SCREAMIN' EAGLE RIDERS MAKE RARE EARLY EXIT AT NHRA EVENT AT OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP RACEWAY PARK Hines Suffers First Opening Round Loss of the Season ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., (June 18, 2006) -- Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines riders Andrew Hines and GT ...
SCREAMIN' EAGLE RIDERS MAKE RARE EARLY EXIT AT NHRA EVENT AT OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP RACEWAY PARK Hines Suffers First Opening Round Loss of the Season
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., (June 18, 2006) -- Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines riders Andrew Hines and GT Tonglet have each earned a trip to the final round at NHRA events at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park at one point in their careers. Sunday's K&N Filters NHRA SuperNationals wasn't a day for repeat performances.
For the first time this season both V-Rod entries suffered first round losses. Hines -- the 2004 winner of this event -- lost to Ryan Schnitz. Hines turned in a 7.173-second pass at 186.25 mph, falling to Schnitz's 7.149 at 180.48 on the Team Muzzy Buell. Tonglet lost to Matt Guidera. Tonglet went 7.168 at 187.05 to Guidera's 7.148 at 185.36 on the Rocklin Motorsports Buell.
"We never want to make excuses for this team, but the weather really threw us for a loop," Tonglet said. "During Saturday's qualifying it was actually cool and not humid at all. We woke up Sunday and it was hot and humid. We just didn't make enough changes to accommodate the atmospheric conditions."
Hines qualified in the No. 7 spot, the lowest he has qualified since the final event of 2004 (12th in Pomona, Calif.). Hines recorded a best pass of 7.045 at 190.06 in qualifying. Tonglet was 11th in qualifying with a 7.085 at 189.95.
"We struggled in qualifying and that carried over to Sunday," Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso said. "It's unfortunate, but it happened and it's over. Now we need to think about what we can do differently to produce better results next weekend."
The next stop for the entire NHRA POWERade Series is the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., just outside St. Louis. Qualifying starts Friday, which doesn't leave much time for the team to prepare.
"I'm happy we don't have a lot of time between races because it means we can redeem ourselves quickly," Hines said. "Englishtown has been a bittersweet track for me. I think I used up all of my luck here in 2004 when we set the national record, took the top qualifying spot and won the race. I guess we will have to wait to come back next year and turn it around."
"Thankfully, we've done well in St. Louis and it's nice to know that we are going to be back on the V-Rods in a couple of days. I don't want the team's first round losses to linger longer than it has to."