Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Eddie Krawiec was the number-one qualifier and advanced to the final round of Pro Stock Motorcycle eliminations aboard a Harley-Davidson V-Rod at the O’Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex. Krawiec lost in the finals to Hector Arana, who rides a Buell. Krawiec is now in second place and 27 points behind Arana in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
"We ran well all weekend and made it to the final round," said Krawiec. "I’d call that a pretty successful outing for the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines team. We are only 27 points behind with three races left. The ball is in Arana’s hands, but I’m ready if he drops it."
Krawiec was fast right off the trailer in Texas, posting a run of 6.908 seconds in the first round of qualifying on Friday, a new track-record ET that stood as the quickest run of the weekend. Arana qualified second at 6.912 seconds. Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines qualified third at 6.930. Krawiec collected eight bonus points during qualifying to seven for Arana and six for Hines, who posted the quickest pass in round three on Saturday.
Hines opened the Sunday elimination rounds with a win over Suzuki rider Steve Johnson in round one and a free pass in round two when MPR & DAM Sports Suzuki rider Michael Phillips fouled at the start. Hines faced Arana in round three, and left the line early to hand a red-light win to the points leader.
"I had a strong V-Rod this weekend and was very consistent," said Hines. "I made up some points, so it was a good weekend. I took a chance on the lights in the semi-finals because I knew Arana had a very strong bike, and it did not work out. I’m down in points but I feel like I’ve still got a chance at the championship. A lot can still happen."
Krawiec advanced to the finals for the ninth time this season with wins over Redell Harris on the Master P/No Limit Records Buell, NitroFish.com Buell rider Angie McBride, and Matt Smith on the NitroFish.com Suzuki.
With the points lead on the line in the final round, Krawiec left first with a 0.017 reaction time, but his 7.005 ET was not enough to hold off the 0.033/6.979 pass of Arana, who got by Krawiec at the end of the track.
"I’ve got to be happy with the last run," said Krawiec. "I left first and the bike felt strong. That run would have been good for a win in any other round at this event. We ran well all weekend and we’ll be back running strong next week at Memphis."
After two of five events in the 2009 Pro Stock Motorcycle Countdown to the Championship, Arana leads with 2318 points. Krawiec is second with 2291 points. Hines has 2207 points and is 111 points out of the lead. Smith is fourth with 2170 points, 148 behind the leader.
The next Pro Stock Motorcycle event on the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule is the O’Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals, Oct. 2-4, at Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, Tenn.