Four races into the 2014 season and Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson teammates Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec are once again running roughshod over the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle class. After spending much of the 2013 season working to refine the two-valve engine combination mandated by NHRA, the dynamic duo have now combined to win three of the first four rounds this year. At the most recent round in Englishtown, New Jersey, Hines won the final round, narrowly edging Krawiec by a few thousandths of a second, 6.828 to 6.837. It was Hines’ 34th career NHRA win and his second this season.
“We are back! I think we put an exclamation point on that this weekend,” Hines said. “We’ve been digging the last year and a half to get back to where we were with our old engines. I’ve always said that racing season gets in the way of our R&D program and this winter we had a chance to get a lot of work done and we’re starting to reap the benefits of that. We spent a lot of late nights in our shop to make our V-Rods fast again.”
The Harley V-Rods were dominant from the start of qualifying when teams were greeted with some of the best racing conditions they’d seen in years. NHRA’s two wheel racers immediately took shots at the long-awaited 200-mph barrier and Hines nearly got there with a 199.23 mph speed. Their elapsed times were also in near-record territory with Krawiec taking the top spot with a 6.74 and Hines in third with a 6.778. Only the number two qualifier, Lucas Oil Buell’s Hector Arana Jr., was close.
“To come in here and run 6.70s is phenomenal,” Hines said. “Over the last year or so I thought that someone else would sneak in there ahead of us and run 200 [mph] but we’re back in it. That says so much about the resilience of this team. That 199-mph run was great but if I had it to do over, I think we could have gotten to 200. We made a better run in the first round on Sunday, but the conditions weren’t the same. We were missing the nice tailwind.
Hines opened eliminations with a single run after Lucas Oil Buell’s Adam Arana couldn’t get his bike to fire on the starting line. A round later, he fought off a challenge from Star Racing Buell’s Michael Ray to win, 6.76 to 6.83. Hines then edged Arana Jr. in the closest race of the day; winning with a 6.80 to a 6.82 for Arana Jr. Both riders had identical reaction times on the starting line.
The final round was also a great side-by-side battle with Hines leading all the way, 6.82 to a 6.83 for Krawiec. Earlier, Krawiec scored wins over Angie Smith, White Alligator Suzuki’s Jerry Savoie, and Nitro Fish Buell’s Matt Smith.
“There is maybe five-percent of me that feels bad for Eddie because this is his home track and I know how much he loves this race,” Hines said. “The other 95-percent doesn’t feel that way. I actually do feel a little bad because of how good a teammate he is. After the last race in Atlanta, we were struggling with my bike and he was a good sport and let me swap engines so it was his engine that won this race. He ran just as good as I did so I’m sure I’ll give it back to him for the next one.”
To read more of the 2014 Englishtown, New Jersey NHRA Pro Stock Series report, click here