Denver: Vance & Hines preview

HINES HAS TWO WINS COMING INTO FORMER HOME TRACK IN MILE-HIGH SKIES OF BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY Krawiec to Make First Appearance at High-Altitude Facility MILWAUKEE (July 9, 2007) -- Andrew Hines has never been in this situation coming into the...

Krawiec to Make First Appearance at High-Altitude Facility

MILWAUKEE (July 9, 2007) -- Andrew Hines has never been in this situation coming into the summer's annual visit at Denver's Bandimere Speedway.

The Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Motorsports Harley-Davidson V-Rod rider has been in three consecutive NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Motorcycle finals -- winning two of them.

The 24-year-old three-time defending NHRA champion was in 13th place after a first round loss at the season opener in Gainesville, Fla., in March. Six events later, he's vaulted into third place and back into championship contention going into the 28th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, July 13-15.

And he's already won at his former home track -- a mental edge the Trinidad High School graduate has never had before. Hines beat Matt Guidera in the final of last year's event at Denver and now that monkey is off his back too.

So with a win from Denver on his resume and a winning streak to his name going into the event, Hines can relax and simply enjoy competing at the track he grew up on.

"The team did amazing things to tune the V-Rod to the win in extreme heat last year," Hines said. "It was worth all the work. When Matt (Hines, brother and crew chief) won at Denver for the first time in 1996 I remembered how great that feeling was. It was even better last year because he helped me by tuning the bike to the win. I had been waiting to win that race for a long time."

Hines is coming off his 10th career win, logged last weekend at the NHRA event in Norwalk, Ohio. It was his 18th career final round. Of his 20 career No. 1 qualifiers, Hines has earned two of them at Bandimere Speedway (2004-'05).

Hines is quick to give the team even more credit for the turnaround that has been made this season. He never expected to have to climb out of 13th place to compete for what could be a NHRA category record fourth consecutive championship.

"We struggled with a few things at the start of the season but the entire team has been determined to get everything figured out," Hines said. "We did a lot of testing and that really made a difference. The testing is what got us into three final rounds so far. The Screamin' Eagle V-Rod has been a lot of fun to ride lately and I think it's just going to get better throughout the rest of the season."

Unlike Hines, Krawiec doesn't have a lot of experience at the high-altitude track in Denver. The former AMA Prostar racer will be making his debut at the track and couldn't be happier about racing in the unknown.

"This entire year is new to me but Denver could be the most unique situation for me because I've never been to a high-altitude track," the New Jersey resident said. "I think when you race in that air, the rider has to do his job better than ever. Every little thing makes a big difference when the air takes away some of the motorcycle's performance.

"I think Denver can be the site of the standout race I've been looking for and I'm pretty excited about getting there. The team has worked so hard at making my transition smooth and I think it's all starting to come together."

Krawiec has one semifinal finish and is currently in 12th place of the Pro Stock Motorcycle standings.

"I think we're moving full steam ahead," Krawiec said. "I think I got a lot of self-confidence back in Norwalk and I think that is the most important component as the season progresses.

"I'm dealing with new things that are being thrown at me just one at a time. I'm just preparing for everything and trying to learn everyday. Denver should be a great experience."

Hines always looks forward to going back to the track where he started his racing career.

"Bandimere is where I learned how to race," Hines said. "It's my true home track and it's always exciting going back there and seeing old friends and family who still live in the area. I was just there a few weeks ago for a wedding and now I get to go back to race.

"We were based in Trinidad for so long so we have a great baseline for what works well at that track. Having that information to start with always gives the team a little confidence boost going into the event. These Screamin' Eagle V-Rods were originally built in Trinidad and they respond well to the altitude."

-credit: v&h

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Andrew Hines , Matt Guidera