Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines raced a Harley-Davidson V-Rod to his first win of the season at the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Ed Krawiec finished second in the final round to complete a sweep of the top 2 finishing positions in the 4-wide format unique to this event that has the first- and second-place rider in each heat advance to the next round of eliminations.
“I’m still not a big fan of 4-wide drag racing, and I told everyone I’d be happy when this weekend was over,” said Hines, who leaves Charlotte with the Pro Stock Motorcycle points lead. “But I’m even happier to be leaving here with a Wally. I’ve never even won a round in 4-wide racing before today.”
Krawiec and Hines started the weekend slowly, in sixth and 13th place respectively after 2 rounds of qualifying on Friday. On Saturday, Hines jumped up to third place with an Elapsed Time (ET) of 6.842 seconds, while Krawiec was unable to improve his 6.873 ET from Friday, and qualified in 6th place. Top qualifier was Michael Ray on the Gottspeed/Star Racing Buell, at 6.816 seconds.
“I would say we struggled a bit on Friday, but on Saturday our Harley V-Rods started to respond,” said Krawiec. “We’ve learned some things since Gainesville, and we tried some new parts, and on Saturday we started to come into our set-up. Andrew made that big jump. We are still young in this program but have made some significant progress.”
In Sunday eliminations, Hines won his first 4-wide heat with an ET of 6.820 seconds, and advanced along with Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana, who was second in the heat. Krawiec finished second in his first-round heat, which was won by Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr.
The first-round results set up a “Hectors vs. Harleys” second round, as Hines and Krawiec lined up against father and son Arana. Krawiec won the round with an ET of 6.840 seconds, followed by Hines at 6.851 seconds, as both of the Harley-V-Rod riders advanced to the final round of eliminations.
The final round also included Quality Tire Buell rider Scott Pollacheck and Matt Smith Racing Buell rider John Hall. Hall and Pollacheck both left the line ahead of the Screamin’ Eagle riders, but at the finish line V-Rod power prevailed as Hines won for the 33rd time in his career with an ET of 6.859 seconds, just 5 feet ahead of Krawiec at 6.874 seconds. Pollacheck was third at 6.996 seconds, followed by Hall at 7.547 seconds.
After 2 of 16 events on the 2014 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle schedule, Hines leads the series with 180 points. Pollacheck is second with 169 points, followed by Hall with 152 points and Krawiec in 4th place with 151 points. Arana Jr. is fifth with 145 points.