Rivalry Renewed at Route 66 Raceway
The Vance & Hines and Star Racing teams have a combined 17 NHRA Mello Yello series Pro Stock Motorcycle Championship wins, but to be perfectly frank about it, they don’t care much for each other. Over the years, both sides have engaged in many memorable on-track battles and have traded more than their fair share of verbal barbs off it. The latest chapter in the longstanding feud went to the Vance & Hines team after Andrew Hines rode his Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson V-Rod to a final round win over Star Buell’s Angelle Sampey in the final round at Route 66 Raceway in Chicago, July 9-10. Both riders were appearing in a final round for the 71st time in their careers, and Hines picked up win number 44 with a 6.85 elapsed time to Sampey’s 6.89.
“I was a bit nervous before this final because if there’s any team I don’t want to lose to, it’s them,” Hines said. “To be fair I have respect for Angelle but we’ve had a longtime rivalry with [Star owner George Bryce] and I didn’t want to have to face our team after losing to them so I dug deep and made it happen. I was very happy to see our win light come on.”
Hines has admittedly struggled at times this season, and in qualifying, he was only the eighth-quickest bike in the field. That changed in round one when he made the best run of the event with a 6.833 to stop Pippin Trucking Buell’s Chip Ellis.
“I knew I had a good motorcycle all weekend and it was just a matter of making good straight and consistent runs,” Hines said. “We struggled a bit on Saturday in qualifying but we sat down, looked at the data from my bike, made a few changes and it responded. When I made the 6.833 run on Sunday it was like the bike was on rails. Most of my other runs were the same. The bike shook the tire a little bit here and there but otherwise it was perfect. We’re in the middle of the summer now and for some reason, we seem to do our best on the hot tracks. These conditions played right into our hands.”
Hines followed his win over Ellis with victories against UPI Buell’s Michael Ray and veteran Steve Johnson. With his second win of the season, he was also able to leap over Sampey and White Alligator Suzuki’s Jerry Savoie into second in the points standings behind his teammate, Eddie Krawiec.
“We needed this win,” Hines said. “We needed the points and we also needed it for my confidence. Racing in Chicago, this is close to Milwaukee so we had a lot of our Harley-Davidson friends here which makes for an enjoyable weekend.”
Through six events this year, the Screamin’ Eagle Harley team has five wins with Sampey’s victory in Englishtown being the only exception.
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