History Made In Gainesville

From a press release from Harley-Davidson


GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 21, 2004) - The Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines team scored a historic victory at the 35th Annual Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, as Harley-Davidson V-Rod riders Andrew Hines and GT Tonglet dominated the first Pro Stock Bike event of the season. Both riders advanced to the final round of eliminations, and Hines beat his teammate to win the event. It was the first time a V-Twin-powered motorcycle has won an NHRA Pro Stock Bike event.
“We worked so hard to get this bike to a point where it's competitive with the top bikes,” Hines said of the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Pro Stock effort, now in just its third season of competition. “Now we are the top bike. It's nice because a lot of people have put a lot of time into this project. Let everyone else chase us for awhile. I'm out here to win the championship and right now, with the bike I have, I think I'm a strong contender.”

Hines and Tonglet set the tone for their weekend in qualifying. Hines took the number one spot away from reigning NHRA Pro Stock Bike champion Geno Scali, setting a new Pro Stock Bike track record in the third round on Saturday with a 7.097-second elapsed time at 189.43 mph to Scali’s 7.104/192.80. Scali found himself in a V-Rod sandwich, with Tonglet posting a run of 7.141/188.16 to take the third spot in qualifying.

Hines and Tonglet advanced cleanly through three rounds of eliminations on Sunday, each reaching the finals without the benefit of an opponent’s red-light start or mechanical failure.

In round one, Hines broke the track ET record he set in qualifying with a 7.051/190.83 run and defeated Josh Helvie (7.285/186.37), while Tonglet (7.092/189.87) powered past Chris Bostick (7.298/182.03). Tonglet (7.085/190.27) beat veteran Antron Brown (7.264/183.48) to take his second-round match, while Hines (7.156/189.15) defeated Joe DeSantis (7.318/180.32) to advance to round three.

Tonglet drew Scali in the semi-final round, and the champion powered his Suzuki off the line first with a reaction time of 0.057 seconds to 0.065 for Tonglet, but the Screamin’ Eagle rider chased Scali down at half-track. Tonglet (7.119/187.93) crossed the line ahead of Scali (7.140/188.87) and put one Harley-Davidson in the final.

In the other semi-final round, Hines and Karen Stoffer had identical 0.077 reaction times and Stoffer took the early lead, but Hines (7.118/188.63) powered to an easy win over the Jonco Motorsports Suzuki (7.315/178.00).

That put both Screamin’ Eagle riders in the finals, much to the delight of the crowd that had been cheering the Harley riders through the elimination rounds. Tonglet (0.045) had a slight edge over Hines (0.055) off the line, but Hines made up the difference by the 60-foot mark and roared away to his first National win (7.076/189.83 vs. 7.161/182.96) and the first Pro Stock Bike win for the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines team.

“It was sure a race,” said Tonglet. “The crowd was going nuts and I could hear them as we staged. I guess we both spun a little, so it wasn’t as pretty as it could have been, but it’s great to have one of these Harley-Davidson V-Rods in the winner’s circle.”

For Vance & Hines team owner Byron Hines, the Gatonational performance was a sweet payoff for more than two years of hard work developing the Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod bikes. “It’s something to get both bikes in the final,” he said. “I guess all that work finally paid off at once.”

“We are so proud of our Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines team,” said Screamin’ Eagle Racing Manager Anne Paluso. “The team worked so hard to get this win, and they did it as a team by getting both bikes in the final. The fan reaction was amazing, they witnessed history being made, and there’s plenty more to come.”

The next Pro Stock Bike event on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series is the 17th Annual O’Reilly Spring Nationals, April 15-18, in Houston, Texas.

Screamin' Eagle Performance Parts are inspired by and built in the spirit of the raw adrenaline and power of motorcycle racing. Screamin' Eagle Pro parts are specifically designed for race-use applications, while Screamin’ Eagle parts offer street-use performance options for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle owner. Visit www.harley-davidson.com for more information
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George Obradovich
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