SCREAMIN' EAGLE V-ROD NHRA DRAG RACING TEAM READY TO MAKE THIS WEEKEND'S RACE IN READING COUNT Hines Plans To Treat Rerun Race Like It Was the First Time MILWAUKEE (Sept. 27, 2006) -- If you ask Andrew Hines, it never happened. Really. The rumor...
SCREAMIN' EAGLE V-ROD NHRA DRAG RACING TEAM READY TO MAKE THIS WEEKEND'S RACE IN READING COUNT
Hines Plans To Treat Rerun Race Like It Was the First Time
MILWAUKEE (Sept. 27, 2006) -- If you ask Andrew Hines, it never happened. Really. The rumor about how the Screamin' Eagle/ Vance & Hines V-Rod Harley-Davidson team went to Reading, Pa., for an NHRA national event nearly two weeks ago is just wrong.
OK, maybe the team did go. And maybe the team -- along with everyone else -- was forced to pack up and go home without making a single pass after persistent rain showers forced NHRA officials to postpone the race.
But don't remind Hines any of that. In his mind, the team is making its first trip to Maple Grove Raceway on Friday.
"Luckily for us our game plan wasn't set in stone for the entire race," Hines said. "We had a few things we wanted to do but we were waiting to see how the weather was going to settle for each round. So now we can go there with a open-minded attitude and figure out the weather conditions and see what we think the track can hold. But you can't get frustrated about going back. That could hurt you as far as setting up the bike or riding it. As far as I'm concerned, we haven't been to Maple Grove Raceway yet."
Hines currently leads the Pro Stock Motorcycle points chase with three national events left in the 2006 POWERade championship season. The two-time defending series champion has two wins in four final rounds this season.
This weekend's 22nd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove is one the team looks forward to all season because of the atmospheric conditions. The track, surrounded by oxygen-producing trees that help the V-Rod produce power, has been the site of national record setting passes in the past.
Hines is hoping the team has a chance at resetting the national records currently held by the Screamin' Eagle team. Hines set the national E.T. record with a 6.968-second pass in Sonoma, Calif., in 2005. He set the speed record with a 197.45 mph pass in Gainesville, Fla., in 2005.
"Hopefully we will have a few chances at getting after the records," Hines said. "The weather should be a little cooler and that could help us. The fans are going to see some really quick times because this track has everything it takes to help the teams turn some heads."
With just three events left and an eight-point lead over Antron Brown and the U.S. Army Suzuki team, Hines said he has very specific goals in mind for the final push of the season.
"My goal is to see how well this team can do to close out the year," Hines said. "We need to push ourselves and be on the offensive. The last two years we've had a comfortable points lead going into the final three races of the season and we were on the defensive and we tried to save engine parts. That's not the case this season. We have to go out and try to get every point possible. We have to try to reset the records and just do anything to earn points."
The 23-year-old Indianapolis resident earned the No. 1 qualifying award en route to a semifinal finish at this event in 2005. He is certainly aiming higher than that this time.
"I haven't won there yet but it's one of the places you want to win badly because it has been a place that has showcased great performances in the past and the fans there are crazy for motorcycle racing," Hines said. "People love the Harley-Davidson V-Rods there, more than most places. We always have a ton of fans at every race track, but nothing compares to the fans in Reading. We have a lot of Harley-Davidson dealers and riders who come out to the track who want to hang out and have a great time cheering on the V-Rods. It's a great event."
Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying starts at 1 p.m. Friday, with a second session scheduled for 4 p.m. as well. Qualifying continues Saturday at 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. before final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday.