The 2015 NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series begins this weekend at Auto-Plus Raceway in Gainesville, Fla., and one team is ready to begin its defense in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class – the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Drag Racing Team.
Once again former champions Andrew Hines and Ed Krawiece will pilot the Harley-Davidson V-Rod motorcycle. Hines will don the number-one plate after earning the 2014 title; this was his first since achieving three-consecutive championships in 2004-2006.
“That #1 is real validation for the team,” said Hines. “We were determined to get this team back to the front last year and now that we are back on top, don’t look for us to back off.”
Krawiec – a three-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Champion – is hungry for another title, and will once again be Hines toughest competitor. Last season, Hines finished second in the series.
“There’s no question I want to win another championship,” said Krawiec. “We had a great season last year putting both Harley bikes at the top of the standings. I feel like I checked off an important box on my drag-racing resume with a win at the U.S. Nationals in Indy. But I start each season with a championship as my goal.”
Matt Hines also returns as crew chief. Over the off-season, he led an off-season R&D program to improve the Harley-Davidson V-Rod motorcycles.
“We now have our engine highly developed, so finding more power is really challenging,” said Matt Hines. “Instead, we need to focus on optimizing our entire package to make sure we are utilizing all the power we have available. There were no significant rules changes for this season. The biggest change for all the Pro Stock teams will be switching to the official Sunoco race fuel, but we’ve been testing it on the dyno all winter to be ready.”
The 2015 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle schedule includes 16 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. After the first 10 events, the points will be re-set for the top 10 riders who have qualified for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
And it all begins this weekend with the 46th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway in Gainesville, Fla.
Following is some background information of the team, courtesy of Harley-Davidson.
Andrew Hines Background
In 14 professional seasons, Hines has 38 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle event wins in 63 final-round appearances, and has won the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championship four times. Only the late Dave Schultz, who claimed six series titles, has won more Pro Stock Motorcycle championships. Hines enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career in 2014, with six wins and a 42-10 elimination-round record for the season. He earned the number-one seed for the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs, and then won twice in three final-round appearances in the Countdown. Hines also won the inaugural MiraMonte Records NHRA Pro Bike Battle at Sonoma. Hines is 31 years old.
Ed Krawiec Background
Ed Krawiec is a three-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion, riding a Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson V-Rod to the title in 2008, 2011 and 2012. In 2014, Krawiec earned five wins in eight final-round appearances, including his first win at the prestigious U.S. Nationals. Krawiec began his motorcycle drag-racing career in 1999 and twice finished second in AMA Pro Star series points (2002 and 2003). He made his NHRA debut in 2004 and was invited to join the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines team for the 2007 season. He has since won 27 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle events in 48 final-round appearances. Krawiec is 39 years old.
Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Racing Background
Harley-Davidson and Vance & Hines Motorsports created the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines team in 2002 to compete in the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle division, and to develop a drag-racing motorcycle powered by a V-Twin engine to challenge the dominance of four-cylinder engines in NHRA competition. In 2004, the team won the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship, the first NHRA title won by a V-Twin-powered motorcycle. The team has won the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championship seven times.
Based in Brownsville, Ind., the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines team is led by Vance & Hines Motorsports owners Byron Hines and Terry Vance. The duo began racing together in 1972. With Hines as crew chief and Vance riding, they became a dominant team in national Pro Stock and Top Fuel motorcycle drag racing. Matt Hines, the older son of Byron, returned the team to drag-racing prominence, winning the NHRA championship in three consecutive seasons (1997- 1999). Matt Hines retired from racing in 2003 to become assistant crew chief for the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines team. Today, Matt Hines brings his competition experience to his role as crew chief of the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines team, making race-day tuning decisions and advising the team riders. Byron Hines leads engineering, development and tuning efforts for the team.