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Harley’s Hines Wins Bike Battle In Sonoma

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 31 2016
Harley rider Andrew Hines was top biker in Sonoma on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series)

Harley rider Andrew Hines was top biker in Sonoma on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series)


Harley-Davidson ace Andrew Hines raced to his second career NHRA Pro Bike Battle victory during Saturday’s 29th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals. The five-time/reigning world champion, Hines earned a $7,500 payday in the all-star bonus race featuring the tour’s top eight Pro Stock Motorcycles at Sonoma Raceway, near San Francisco.

Hines rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines V-Rod to victories over Hector Arana Jr., two-time world champion Matt Smith and H-D teammate Eddie Krawiec for the title. This was a rematch of the final in 2015, when Hines was defeated by Krawiec. Hines prevailed Saturday via a quarter-mile run of 6.755-seconds at 197.31 mph to Krawiec’s 6.811-second pass at 195.73 mph.

“The guys did a great job giving me a V-Rod strong enough to go out there and give me a chance to win that final round,” Hines said. “I popped that clutch and saw Eddie’s bulb go off first and I thought I was done because we can see a hundredths of a second on the tree. But big congrats for everybody doing a great job out here.”

In other racing, Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Del Worsham (Funny Car), Bo Butner (Pro Stock) and Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) earned pole positions and will lead their classes into Sunday’s 11 a.m. eliminations at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.

In Top Fuel, no one was able to best the national record elapsed time Torrence ran on Friday. The Texan earned his eighth pole of the season with a 1,000-foot run of 3.671-seconds at 325.69 mph. Torrence, driver of the Capco Contractors/Torrence Racing dragster, has been the quickest Top Fuel car in the last eight qualifying sessions and 11 of the last 12. He will race Steve Haddock on Sunday.

“Hats off to my team and that’s what has put me there,” said Torrence, who is working with nitro tuning guru Alan Johnson. “Those guys are the Mack truck and I’m just the little bulldog on the hood is how I feel. I’m sitting in that thing and riding it down through there and you see .67 or you see 331 (mph) and it’s unbelievable. I may be dreaming, but don’t pinch me, don’t touch me. I don’t want to wake up.”

Top Fuel point-leader Antron Brown, who has three wins on the season in his Matco Tools dragster, rocketed to the second qualifying position in the final session with a run of 3.710-seconds at 323.27 mph and will be matched with Terry McMillen on Sunday. Eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, who won the first race of the three-event “Western Swing” last weekend at Bandimere Speedway, qualified eighth and will face Leah Pritchett in Round 1. 

Worsham drove his DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car into the No. 1 qualifying spot with a 1,000-foot run of 3.868-seconds at 327.43 mph on Friday evening. The Californian earned his second pole of the season.

“Today was warmer than last night and yesterday, so Q3 we didn’t get down the track and adjusted for it,” said Worsham, whose car is fielded by Kalitta Motorsports. “Q4 we adjusted and ran pretty good so I feel good about tomorrow.”

The reigning Funny Car world champion, Worsham has raced to two final-round appearances this season but has yet to win. His team surged at the end of last season in his title run and is seeking the same results this year. “Around March or April we started making adjustments on the car working with Toyota and their aerodynamics people and all their engineers,” Worsham said. “Also our people at Kalitta, and we definitely have a faster car than we had a couple of months ago.”

Funny Car point-leader Ron Capps, of Don Schumacher Racing, qualified fifth and will face two-time world champion Cruz Pedregon in a Round 1 matchup. Courtney Force qualified second at 3.871-seconds and 323.97 mph and will race veteran Gary Densham. John Force, a 16-time world champion and the most recent national event winner, will race Alexis DeJoria on Sunday.

Butner drove his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to the pole position via the quarter-mile pass of 6.553-seconds at 210.28 mph he posted on Friday. This is his second No. 1 of the season. The KB Racing driver will face Joey Grose in the first round of eliminations.

“I’ve had a fast car all year and that hasn’t been a surprise,” Butner said. “We put four good runs together and everybody was closer today than I thought they would be. It was pretty close but we made four good runs which is hard for me to do. The team is great and they powered us right to the top.”

Pro Stock point-leader and KB Racing teammate Jason Line, a two-time world champion, qualified a season-low eighth with his pass of 6.594-seconds at 209.62 mph. Line will race Drew Skillman in the first round. 

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Krawiec powered to his fifth pole with a track-record quarter-mile E.T. of 6.751-seconds at 197.65 mph. The current PSM point-leader, Krawiec will face Jim Underdahl on Sunday.

“I’ve always loved coming to Sonoma _ great fans, great support and not to mention great racing,” said Krawiec, a three-time world champion. “This track being close to sea level makes good runs. What it comes down to is, I just feel very comfortable and relaxed.”

