Matt Hines interview (PRO/BIKE)

>From: NHRA Communications FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 HINES EMERGES AS YOUNG STAR IN PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE TOPEKA, Kan. -- It might sound strange, but the biggest breakthrough Matt Hines made...

>From: NHRA Communications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761

HINES EMERGES AS YOUNG STAR IN PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE

TOPEKA, Kan. -- It might sound strange, but the biggest breakthrough Matt Hines made this season in Pro Stock Motorcycle racing came when he made a big mistake against five-time NHRA Winston champion Dave Schultz.

Hines left the starting line 12-thousandths of a second too soon against Schultz at the Pontiac Excitement Nationals in mid-June at Columbus, Ohio, his first career final round. That experience might have crushed other young riders, but it only steeled Hines' desire.

"When I went to Ohio, my head wasn't going crazy, and I was able to concentrate," Hines said. "I cut a good light, but unfortunately it came up red. I knew what I had to do, but it didn't turn out right.

"That really gave me a lot of confidence."

It showed. Hines, from Whittier, Calif., won the next two races and The Wax Shop Pro Bike Dash special event earlier this month at Indianapolis on the Vance & Hines Suzuki GSXR. He is a solid third in the NHRA Winston point standings in his rookie year.

Hines will continue to chase leader Schultz and second-place John Myers at the eighth annual, $1,473,750 Sears Craftsman Nationals, Sept. 26-29 at Heartland Park Topeka. The race is the 17th of 19 events in the $27-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1996.

Abundant horsepower created by his father, crew chief Byron Hines, has helped Hines become the only rider other than Schultz and Myers to win two races in one season this decade. That power and improved technique also could help Hines contend for the NHRA Winston title in 1997.

"The championship would be really cool," said Hines, 24. "Hopefully, I'll have more power for next year. I'm not letting those guys get away easily. I think we can win at any time."

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines