The amazing 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Series Pro Stock Motorcycle season for Andrew Hines got even better this weekend at the Sonoma (Calif.) Nationals.
Hines, a five-time world champion, (2004-2006, 2014-15), won the $25,000 Mickey Thompson Pro Bike Battle Saturday.
For his encore Sunday, Hines took home the title at the Sonoma Nationals.
Hines, riding his Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson, clocked a 6.790-second elapsed time at 198.00 mph to edge reigning world champion Matt Smith’s 6.822-second lap un the finals.
“This weekend was absolutely phenomenal,” Hines said. “My Harley-Davidson FXDR, since we built it, the chassis that’s underneath that body, the work over the offseason and then wrapped that with the FXDR body work in Denver, it is a package made to perform. It rides so nice. It is built to fit all of us, and the original body was built to fit me, and we accommodate for Eddie (Krawiec) and Angelle (Sampey). It is absolutely mind-boggling what we have been able to achieve this year. I feel I’m riding the best I ever had in my career.”
Hines admitted the rivalry between he and Matt Smith is real.
“We are cordial when we need to be, but we are not friends by any means,” Hines said. “I was playing games with him on the starting line (Saturday) and we might think about each other every day because we probably don’t really like each other. It is one that has brewed from early on in my career back when he was running a Suzuki and I was new to the Harley deal. We had a really bad burn down back in Memphis years ago and he got the best of me a few times on picking those wins off on the starting line.
It’s something that has evolved as he has got better in his program, his bike has become more competitive and you want to beat the best. We trade that back and forth now and then. We are not sending each other Christmas cards. When need be, we can talk and sort things out if it is class-related. But, when we are on the starting line, the game’s off. It is time to go.”
Hines has won, a career-season best seven races this year and he has appeared in eight finals in nine races this season.
After going winless in 2018, Hines has been dominant this season, counting the Mickey Thompson Pro Bike Battle, he has a 32-2 elimination round record.
“I have been fortunate to win seven of those Pro Bike Battles, so many things have happened in my career that I wasn’t able to parlay my Saturday win into Sunday,” Hines said. “To get that at this point in my career after the struggle I had last year with not a single win, it’s just a testament to how much my crew had faith in me. I was kind of ready to hang up my racing boots at the end of last year and they pretty much wouldn’t take no for an answer. They said you’re better than this and let’s go out here and end your career on a better note.
I’m not saying it is over right now, when we get to the end of the year, we will re-evaluate and see what’s going on. It’s fantastic. The guys at Vance & Hines pushing through and making parts and our support from Harley-Davidson, the product development center and the marketing developing team at Harley-Davidson, we are bringing the FXDR to the front and showing people what you can buy on the street, we can take that and make that into a cool race bike.”
Since debut of the FXDR body for the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver last weekend, Hines has a 11-0 record in elimination rounds.
This was Hines’ 55th career national event win since he made his PSM debut at the Mile-High Nationals in 2002. His victory parade Sunday consisted of wins over Kelly Clontz, Scotty Pollacheck, Jerry Savoie and then Smith.
“I’m able to roll through eliminations and the confidence I have in my team and the level of performance and the perfection our guys bring to the starting line every single time is unsurpassed right now,” said Hines, who has a commanding lead in the points standings. “I told them at the end of the track, you guys make my job so much easier. I can sit at the starting line with confidence and hopefully see a win light. It’s unreal. I can’t believe it.”
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) January 4, 2019