Pro Stock Motorcycle star Andrew Hines is making a statement this season.
The veteran Harley-Davidson driver won his third national event in four attempts when he took home the title Sunday at the 39th annual Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta.
Hines claimed his latest crown by defeating Jerry Savoie in the finals at Atlanta Dragway.
Hines clocked a 6.865-second lap at 195.05 mph to zip past Savoie’s 6.919-second run.
“It was a good day,” said Hines, a five-time world champion. “My motorcycle is like nothing I ever had in my career before. This new chassis that was concocted at our shop, we all put our two cents in, and it is working really, really good. It doesn’t do much wrong and it makes for charging through eliminations much easier. The bike, you could just draw a chalk line down the race track, it didn’t quiver a tire, it didn’t do anything in first gear. It accelerated and took on the 1-2 and had the front wheel up to about 400 feet and drop it down and it would just take off again. Something we’ve struggled with in the final round is good 60 foot and in the finals that was my best of the weekend and probably the best of the season.”
This was Hines’ 51st win of his career and the 100th for Harley-Davidson. Hines’ victory parade consisted of wins over Melissa Surber, Ryan Oehler, Hector Arana Jr. and Savoie. Hines improved to 14-8 in elimination rounds against Savoie.
“It was a fantastic day,” Hines said. “There was tough competition with Hector Jr. in the semifinals. His motorcycle is fast, and they are making the most out it. I kept my head cool and it was hard to cut a light here. The tree is not very easy to put up a good number. The best I had out there was an .033, but with the guys giving me a consistent motorcycle each round I could focus on tuning on it and figured out after the first round that I went the wrong way in the second round and after second wrong I went the wrong way in the semis and I talked with Eddie (Krawiec) and I went back over the tune-up and I said let’s put this thing in a position it hasn’t been all day and bam we ran an 86 in the final. That’s when I can put a big smile on my face because my dad at home hates it when we run bad in the final round even if we win. So, it was nice to put low ET on the board up there.”
Hines has also been strong in qualifying this year, starting no worse than fourth on the ladder. He qualified second in Atlanta with a 6.855-second run.
Hines leads the points standings with 444 points, followed by teammate Krawiec, with 366 points.
“My bike and Eddie’s bike correlate pretty well on fuel and timing and 60 foot, he’s just lacking the new chassis,” Hines said. “We’re working on that here at our shop. It’s already done, we just have to put the body on it here in the next week and put new wiring system on it and he will be a pain in my butt shortly. Hopefully, we will get that done here in the next eight to nine days and maybe we can test it before Richmond (May 15-17) and bring him out on that one. We’re also running the clutch totally different than anything we have done in the past and it is really working for us. It is probably suffering on reaction time because of that, but we have the bike working really well. It is good enough to repeat and be within the top few numbers of the 60-foot sheet every single qualifying session and every round of eliminations.”
Hines also was thrilled to give Harley-Davidson its 100th win.
“The 100 wins for Harley is monumental,” Hines said. “They took a chance on Vance & Hines in the early 2000s to put this Harley-Davidson program together for NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle and it was a very big struggle at first and to break through in 2004 with the first win for Harley back in Gainesville and have GT Tonglet as the runner-up at the time was fantastic. There have been trials and tribulations and rules changes, different body work, and so on. I think I have ridden eight or nine different chassis over this amount of time, so it has been no shortage of effort over the years to try and get these 100 wins. We have been picking away at it ever since and it is really nice to get the 100th. I smiled when I crossed the finish line. That darn banner we had printed up, I thought it was going to be the bane of our existence. Luckily we were able to knock off 99 and 100 back-to-back and not worry about it from here on out.”
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) January 4, 2019