Richmond Pro Bike notebook

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 PENNZOIL NATIONALS PRESENTED BY TRAK AUTO PRO STOCK BIKE NOTEBOOK *Road warrior: Matt Hines hasn't been home to Southern California since the Pro Stock Motorcycle...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761

PENNZOIL NATIONALS PRESENTED BY TRAK AUTO PRO STOCK BIKE NOTEBOOK *Road warrior: Matt Hines hasn't been home to Southern California since the Pro Stock Motorcycle season started in mid-March, but he's getting used to life on the road. "It's been a lot of work," Hines said. "But it makes a lot of difference when we do good at the last race. We kind of survive on that until the next race. But not sleeping in your own bed for a month is tough." *Teamwork: John Myers looked to be in deep trouble before the final round against Matt Hines at the Fram Nationals two weeks ago at Atlanta, but the advantages of a two-bike team helped him earn a victory. The computer on Myers' Close Call Phone Card Suzuki malfunctioned during his semifinal victory against Dave Schultz, so the team had no data to use while tuning the bike for the final. The experience of crew chief Ken Johnson and team owner George Bryce definitely helped, and so did the clutch and the rear tire from teammate Angelle Seeling's machine. No. 1 qualifier Seeling lost in the first round, so Myers used her clutch and tire in the final. "This was a real tough race for us," Myers said. "We've made a lot of good runs at Atlanta Dragway and had a lot of runner-ups." No kidding. Myers finished runner-up six times at this event before breaking through for his first victory at Atlanta Dragway in an NHRA event. *Streak ends: Dave Schultz lost at the Fram Nationals for the first time since 1989, falling short on the Sunoco Suzuki in his attempt to win for the eighth consecutive year. Schultz, from Fort Myers, Fla., lost in the semifinals to eventual champion John Myers. Schultz's streak of seven straight wins at the Fram Nationals remains the NHRA record for consecutive victories by a professional competitor at one event. Virginia Motorsports Park is a good spot for Schultz to rebound. He has appeared in the final of the first two Pennzoil Nationals presented by Trak Auto, winning in 1995. *Helping hand: A familiar face offered a helping hand to Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Steve Johnson at the Fram Nationals two weeks ago at Atlanta. Johnson's brother, Alan, joined the team for the weekend and worked on the engine with Johnson and crew chief Tim Kulungian. Johnson lost in the first round to Gary Tonglet at Atlanta. "I have to give special thanks to my brother Alan, who helped me out," Johnson said. "We made several engine changes, and two extra hands made it easier." There's also another Alan Johnson who does a pretty fair job working on engines, the Alan Johnson who owns and tunes the Team Winston Dragster of NHRA Winston Top Fuel point leader Gary Scelzi. And don't forget Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson, who advanced to the semifinals of the non-points Winston Invitational earlier this month in the Amoco Dodge Avenger. *Home advantage: Matt Hines thinks John Myers could continue his recent hot streak at the Pennzoil Nationals presented by Trak Auto because his Close Call Phone Card team is accustomed to racing and testing its engines in the heat and humidity of the South. Three-time NHRA Winston champion Myers won the Fram Nationals two weeks ago at Atlanta. The Close Call team is based in Americus, Ga. Team owner George Bryce and his crew have a full dynamometer to test engines. "George dynos in these conditions, so he has a bit of an advantage," Hines said. The Vance & Hines team is based in Southern California, which usually has very dry air. *Performance prediction: Another Pro Stock Motorcycle milestone -- the first run in the 7.20-second range -- could be reached at the Pennzoil Nationals presented by Trak Auto, Matt Hines said. "I would think that a 7.28 or a 7.29 would be possible if we have the same conditions as last year," Hines said. Hines recorded the quickest pass by a Pro Stock Motorcycle in NHRA history, 7.300 seconds, at the non-points Winston Invitational in early April at Rockingham, N.C. The track record at Virginia Motorsports Park is 7.422 by John Myers last year. *Schedule: Pro qualifying starts at 3 p.m. April 25 and continues at 7 p.m. that evening. Qualifying ends with sessions at noon and 4 p.m. April 26. Final eliminations start at 11 a.m. April 27. Federal-Mogul competition starts at 10:15 a.m. April 24. *Tickets: Tickets are available for the Pennzoil Nationals presented by Trak Auto. Call Virginia Motorsports Park at (804) 862-3174 for ticket information. Tickets also can be purchased from Ticketmaster. *On TV: ESPN2 will televise two hours of same-day, final-round competition from the Pennzoil Nationals presented by Trak Auto at 10:30 p.m. (EDT) April 27. ESPN2 also will show two hours of same-day, Friday- night qualifying at 11:30 p.m. (EDT) April 25.All-day, live coverage of final eliminations will be shown on ESPN pay-per-view from 10:30-6 p.m. (EDT) April 27. The telecast costs $14.95. Viewers must order the show through their satellite or cable provider. *On the Web: The NHRA home page on the World Wide Web at http://www.goracing.com/nhra/ offers more information about NHRA Winston Drag Racing, including qualifying and eliminations results, news, point standings, statistics and driver biographies. -30-

4/16/97-RV5-061

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , Gary Scelzi , George Bryce , Allen Johnson , Steve Johnson