Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines rode a Harley-Davidson V-Rod to his third NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle event win of the season, and his 18th career win, at the Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Hines won in the final round of eliminations when Buell rider Hector Arana fouled at the starting line. Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Eddie Krawiec, who came to Las Vegas in second place and 28 points behind Arana in the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Countdown to the Championship, lost to the series points leader in the semi-final round. Krawiec, the defending Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, is now 54 points back with one event left on the schedule, Nov. 12-15 at Pomona, Calif. Only Arana and Krawiec remain in contention for the championship. Eddie Krawiec Speaks…"We certainly are not done," said Krawiec. "We have to go to Pomona and be quick right off the trailer. We can’t be giving up points in qualifying. If we can keep it to a two-round deficit and I do my job, anything can still happen."
Arana was the top qualifier for the Las Vegas event with a 6.979-second elapsed time, and gained six bonus points on Krawiec in the Friday and Saturday qualifying rounds. Hines was the number-two qualifier with a 6.990 pass. Krawiec qualified fourth at 7.023.In Sunday eliminations, Krawiec got a free pass in round one when Suzuki rider Jim Underdahl fouled at the start. Krawiec defeated Karen Stoffer in round two to set up a show-down with Arana in the semi-finals. Arana got the hole-shot win with a 0.016 reaction time and 7.039 ET to Krawiec’s 0.032/7.028 performance.Hines roared through the elimination rounds with wins over Ember/Clay Smith Cams Suzuki rider Freddie Camarena, Doug Horne on the Horne Racing Buell, and Nitrofish.com Suzuki rider Matt Smith, setting the quickest ET of the day with a 6.992 pass in round three. In the finals, Arana left the start 0.144-seconds early to hand the win to Hines.Andrew Hines Speaks…"I had a good bike all weekend and knew I had the motorcycle that could win today if I raced well," said Hines. "I changed my starting-line routine a little this weekend and it helped me focus better. I’m happy for the team to get a win, and glad we could salvage some points for Eddie and keep the Screamin’ Eagle team in contention for the championship."
After four of five events in the 2009 Pro Stock Motorcycle Countdown to the Championship, Arana leads with 2525 points. Krawiec is second with 2471 points. Hines moves up from fifth to third with 2372, followed by Smith with 2334.The next and final Pro Stock Motorcycle event on the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule is the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, Nov.12-15 at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.