Columbus: Vance & Hines team final summary

Screamin' Eagle V-Rod Riders Move Up The Point Standings With Round Wins At National Trail Raceway Hines Back in Second Place after Two Round Victories COLUMBUS (May 22, 2006) --Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines team riders Andrew Hines and GT ...

Screamin' Eagle V-Rod Riders Move Up The Point Standings With Round Wins At National Trail Raceway

Hines Back in Second Place after Two Round Victories

COLUMBUS (May 22, 2006) --Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines team riders Andrew Hines and GT Tonglet each made a move up the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Motorcycle point standings this weekend. Hines jumped up to second place while Tonglet moved up to seventh after Sunday's Pontiac Excitement NHRA Nationals at National Trail Raceway.

Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso said the best part of the weekend was the performance numbers produced by each of the V-Rod entries.

"We ran some really good times this weekend which eventually helped us pick up some points," Paluso said. "Andrew was the quickest rider after the first day of racing (Friday) and now we can take those positive results and apply it to the next race. We're building some good momentum and hopefully it will carry over to the next event in two weeks."

Hines -- the reigning two-time defending NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Motorcycle champion -- beat Ryan Schnitz in the first round of eliminations, turning in a 7.085-second pass at 184.42 mph to beat Schnitz's 7.134 at 183.99 on a Buell. Tonglet earned his first round victory over Tom Bradford. Tonglet went 7.107 186.82, topping Bradford's 7.118 at 186.02 on a Buell.

For the second consecutive event this season, Hines and Tonglet faced each other in the early rounds. Hines beat Tonglet in Atlanta two weeks ago in the first round. He beat him again this weekend, this time in second round action.

Hines rode his V-Rod to a 7.116 at 187.73 to earn the victory over Tonglet's 7.160 at 186.54. Hines lost his semifinal race against Matt Smith after fouling on the starting line.

"The only way to avoid racing each other in the early rounds is to qualify first and second and meet in the finals in the best case scenario," said Byron Hines, team owner. "We weren't in that situation this weekend but we ran some pretty good numbers and had some good results. We're back in the position to be more competitive. It would have been nice to see Andrew in the finals, but we just had a red light (foul)."

Hines was the top qualifier after Friday's sessions, but slipped to second on Saturday with a 7.038 pass at 189.26. Tonglet was seventh with a 7.084 at 188.04. It was the first time this season Tonglet qualified in the top half of the field.

"Overall I'm happy with the weekend because our performance has us a lot closer to the front of the pack," Hines said. "That red light came out of nowhere. I felt comfortable all weekend with my reaction times, the semifinal round was just one of those things. It's really important that both bikes won some rounds this weekend because we can't let her (points leader and event winner Angelle Sampey) get too far ahead of us."

While Hines has a Columbus victory on his resume from the 2004 season, Tonglet was thrilled to leave National Trail Raceway behind him for the year.

"I've never done well at this track," Tonglet said. "We earned the No. 1 qualifier here last year, but I think that's the best thing that's ever happened here, so I'm happy to come away with at least one round win and be done with this one.

"We're getting a better handle on my V-Rod and we moved up one spot in the point standings, so now we just need to build on that and keep climbing up the ladder. We had lane choice in the first round for the first time this season and hopefully that will be a trend we can continue at the next event."

-v&h

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ryan Schnitz , Andrew Hines , GT Tonglet , Tom Bradford , Angelle Sampey