TONGLET GOES ROUNDS AT GATEWAY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, JUMPS BACK UP THE POINT STANDINGS Hines Maintains Second Place Standing ST. LOUIS (June 25, 2006) -- GT Tonglet was getting anxious about winning rounds on his Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines...
TONGLET GOES ROUNDS AT GATEWAY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, JUMPS BACK UP THE POINT STANDINGS
Hines Maintains Second Place Standing
ST. LOUIS (June 25, 2006) -- GT Tonglet was getting anxious about winning rounds on his Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines V-Rod. After all, he hadn't gone past the first round in two events and had not been to the semifinals since the Houston race in April.
The anxiety subsided some Sunday as he made a semifinal appearance at the O'Reilly Midwest NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. Tonglet beat Shawn Gann in the opening round of eliminations before topping Craig Treble in the second round. Tonglet fouled at the starting line in the matchup against Michael Phillips in the semis but the two round wins went a long way.
"It felt great to get a couple of round wins, especially the holeshot (winning with a slower elapsed time aided by a quicker reaction time) win in the first round," Tonglet said. "The bike was moving really well, especially the first 60-feet and we're definitely going in the right direction. I think I just got a little too anxious in the semifinals. We had a great shot at winning but I just got antsy on the starting line."
The points helped Tonglet jump back into the top 10 of the NHRA POWERade series standings. He was in 11th place going into the event and is now ninth after the sixth of 15 events.
Teammate Andrew Hines is still holding strong in second place. He notched a first round victory against Chris Rivas. Hines turned in a 7.167-second pass at 185.89 mph, beating Rivas' 7.244 at 178.26. Hines fell short in his race against points leader Angelle Sampey, going 7.185 at 184.50 to Sampey's 7.142 at 187.29.
Tonglet recorded a 7.222 run at 184.50 against Gann's 7.170 at 187.31 for his first round win since the May 21 event at Columbus. He beat Treble with a 7.187 at 185.33 to Treble's 7.290 at 181.86.
Crew chief Matt Hines said the round wins was a much-needed turn around from the two first round losses suffered last week in Englishtown, N.J.
"We really needed to come out of this race with some wins in eliminations," Hines said. "Now we have a couple of weeks before the next event and I expect us to find some more horsepower and build off the positive things we saw in St. Louis. This is a great momentum builder and we really needed to get GT back into the top 10 of the point standings."
Hines qualified in the No. 2 spot with a 7.085 pass at 188.89. Tonglet -- the winner of the 2001 event at this track -- was 12th with a 7.168 at 186.85.
Hines is currently second in the point standings, aiming to defend his two consecutive NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Motorcycle championships (2004-'05). Hines is 28 points behind points leader Sampey. While Sampey beat Hines in the second round, she fell to eventual race winner Chip Ellis in the semis.
"I felt really comfortable on the bike this weekend because of the changes we made to the setup," Andrew Hines said. "We're going to head back to the shop and test some more changes and see what we can come up with for the next event. We need to make up those 20 points that we gave up to Angelle this weekend."
The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing event featuring the ultra-quick two-wheeled entries is the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, July 14-16.
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