Gainesville: Vance & Hines final summary

KRAWIEC MAKES SEMIFINAL ROUND APPEARANCE IN CAREER FIRST NHRA POWERADE ELIMINATIONS Hines Takes Loss in Stride Knowing There is Room to Improve GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18, 2007) -- The Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team can ...

KRAWIEC MAKES SEMIFINAL ROUND APPEARANCE IN CAREER FIRST NHRA POWERADE ELIMINATIONS
Hines Takes Loss in Stride Knowing There is Room to Improve

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18, 2007) -- The Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team can breathe a little easier on race days from now on.

Not only does the team have three-time NHRA POWERade champion Andrew Hines on their side, but the new guy's not bad either.

Eddie Krawiec, an Englishtown, N.J., resident and native, not only qualified for his first NHRA national event, but he went rounds too. The newest member of the Screamin' Eagle group made the most of his first weekend on the team.

Krawiec earned two round wins Sunday at the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. Krawiec beat Paul Gast in the opening round of eliminations with a 7.150-second pass at 180.24 mph after Gast fouled at the starting line. In Round Two Krawiec beat Matt Guidera with a 7.243 at 175.46 over Guidera's 7.620 at 140.09 on his Rocklin Harley-Davidson Buell.

Krawiec lost in the semifinals. Matt Smith recorded a 6.921 run at 190.22 on his Torco Racing Fuels Buell to cover Krawiec's 7.058 at 187.83.

"I could not have asked for anything more this weekend," Krawiec said. "My goals coming into the season opener were to qualify well and win one round. Going to the semifinals in my debut with the team is incredible. The crew made it possible."

Krawiec said the team made everything look easy this weekend.

"We had to do a lot of maintenance on the bike between the first and second round and they made it look routine," Krawiec said. "It stressed me out a little bit because I had not been in that position before, but the teamwork here just helped me get ready for the round. Knowing (team owner) Byron Hines and (crew chief) Matt Hines were working on the bike just gave me confidence as we went along. I would have never been in the semifinals without those guys standing behind me and supporting me."

Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso said she was impressed with the way the team made a new rider look like he'd been there before.

"It was a great season and career-opening event for Eddie," Paluso said. "The team had multiple challenges thrown at them this weekend and they responded very well. Eddie was in the semifinals of his first event and ran consistently well in qualifying."

Before Saturday Krawiec's career-best elapsed time on a Pro Stock Motorcycle was a 7.254 pass at 186.02. That was before Krawiece turned in a 6.948 pass at 191.02 in qualifying to improve those career-best numbers and earn in the No. 7 spot for eliminations.

Hines was No. 8 after qualifying wrapped up after recording a 6.955 at 192.17 on Saturday but he lost in the first round on Sunday. The Screamin' Eagle V-Rod got off the line well before suffering problems at mid-track for a 10.682 pass at 75.02 in a losing effort against Shawn Gann's 7.009 at 189.28 on his Race Girl Suzuki.

"I had one of the best 60-foot times in my career before the run went badly," Hines said. "But I think we figured out which direction we need to go in. We've struggled with our launches in the past but now that the bikes are more consistent, we can learn how to tune from them and continue to make improvements."

Hines has eight career wins including a 2004 victory at Gainesville Raceway. He's still glad the weekend is over and the team can focus on the next event.

"I'm happy we have the first one out of the way," Hines said. "The first one always seems to be the toughest. I can't wait to roll into Houston and start all over again.

"We're going back to the shop and rebuild the engines and make some spare parts. We have our work cut out for us, but we're fortunate to be able to make it all in our shop. Our machinists will be hard at work to make sure we're ready."

-credit: vhr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , Matt Guidera , Paul Gast , Matt Smith , Eddie Krawiec