HARLEY-DAVIDSON AWARDS NHRA CHAMPIONS WITH NIGHT ROD SPECIAL AT 2007 SEASON OPENER POMONA, Calif. -- What a way to start a new season. As if starting a season with the No. 1 on the side of their NHRA POWERade Drag Racing vehicles wasn't enough,...
HARLEY-DAVIDSON AWARDS NHRA CHAMPIONS WITH NIGHT ROD SPECIAL AT 2007 SEASON OPENER
POMONA, Calif. -- What a way to start a new season. As if starting a season with the No. 1 on the side of their NHRA POWERade Drag Racing vehicles wasn't enough, Harley-Davidson found a way to make the season's first race even better. Each of the four NHRA professional champions were awarded a Screamin' Eagle leather jacket just moments before they were given their own Night Rod Special during pre-race ceremonies on Feb. 11 at Pomona Raceway. To put it mildly, the four champs -- Top Fuel's Tony Schumacher, Funny Car's John Force, Pro Stock's Jason Line and Pro Stock Motorcycle's Andrew Hines -- were jaw-dropped.
"The jacket was one of the coolest gifts ever, until they gave us the Harley-Davidson motorcycle," Schumacher said. "It was the greatest gift next to my three kids that anyone has ever given me. It was unbelievable and I think I am most surprised that they could keep it a secret. Force and I were excited just about the jacket. So getting a Harley motorcycle was just amazing."
Harley-Davidson became the Official Motorcycle of the NHRA in 2006. Line is especially happy he picked the perfect season to win his first Pro Stock championship. "It's absolutely, without question, the coolest thing I've ever received," Line said. "I've always wanted a motorcycle but my dad never let me have one when I was a kid. The first phone call I made was to tell him about it and tell him excited I was. He just laughed and agreed it was an incredible gift."
Schumacher earned his fourth NHRA Top Fuel title in 2006 with the help from five wins in eight final rounds. Force padded his record of Funny Car titles, earning his 14th championship along with three event wins. Line won four events in nine final rounds while Hines earned his third consecutive championship on his Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson V-Rod with three event wins in five final rounds. Schumacher, however, might have been the reason the champs each are patiently waiting at their local Harley-Davidson dealership for the Night Rod Special.
"I think I sat on that bike all season," Schumacher said. "It's such a great bike. I grew up riding motorcycles and I eventually took my test riding a Heritage Softtail. The instructor said I would never pass. But I did. I just love motorcycles and I already went out and bought my wife a new Harley jacket to wear when the new Night Rod Special arrives. I can't wait."