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by Motorcycle.com Staff

H-D #1 & 2 in ProStock

By George Obradovich, Aug. 26, 2004
From Harley-Davidson.com

The Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines drag racing team took control of the Pro Stock Bike class at the 40th Annual Pontiac Excitement NHRA Nationals at National Trail Raceway here today, setting two track records and claiming the top spot in qualifying before team rider Andrew Hines powered his Screamin' Eagle V-Rod to a satisfying win in the final round of eliminations.

It was the Screamin' Eagle crew's second final-round win of the season. After five Pro Stock Bike events on the 2004 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Hines has a 119-point lead in the season standings.

"The Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines team, led by Byron Hines, exerts an incredible amount of intensity and effort into each race. Paired with their experience and skill, it's a winning combination," said Screamin' Eagle Racing Manager Anne Paluso. "Andrews bike needed a fresh engine after qualifying. There was a lot of thrashing in our pit, and a lot of work going on behind the scenes at the shop, but that's what it takes to win at this level."

Screamin' Eagle rider GT Tonglet got the weekend off to a fast start with a qualifying run of 7.148 seconds at 191.51 mph, good for a new Pro Stock Bike top-speed track record. Hines upped the ante with a blistering run of 7.081/189.39 to set a new track ET record for the Pro Stock Bike class and claim the top qualifying spot. Tonglet qualified fifth.

Both riders advanced cleanly through the first round of eliminations on Sunday. Hines (7.126/187.78) defeated Redell Harris (7.466/179.25) while Tonglet (7.205/179.56) dispatched Kurt Matthe (7.355/180.26). In round two, Hines (7.214/188.89) nipped Antron Brown (7.254/183.42) but had a scare on this track's short cool-down area when his front wheel locked up while braking on water seeping through the track, but he managed to ride it out safely. Tonglet came to the line with a new engine and put down a strong run of 7.208/191.43 but a 0.043-second reaction time gave the win to Geno Scali (7.229/184.67), who posted a 0.015 reaction time.

"We're really pleased with both riders' performances, and to be leaving this event with both bikes taking numbers 1 and 2 in the championship points chase," said Crew Chief Byron Hines.

In round three, Hines (7.131/187.86) charged past Scali (7.238/184.55) to put his Screamin' Eagle V-Rod in its third final-round appearance of the 2004 season, where he faced veteran rider Steve Johnson, making his sixth career final-round appearance and his first in three years. Johnson, who has never won a final, ran a (7.447/180.16) and left disappointed again, as Hines (7.131/185.56) posted a convincing win over the Suzuki rider.

"We had the fastest bike all day," Andrew Hines said after the win. "It was awesome. This Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson is so consistent and easy to ride. It just flies. I know that all I have to do is do my deal and we'll win. The crowd support for our program has been tremendous. People love to see these Harleys go fast and beat up on the Suzukis and the Kawasakis. Another manufacturer competing in the class only makes it better."

After five rounds of NHRA Pro Stock Bike competition, Hines leads the class with 466 points. Consistent results at Columbus moved Tonglet from third to second place with 336 points, just ahead of third-place Angelle Savoie with 331 points.

"The Pro Stock Bike class has gotten tougher and tougher over the last three years and we really have reached a point where anyone can win," said Hines. "I'm just going to stay focused on the championship and getting points. We're a third of the way into our season and it's great to be out front. The fans are counting on us to keep our lead on the championship."

The next Pro Stock Bike event on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series is the 35th Annual K&N Filters Supernationals, June 17-20, at Old Bridge Township Raceway in Englishtown, N.J.
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