Sonoma: Vance & Hines preview

HINES BEYOND PLEASED TO BE BACK TO SEA-LEVEL CONDITIONS AT SONOMA'S INFINEON RACEWAY Hines Ready to Defend 2005 Win; Krawiec Anxious for First Attempt MILWAUKEE (July 25, 2007) -- Andrew Hines is thrilled just knowing he gets to ride his...

HINES BEYOND PLEASED TO BE BACK TO SEA-LEVEL CONDITIONS AT SONOMA'S INFINEON RACEWAY
Hines Ready to Defend 2005 Win; Krawiec Anxious for First Attempt

MILWAUKEE (July 25, 2007) -- Andrew Hines is thrilled just knowing he gets to ride his Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson V-Rod at Infineon Raceway this weekend.

The Sonoma, Calif., facility is just 660-feet above sea level. That's a big difference from the 5,860 feet above sea level track of Bandimere Speedway -- the team's last stop two weeks ago.

Hines has a history of success at Infineon Raceway. He's earned one victory (2005), two No. 1 qualifying awards (2005, '06) and has set the national record there as well (6.968 seconds, 2005). Needless to say, Hines is happy to be back in California's wine country for the 19th annual FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals. Qualifying starts Friday.

"We've had some good results at Infineon in the past and it's always a great place to race these Screamin' Eagle V-Rods," Hines said. "We're anxious to get back to sea level conditions and see how well the entire category responds to the conditions. It's been a battle all season just winning rounds and fighting for qualifying positions and I think it's just going to get more intense as the Countdown cutoff gets closer."

This will be the first time that Eddie Krawiec -- the newest member of the Screamin' Eagle team -- will be making an appearance at Infineon Raceway. Krawiec is currently in 12th place and is aiming to make up some of the 58 points that separates him from a spot in the top eight. Those top eight riders will be the only riders able to compete for the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Motorcycle championship when the Countdown to the Championship point standings are readjusted before the Aug. 29 start of the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Ind., start.

"All I have heard about Infineon is what a great facility it is and how fast the track can be," Krawiec said. "It's another one of the tracks that I am going to for the first time this season but I'm especially anxious about. This team has done well there in the past and that's a confidence booster going into the event.

"We have some points to make up if we want to get into the Countdown ladder and we have just three races to work with. Things are starting to fall into place and I think we've all learned a lot this season that is going to help us excel in the second half of the season."

Riders will have four chances to qualify for the ninth of 16 national NHRA events that feature the Pro Stock Motorcycle category. Two sessions will be held Friday at 3:45 and 7 p.m. before wrapping up on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Final eliminations will start at noon on Sunday.

With two wins in three final rounds to his credit so far this season, Hines has visions of adding to those numbers. He knows he certainly has the right team to make it possible.

"It's always great going to a race where you know you are capable of doing well at and love being at," Hines said. "I always look forward to Sonoma, especially this year. My team has worked overtime to make sure we have a chance of going rounds on Sunday and I can't ask for more than that."

-credit: v&h

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Series NHRA
Drivers Andrew Hines , Eddie Krawiec