HINES LEADS SCREAMIN' EAGLE V-ROD TEAM WITH SEMIFINAL FINISH AT U.S. NATIONALS IN INDIANAPOLIS Hines Earns Second Career Bonus Event Win CLERMONT, Ind., (Sept. 4, 2006) -- Andrew Hines was so close, yet not nearly as close as he would have...
HINES LEADS SCREAMIN' EAGLE V-ROD TEAM WITH SEMIFINAL FINISH AT U.S. NATIONALS IN INDIANAPOLIS
Hines Earns Second Career Bonus Event Win
CLERMONT, Ind., (Sept. 4, 2006) -- Andrew Hines was so close, yet not nearly as close as he would have liked to be. Hines earned a trip to the semifinals on his Screamin' Eagle/ Vance & Hines V-Rod Monday during the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.
The semifinal round appearance surpassed last season's first round loss but that doesn't make up for the team's goals going into the event. Hines held the points lead going into the event and walked away with it too. Still, the Indianapolis resident was disappointed the day didn't last longer and end with a victory.
"I really did have the bike to beat," Hines said. "That V-Rod ran nine awesome passes between 7.02 seconds and 7.09 seconds. Hands down, the bike deserved to be in winner's circle. I just got amped up going into the semifinals and let the clutch out too early."
Hines won his first round matchup with a 7.028 pass at 189.18 mph to Chris Rivas' 7.091 at 184.90 on his Mohegan Sun Racing Buell. In Round Two, Hines posted a 7.098 at 186.10 to Paul Gast's 7.196 at 180.52 on his Fast By Gast Suzuki. Hines fouled at the starting line in the semifinal race against Angelle Sampey and the U.S. Army Suzuki team.
Teammate GT Tonglet also saw red on Monday. After his Screamin' Eagle entry broke at the starting line, the team re-fired the motorcycle, but Tonglet fouled out of his first round race against Matt Smith and the Torco Buell team. Smith went on to win the race.
"The reason Indy means so much to everyone is because it is such a tough race to win," Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso said. "It has more competitors, it's a longer event and it takes everything out of a team to be the last group standing on Labor Day. This Screamin' Eagle team did their best to put Andrew and GT in the position to win, but it just didn't work out this time."
Hines qualified in the No. 2 position with a 7.020 at 189.68 while Tonglet was 16th with a 7.117 at 186.38.
The team now must shake off the U.S. Nationals and move on to the next race -- the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Penn., on Sept. 14-17.
"The U.S. Nationals really does take it all out of you," Tonglet said. "It was a long weekend and we saw some really good things but it just didn't translate into a win. This is one of the races I want to win the most, so I guess the team has to wait another year to try again."
Hines was also nearing a possible double-up bonus. Hines beat Chip Ellis in the final round of the eight-bike Ringer's Gloves Pro Bike Battle bonus race on Saturday. Each NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Bike racer has one calendar year to qualify for the event and the top eight riders get to race for more than $50,000 in prize money. Hines collected a $25,000 paycheck for his win.
"All weekend we were nailing our 60-foot times and we found the consistency we have been looking for all season," Hines said. "It would have been amazing to win both events in one weekend and it's disappointing it had to end with a red light. The good thing is that we have the points lead and three more races to go after some more round wins."