Krawiec and Harley teammate Hines became the first two Pro Stock Motorcycle racers to clinch their position in the six-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship on Friday during qualifying. 

Sunday’s finals will be carried live on the FOX Network during a three-hour block beginning at 4 p.m. (EDT) with an encore broadcast on Fox Sports 1 at 9:30 p.m.


Final round-by-round results from the NHRA Pro Bike Battle at Sonoma Raceway during the 29th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals:

ROUND ONE _ Matt Smith, Victory, 6.844-seconds, 193.54 mph def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.827, 196.64; Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.831, 196.13 def. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.911, 195.93; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.803, 196.50 def. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.922, 193.02; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.751, 197.65 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.916, 195.14;

SEMIFINALS _ Hines, 6.772, 197.62 def. Smith, 10.677, 77.07; Krawiec, 6.793, 196.96 def. Ellis, 6.875, 196.53;

FINAL _ Hines, 6.775, 197.31 def. Krawiec, 6.811, 195.73.

Sunday’s first-round elimination pairings for the 29th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, the 15th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings:

Top Fuel _ 1. Steve Torrence, 3.671-seconds, 331.04 mph vs. 16. Terry Haddock, 4.754, 161.04; 2. Antron Brown, 3.710, 323.27 vs. 15. Terry McMillen, 4.281, 311.41; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.711, 327.98 vs. 14. Bill Litton, 4.026, 291.82; 4. Shawn Langdon, 3.714, 325.14 vs. 13. Scott Palmer, 3.921, 307.65; 5. Richie Crampton, 3.714, 323.58 vs. 12. Troy Buff, 3.813, 316.30; 6. Brittany Force, 3.728, 325.85 vs. 11. T.J. Zizzo, 3.807, 317.34; 7. J.R. Todd, 3.731, 324.05 vs. 10. Clay Millican, 3.764, 300.73; 8. Tony Schumacher, 3.735, 318.99 vs. 9. Leah Pritchett, 3.751, 327.19.

Did Not Qualify _ 17. Steve Faria, 9.029, 278.46.

Funny Car _ 1. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 3.868, 327.43 vs. 16. Tim Gibbons, Chevy Impala, 4.517, 275.84; 2. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.871, 323.97 vs. 15. Gary Densham, Ford Mustang, 4.487, 288.52; 3. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.874, 327.03 vs. 14. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.149, 305.36; 4. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.875, 330.15 vs. 13. John Hale, Charger, 4.011, 317.87; 5. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.877, 326.71 vs. 12. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.004, 309.70; 6. John Force, Camaro, 3.890, 329.10 vs. 11. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.946, 319.45; 7. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.902, 325.77 vs. 10. Chad Head, Camry, 3.920, 327.90; 8. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.903, 322.88 vs. 9. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.920, 323.27.

Did Not Qualify _ 17. Brandon Welch, 5.969, 120.08.

Pro Stock _ 1. Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.553, 211.26 vs. 16. Joey Grose, Camaro, 6.779, 204.35; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.567, 210.41 vs. 15. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.736, 205.76; 3. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.573, 210.54 vs. 14. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.640, 208.68; 4. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.575, 210.01 vs. 13. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Dart, 6.632, 208.62; 5. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.584, 210.24 vs. 12. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.631, 210.64; 6. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.588, 209.95 vs. 11. Aaron Strong, Camaro, 6.630, 208.78; 7. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.592, 210.64 vs. 10. Erica Enders, Dart, 6.612, 209.26; 8. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.594, 209.62 vs. 9. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.601, 210.41.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.751, 197.65 vs. 16. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.902, 196.47; 2. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.752, 198.15 vs. 15. Angie Smith, Victory, 6.880, 194.41; 3. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.775, 197.31 vs. 14. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 6.876, 196.56; 4. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.780, 197.33 vs. 13. Katie Sullivan, Suzuki, 6.865, 193.93; 5. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.796, 198.47 vs. 12. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.859, 197.25; 6. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.819, 196.82 vs. 11. Michael Ray, Buell, 6.858, 194.32; 7. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.823, 196.19 vs. 10. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.857, 195.28; 8. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.827, 196.64 vs. 9. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.839, 196.13.

Did Not Qualify _ 17. Melissa Surber, 6.910, 189.76; 18. Scotty Pollacheck, 6.914, 193.07; 19. Cory Reed, 6.930, 189.90; 20. Chaz Kennedy, 6.954, 191.70; 21. Shawn Gann, 6.968, 192.80; 22. Scott Bottorff, 7.015, 189.02; 23. Lance Bonham, 7.133, 186.48; 24. Brian Bognuda, broke.


| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 31 2016
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