Joliet: Vance & Hines team preview

Screamin' Eagle Team Heads To Ultra-Quick Route 66 Raceway For First Of Three Consecutive Races Hines and Tonglet Prepare for Season's First Endurance Test JOLIET, Ill. (June 7, 2006) -- The Pro Stock Motorcycle category gathers at 15 NHRA ...

Screamin' Eagle Team Heads To Ultra-Quick Route 66 Raceway For First Of Three Consecutive Races

Hines and Tonglet Prepare for Season's First Endurance Test

JOLIET, Ill. (June 7, 2006) -- The Pro Stock Motorcycle category gathers at 15 NHRA POWERade national events each season, bringing together some of the fiercest two-wheeled competition in racing. The season starts slowly, with just four races in three months. That all changes this weekend.

The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, just south of Chicago, not only features one of the quickest surfaces on the circuit, it also happens to be the first event in a series of three consecutive race weekends.

Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines riders Andrew Hines and GT Tonglet will join the highly competitive field of racers at Route 66 Raceway this weekend in hopes of tackling the first schedule hurdle of the season. Hines is second in the point standings -- just 36 behind points leader Angelle Sampey. Tonglet is tied for sixth with Geno Scali, 191 points from the top of the standings.

"You have to get a good start in Chicago because if one rider gets on a roll and if they sweep two or three races in three weekends that would be a huge gain in the championship points chase," Hines said. "If you start well, you can carry that momentum over the following two weeks. But if you fall behind in the first race, it's difficult to rebound and catch up in such a short amount of time."

If the pressure of doing well at the first of three races wasn't enough, Route 66 Raceway also provides even more incentive to perform for the Screamin' Eagle V-Rod riders. The track is the closest facility to Harley-Davidson's headquarters in Milwaukee.

"Chicago is typically one of the fastest tracks on the schedule and the bikes respond well to that facility," Hines said. "But it also puts a little more pressure on the team because it's so close to Harley-Davidson headquarters. When you have some of Harley's top executives and employees on the starting line, all you want to do is perform well and make them happy because it's so cool having them at the race. We look forward to showcasing the team in front of the sponsor and all of the employees and executives, but there is added pressure with that."

While Hines earned the top qualifying award with a 7.123-second pass at 183.10, Tonglet had a Sunday that he would rather forget.

"We did the burnout and then we got shut off (for weather) before they started us back up again a few minutes later," Tonglet said. "That was the first time that had happened to me and it took its toll. We think the hold-up and restart didn't help the bike either. We lost the round. It was awful, but we learned a lot from the experience and I think it helped us in the long run. Experiences like that help make me a better rider."

-v&h

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Series NHRA
Drivers Geno Scali , Andrew Hines , GT Tonglet , Angelle Sampey