Valvoline Racing News -- May 30

Special Report: Auction Total Estimated at $150,000 Preliminary totals for the three-week Valvoline Online Racing Auction on eBay show approximately $150,000 was raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. This brings the overall...

Special Report: Auction Total Estimated at $150,000

Preliminary totals for the three-week Valvoline Online Racing Auction on eBay show approximately $150,000 was raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. This brings the overall amount donated to this cause since the start of the program in 1999 to almost $475,000.

NHRA: Q&A with 3-Time Bike Champion Matt Hines

A winner last Sunday in Dallas, Matt Hines, 28, has captured an unprecedented three consecutive NHRA Winston Drag Racing Pro Stock Motorcycle championships on his Eagle One Suzuki fielded by the famed Vance & Hines team. Hines' total of 24 career national wins includes victory in the Prestone Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, outside Chicago, in both 1998 and 1999. That's the next event on the NHRA calendar, this weekend (June 2-4), and Hines currently is second in the point standings. His win over Angelle Seeling at Dallas moved him to within 59 points of her top total.

Q. You won the first two events at Route 66 Raceway. Do you have a special set-up for the Eagle One Suzuki for that track? A. Chicago is a great facility. The track is awesome. The one thing is, the wind changes there constantly, and you have to be on top of that. That's kind of fallen into my hands.

Q. Do you feel pressure in trying for four consecutive championships? A. It definitely puts a little more pressure on me, but I haven't noticed a tremendous amount of difference between going for my fourth championship and going for my second. I just try to relax and stay focused on racing and not get too involved in all the hype. My focus is doing the best I can when I pop the clutch on the Eagle One Suzuki and go down the track. I like to hang out with the rest of the guys. If I can just blend in with the rest of the guys on the team, hanging out with them after a long day of racing, it helps.

Q. After three titles, what are your goals in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class? A. I want to try to be the first one in the six-second range and maybe 200 (mph) is right around the corner. We'll have to see what happens after that.

Q. Would you consider trying another series? A. I love drag racing. I don't see myself going anywhere else. Since I started racing, I've always looked at it as a year-to-year deal.

Q. Your rivalry with Angelle Seeling has been rather intense the last couple of years. Is it still that way? A. The fans love her for her, and the fans like me because I've got a fast bike with the Eagle One Suzuki. Right now, there's not a huge rivalry going. That has seen its days and we've kind of put that behind us. (Note: Seeling finished eight points behind Hines last year, the closest in Pro Stock Motorcycle history.) NOTE: Five-time Top Fuel champion Joe Amato is scheduled to be interviewed on ESPN2's "RPM2Night" Thursday, June 1. Check local listing for broadcast time. Amato, driver of the DynoMax/Valvoline/Keystone Automotive dragster, will be interviewed from the ESPN SportsZone restaurant in Chicago. Amato is now fifth in the Top Fuel standings.

NASCAR: Martin 'Overwhelmed' by NASCAR's Success

When Mark Martin drove his first Winston Cup race in 1981, NASCAR didn't receive regular coverage in the nation's major media markets. Even when Martin became a Cup regular in 1988, NASCAR was growing, but still lagged far behind the traditional "major league" sports. Since then, the Valvoline Ford Taurus driver has not only seen, but been a part of, the series' leap into the American mainstream, including a new national network TV contract beginning next year. His reaction? "It's kind of overwhelming to me," said Martin. "I'm just a hillbilly from Arkansas. I can't hardly believe all this stuff. "The way I deal with it is I keep my eye on the goal and the goal is winning the race. It's not that much different for me than when I was 15 and racing in Arkansas. My main objective is to win. Nothing else really matters. Everything else barely exists in my world."

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF AMERICA UPDATE: Mark Martin's on-track performance in the Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $474,410. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Martin wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-five finish, and $20 per lap Martin leads in this "Caring Hands" program. The next trackside fundraiser, where fans can put their handprints on a canvas wall, receive a commemorative button, and make donations, will be June 3 at Dover Downs International Speedway.

Informed Sources: Free E-mail Updates

Valvoline is offering the public a free, monthly E-mail newsletter which can be customized to include racing news, car care tips or updates on special promotions. Go to the Valvoline.com web site to register . . . "TV or Not TV? That Is the Question" is the title of the current "Behind Closed Garage Doors" motorsports analysis/commentary column on Valvoline.com. The column appears twice monthly . . . The 37th Valvoline Runoffs, the Sports Car Club of America's national championship, is scheduled for Oct. 2-8 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. A total of 24 class titles will be determined. This will be the seventh consecutive year Mid-Ohio has hosted the Valvoline Runoffs.

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Series NASCAR Cup , NHRA , SCCA
Drivers Matt Hines , Joe Amato , Mark Martin