Harley-Davidson Earns First NHRA Win; Schumacher, Worsham and Anderson also Take Victories at Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals GAINESVILLE, Fl. - Andrew Hines rode a Harley-Davidson into the history books Sunday, earning the factory's first win in...
Harley-Davidson Earns First NHRA Win; Schumacher, Worsham and Anderson also Take Victories at Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals
GAINESVILLE, Fl. - Andrew Hines rode a Harley-Davidson into the history books Sunday, earning the factory's first win in NHRA history during the Pro Stock Bike final at the 35th annual Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.
Tony Schumacher, Del Worsham and Greg Anderson earned the wins in their respective categories at the $2 million race, the third of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
It was also the first career victory for Hines, the 20-year-old brother of three-time Pro Stock Bike champion Matt Hines. Hines defeated teammate and fellow Harley rider GT Tonglet. Hines earned the win with a 7.076-second run at 189.83 mph to beat Tonglet's 7.161 at 182.96.
"To give Harley their first win during the first race of the year is just incredible," Hines said. "I couldn't have done it without GT in the other lane. He's my best friend and having two Harleys in the final in front of (grandsons of original founder) Willie G. and Bill Davidson makes it even more special.
"This is the future of NHRA Pro Stock Bike racing."
The Davidsons, who are the grandchildren of one of the company's founders, were thrilled with their young hero.
"We got on NHRA.com last night and saw what these bikes were doing and I said, 'We'd better get down to Florida," said Willie B. Davidson, the vice president of styling. "So we jumped on our plane and headed south. We thought this might be our time and it was. What a thrill. We've got the backing of a tremendous team and Vance & Hines should be commended for the work they've done. They had to climb a big mountain with these V-Rod motors but we knew that if anyone could do it, it was Byron Hines and Terry Vance."
Schumacher earned his second win of the season and 13th career victory by beating Darrell Russell in the Top Fuel final. Schumacher turned in a 4.612 pass at 312.60 in the U.S. Army dragster to beat Russell's 4.981 at 271.98 in the Keystone-DeeZee dragster.
"I've wanted to win this race my entire life," Schumacher said. "This goes all the way back to when my dad raced here and it was on ABC's Wide World of Sports. Pomona, Indy, and Gainesville, those are the big ones. They might all count the same in the points, but these races mean more.
"You look at who has won here before. You see this huge crowd, which might be the biggest one I've ever seen at a race. It all adds up to a big deal."
Worsham earned his second consecutive win and 16th of his career by defeating John Force in the Funny Car final. Worsham used a 4.979 at 296.05 pass in his Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird to take the win over Force's 4.977 at 304.36 in his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang.
Worsham is the leader in the Funny Car standings, holding a 110-point lead over Force.
"I never thought I would win the Mac Tools Gatornationals without running a 300-mph pass all weekend," Worsham said. "We started the day (qualified) 11th but I really wasn't too worried about it because with the exception of the final qualifying session where we had some small problems, our car was in the top four every round. The main thing was getting by [Gary] Densham in the first round. Once I beat him I relaxed and just raced."
None of the professional winners had earned a Gatornationals win before Sunday.
"This is an awesome race to win," Worsham said. "I told my wife I was going to win this one for Mac Tools and I went out and did it. I need to get working on a deal with [Las Vegas race sponsor] Summit because I'm on a hot streak right now at races my sponsors have their name on."
Anderson also earned his second win of the season. Anderson, the defending Pro Stock champion, earned his 18th career victory by defeating Jeg Coughlin. Anderson went 6.742 at 204.91 in a Pontiac Grand Am to take the win light over Coughlin's 6.790 at 204.08 in a Chevy Cavalier.
In 2003 the two drivers faced each other four times in the final round. They each grabbed two wins, but the reaction times were always a topic of discussion once the race was over. This time, Anderson took a narrow edge, earning a .045 reaction time to Coughlin's .048.
"I'm very proud of light I had in the final," said Anderson. "I knew Jeg would be tough. He had been three or four hundredths better on the (starting line) tree all day and if he had done that in the final it would have been way too close. I was up for it and I'm glad I pulled one out.
"It seems like everyone caught up to us in Phoenix but I actually had the quickest car there also. I just slipped up against [Kurt Johnson] and he beat me. I'm not a machine. I'm human, I make mistakes and those things are gonna happen."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is NHRA Summitracing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, April 1-4.