Englishtown Pro Stock Motorcycle Preview

HINES NOW THE HUNTER IN PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE COMPETITION ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- For the first time in nearly three years, Matt Hines has a different view from his position in the Winston point standings. The Trinidad, Colo. Pro Stock ...

HINES NOW THE HUNTER IN PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE COMPETITION ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- For the first time in nearly three years, Matt Hines has a different view from his position in the Winston point standings. The Trinidad, Colo. Pro Stock Motorcycle rider is currently third, behind red-hot points leader Angelle Seeling and an emerging Antron Brown, who earned his first career victory at a recent event in Dallas. Hines, the two-time defending champion in the two-wheel category, has usually secured his second victory at this point in the season. Following consecutive semi-final round losses, Hines is now the hunter, instead of the hunted. "We've sort of got behind the eight-ball really quick," said Hines, rider of the Eagle One Suzuki, who'll lead competitors into the 30th annual Mopar Parts Nationals, May 20-23, at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. "We've got a new bike and we haven't come up to speed with it yet. We're working on finding more horsepower. We've found some things and I think we'll be fine at Englishtown. Hopefully we'll get a win there." The $1.8 million race is the fourth of 14 events for Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series for 1999. Ironically, Hines didn't have one of his better outings at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park last year, suffering an uncharacteristic first round loss to Gary Tonglet. Angelle Seeling went on to win the race, defeating Greg Underdahl in the final. Seeling, rider of the Team Winston Suzuki, has picked up the pace this season, winning the season-opening bike event in Gainesville, Fla., then redlighting away a chance at two-straight in Dallas. She's also lowered the elapsed time national record to an incredible 7.212 seconds. "Angelle has definitely stepped up her program," Hines said. "John Smith and Antron Brown are running quicker and faster. All three of those guys are going to be real tough this year, because once you get a small taste of success, you don't want to give it up. You really get motivated to win more races. Overall, the competition in the category has improved greatly." One factor in the overall improvement of the category has been the engine program offered to fellow competitors by Vance & Hines Racing. The engines for sale are the same that Hines has used to dominate the category in past. The results are showing. More riders are posting career-bests in elapsed time and speed. Hines says track records are in jeopardy at Englishtown, and if atmospheric conditions are favorable, so are national records. "If the weather is good there I think you could see some runs in the teens," Hines said. "I know I've been saying that for two years, but it's time. I think there's about four or five of us who could run that quick. Englishtown is a pretty fast track, so it'll be interesting to see what kind of numbers come up on the board that weekend." Hines says it's also going to be an interesting battle for championship bragging rights this season. He certainly welcomes the challenge from Seeling, Brown, Smith and others. "It's definitely going to be a tight race for the Winston championship," Hines said. "I think I've got the bike to make up some ground. We're not pushing any panic buttons at this point in the season. There's still plenty of time and a lot can happen before the last round is run."

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Matt Hines , Greg Underdahl