FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 LESSON FROM FRIEND HELPED PUT HINES ON PATH TO WINSTON BIKE TITLE MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Matt Hines has dominated NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing this season, all but...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761
LESSON FROM FRIEND HELPED PUT HINES ON PATH TO WINSTON BIKE TITLE
MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Matt Hines has dominated NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing this season, all but clinching his first Winston championship with six victories in 11 races. But the foundation for his run to the title came last year during a half-hour chat with a friend. Hines met with retired NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle legend Terry Vance, business partner with Hines' father and crew chief, Byron Hines, shortly before the Pontiac Excitement Nationals in June 1996. Hines hadn't made a final round during the first five races of his rookie season. "Terry taught me how to win," Hines said. "I can't tell you what he told me, but we finished runner-up after he talked with me and then won two straight. We've just continued it this year." No doubt. The top-secret talk helped Hines win eight of 18 races since June 1996 on the Vance & Hines Suzuki. Hines, from Trinidad, Colo., will try to pad his win total at the 10th annual, $1,476,850 Pennzoil Nationals presented by AutoZone, Oct. 2-5 at Memphis Motorsports Park. It's the 13th of 14 events for bikes this year in the $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Another major factor behind Hines' success is the engine-building skill of his father. Byron Hines' horsepower has helped his son dominate all areas of performance this season. Matt Hines set the NHRA elapsed-time national record of 7.290 seconds and the speed national record of 186.37 mph this year. He also leads the category with six victories, nine final rounds, eight No. 1 qualifying spots, seven low elapsed times and five top speeds of the event. Hines is just 25, and his team shows no signs of slowing. The Hines Era may be starting in NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing. "It feels weird to win all these races and shoot for the championship," Hines said. "But that was my goal. I kind of feel like a hog right now, but I guess it's something you've got to do."