still two rounds of qualifying left this weekend for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Still, the Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines V-Rod team will sleep better this Friday than they have in a long time.

Two-time defending NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Andrew Hines is at the top of the ladder after turning in a 7.084-second pass at 187.16 mph to take the provisional No. 1 qualifying position. Teammate and defending event champion GT Tonglet is fifth with a 7.167 pass at 185.84.

Hines' time at the 60-foot mark -- a 1.063 -- was a career-best mark and something the entire team has been working feverishly to accomplish.

"We know we still have to go out tomorrow and run two more qualifying sessions, but this is the best start we've had to a national event in a long time," Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso said. "It's a great way to start the weekend, especially when we've struggled a bit in the first two events of the season.

"Our 60-foot times have been our nemesis and the fact that Andrew had a career-best 60-foot time is the positive momentum builder we were looking for. We want to be able to produce those numbers consistently and we'll start working on that tomorrow."

Qualifying continues on Saturday with two sessions at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Final eliminations will start at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

2006 Atlanta Friday Drag Racing, Add 1

Hines said the early data from the first two passes of qualifying shows the team that testing held after the last event (Houston April 2) has already made a difference.

"We qualified seventh and 13th in Houston so we went home and just tested the wheels off my bike," Hines said. "It was a really big eye opener to roll into Gainesville for the season opening event and be behind the eight-ball from day one. We haven't been pleased with our performance in the last two events and that's made us screw our heads back on a little tighter and get in the shop and find more horsepower for these V-Rods."

Hines said the team is happy, but still has a lot of competition to face this weekend.

"We haven't won the race, but these kinds of numbers are really encouraging and it gives us a lot of confidence," Hines said. "We needed to know if we were going in the right direction and I think we got our answer today. It's exciting to know that we've made some changes and the bikes have responded the way we want them to."

If Hines can hold on to the No. 1 position, it will be his first of the season and 19th of his career. The last time he was first in qualifying was at the September event in Reading, Pa. last season.

"We've had some problems since the end of last season that carried over to the start of this season," Hines said. "We weren't quite at the same level as some of the other more consistent teams and that just motivated us to keep working as hard as we could to figure out what we needed to do better. The recent testing has really helped us and now we just need to keep building on the good results we had today."

-v&h-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Andrew Hines , GT Tonglet