HINES GRABS RINGERS PRO BIKE BATTLE BONUS RACE VICTORY AT FAMED U.S. NATIONALS IN INDIANAPOLIS Screamin' Eagle Team Earns Third Consecutive Bonus Race Win CLERMONT, Ind., (Sept. 2, 2006) -- For the third consecutive year the Screamin' Eagle/...
HINES GRABS RINGERS PRO BIKE BATTLE BONUS RACE VICTORY AT FAMED U.S. NATIONALS IN INDIANAPOLIS
Screamin' Eagle Team Earns Third Consecutive Bonus Race Win
CLERMONT, Ind., (Sept. 2, 2006) -- For the third consecutive year the Screamin' Eagle/ Vance & Hines V-Rod team will be celebrating a victory long before final eliminations begin. Why the early cheers? Andrew Hines earned a quick $25,000 with his Ringer's Gloves Pro Bike Battle bonus event victory Saturday at O'Reilly Park at Indianapolis.
Teammate GT Tonglet won the event in 2005 by beating Chip Ellis in the final and Hines won it for the first time in 2004, beating Tonglet in the final. It's been a race the Harley-Davidson crew has eagerly anticipated each season. The bonus race is held annually during the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.
"I'm extremely ecstatic," Hines said. "It feels like a three-peat. Even though I didn't win last year, our team won with GT and it's great for the entire team that we earned another Ringer's trophy. The only thing that could have made it better is if GT was there with me in the final. This is a testament to what the Screamin' Eagle team can accomplish."
Hines -- and Indianapolis resident -- beat Chip Ellis in the final round of the eight-bike event. 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 turned in a 7.062-second pass at 188.15 on his V-Rod to beat Ellis' 7.114 at 184.75 on the G Squared Motorsports Buell. Hines beat Tom Bradford in the first round, going 7.049 at 188.78 over Bradford's 7.120 at 186.41 on his Hal's Speed Shop Buell . Hines rode his V-Rod to a 7.061 at 188.33 in Round Two, beating Matt Smith's 7.099 at 185.46 on his Torco Buell.
"It was a tough day out there," Hines said. "I had to beat three tough Buells out there but my team gave me an awesome bike to run all day long. I'm going to make sure to give the team a big chunk of the bonus money because they earned it today."
Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso said the field of racers makes the win all the more impressive.
"This is the bet-of-the-best in Pro Stock Motorcycle racing," Paluso said. "You have to qualify for this event for an entire year and that takes a lot of determination and consistency. Over the past three years this team has come into the event qualified well for the event and won it three times. That speaks to the dedication our team has for racing. It's even better to be able to win this race in front of the U.S. Nationals crowd. It's the most prestigious event of the season and it's a great field to be part of."
Hines now must focus on winning the main event at the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. After the first three qualifying runs, Hines is third (7.049 at 188.78). Tonglet is 15th with a top pass of 7.117 at 186.25. Qualifying continues with two more sessions Sunday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Final eliminations start at 11 a.m. on Monday.
"Ever since the win in Denver (in July) this V-Rod has been flawless," Hines said. "I just need to be more consistent as a rider and the round wins will come. Winning the bonus race is completely awesome but now we need to focus on winning the race on Monday and trying to earn the double-up money (for winning both events in one weekend). This team strives for perfection and that would make it a perfect weekend."