FORMER COLORADO RESIDENT HINES SCORES FIRST NHRA VICTORY OF THE SEASON FOR SCREAMIN' EAGLE V-ROD TEAM Hines Grabs the Category Points Lead with Win DENVER (July 17, 2006) -- They've been working toward this since last summer. The Screamin'...
FORMER COLORADO RESIDENT HINES SCORES FIRST NHRA VICTORY OF THE SEASON FOR SCREAMIN' EAGLE V-ROD TEAM
Hines Grabs the Category Points Lead with Win
DENVER (July 17, 2006) -- They've been working toward this since last summer.
The Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines team earned a victory Sunday during the 27th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. It wasn't just any win, it was the win the team has been waiting for. Andrew Hines rode his V-Rod entry to the win over Matt Guidera -- the first win for Hines since the August event in Memphis last season.
"It was a complete team effort," Hines said. "We worked so well in the hot conditions that we faced here this weekend and we tuned the bike correctly from the first hit (Sunday). My dad and brother stared at the computer nonstop through qualifying, trying to figure out what it would take to make this bike go fast. It worked."
It was the sixth career victory in 13 final round appearances for Hines. Not only did Hines earn the win, but he also jumped back into the points lead. It's the first time the two-time defending NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Motorcycle has held the top spot in the point standings this season.
"It feels so good to have the first win of the season over and done with," Hines said. "I've had a longer winless streak before, and that was tough on everyone. We still have a lot of races left this season so this is a great time to get a victory in and gain some momentum."
Hines beat Karen Stoffer and the Geico Suzuki team in the opening round of eliminations. Hines posted a 7.430-second pass at 180.36 mph over Stoffer's 7.533 at 178.59. Hines then went on to beat Chip Ellis in Round Two. Hines went 7.419 at 180.74 to top Ellis' 9.087 at 100.27 on the G Squared S&S Buell.
Hines earned a trip to the final round for the third time this season with a semifinal round win over Geno Scali. Hines turned in a 7.424 at 180.74 over Scali's 7.465 at 179.71 on his Performance Machine Suzuki. Hines beat Guidera and the Rocklin Motorsports/Rocklin Harley-Davidson team in the first final round meeting between the two riders. Hines used a 7.435 at 179.97 to grab the win over Guidera's 7.566 at 176.63.
"The V-Rod was so consistent I had a great time riding it," Hines said. "The bike performed so well I didn't have to make a single correction. We earned four win lights in one day for the first time this season and it's even better because the V-Rod was just awesome to ride.
"Beating Chip Ellis was almost like winning the race itself. He had been running in the 7.30s all weekend and it was great to get past him that round. This is going to be a great upswing weekend for this team."
Hines was in second place of the standings before the weekend started, 28 points behind Angelle Sampey and the U.S. Army team. Hines now has a 28-point lead because of the win combined with a second round loss for Sampey.
Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso said the team couldn't ask for better results from one weekend.
"This is such an exciting day for the team," Paluso said. "Andrew has been in two final rounds this season and we came up short then. But to come into one of the most difficult facilities on the tour, facing hot conditions and extremely high altitude and then to be able to still win rounds is a great accomplishment. Then, we not only won the race but Andrew took over the points lead and that is exactly what the team has been striving for.
"There are so many rounds of racing left to win or lose so we can't celebrate the jump in points much. But it's still a nice accomplishment and something that hopefully will carry over into the rest of the season."
This was also the first win at Bandimere Speedway for Trinidad (Colo.) High School graduate. Crew chief and older brother Matt Hines earned four wins at Bandimere Speedway during his three-time championship career -- something the younger Hines remembers vividly.
"When Matt won his first event at Bandimere in 1996 I remember riding the bike from top end to winner's circle," Hines said. "We had about 30 or 40 people in winner's circle celebrating with us that weekend because all of our friends and co-workers from the Trinidad shop came out. It was just a great feeling for our entire team. This time he rode my bike from top end to winner's circle. Everyone wants to win at Bandimere and thanks to how everything worked out, I can cross this off my list."
Hines qualified in the No. 9 spot with a 7.450 at 180.21. Teammate GT Tonglet qualified in the 12th position with a 7.474 at 179.64. Tonglet lost in the first round. Tonglet posted a 7.652 at 157.87 in a losing effort against Ryan Schnitz's 7.468 at 178.73 on the Team Muzzy Buell.
Tonglet is now 10th in the NHRA POWERade point standings.
"We broke a shift shaft during that run," Tonglet said. "I couldn't shift into high gear. It was a bad day for my bike but the great part is that Andrew's bike was working nearly perfectly and the entire team benefits from that. Hopefully we can get the kinks worked out before the next race."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing event featuring the Pro Stock Motorcycle category is the FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway, July 28-30.