Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines used a sixth consecutive final round appearance in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship playoffs to maintain his championship lead following the O'Reilly Auto Parts Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals outside of Dallas, Texas.
Halfway into the six round Countdown, Hines leads Nitrofish Suzuki' LE Tonglet by 44 points in the quest for the Pro Stock Motorcycle championship. Hines gave up 22 points this weekend by losing in the finals to Tonglet.
"Tonglet isn't racing like a rookie, he's not afraid of anybody right now," said Hines, who has lost the last three final-round matches to Tonglet. "We slowly lost our tune-up all weekend. We've been getting some bad data off the bike, and then misinterpreting that information. I think Matt (crew chief Matt Hines) has it figured out now."
Teammate Ed Krawiec is third in points after getting knocked out in Sunday's semis. Krawiec had qualified second fastest with a 6.924 secs. run, .001 off the fastest time. He won the first two rounds on Sunday, but lost when he came up against Tonglet in the third round. The pair ran identical 6.969 secs. passes, but Tonglet's reaction time of .011 sec. bested the .030 light of Krawiec.
"It's tough to lose with a .030 light," said Krawiec. "Nine races out of 10 that will get you a win on the Harley V-Rod. I think we found a tune-up that really works on my bike this weekend, and we won some rounds. I had a very fast motorcycle today."
After three of six rounds of the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown, Hines leads the Pro Stock Motorcycle class with 2,444 points. Tonglet is second with 2,400 points, followed by Krawiec with 2,264. Matt Smith moves up to fourth place with 2,248 points, followed by Johnson with 2,217 points.