April 14th, 2014 / Author: BTS
CONCORD, N.C. (April 13, 2014) – Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines raced a Harley-Davidson® V-Rod® to his first win of the season at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Harley-DavidsonScreamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Ed Krawiec finished second in the final round to complete a sweep of the top two finishing positions in the four-wide format unique to this event that has the first- and second-place rider in each heat advance to the next round of eliminations.
“I’m still not a big fan of four-wide drag racing, and I told everyone I’d be happy when this weekend was over,” said Hines, who leaves Charlotte with the Pro Stock Motorcycle points lead. “But I’m even happier to be leaving here with a Wally. I’ve never even won a round in four-wide racing before today.”
Krawiec and Hines started the weekend slowly, in sixth and 13th place respectively after two rounds of qualifying on Friday. On Saturday, Hines jumped up to third place with an Elapsed Time (ET) of 6.842 seconds, while Krawiec was unable to improve his 6.873 ET from Friday, and qualified in seventh place. Top qualifier was Michael Ray on the Gottspeed/Star Racing Buell, at 6.816 seconds.
“I would say we struggled a bit on Friday, but on Saturday our Harley V-Rods started to respond,” said Krawiec. “We’ve learned some things since Gainesville, and we tried some new parts, and on Saturday we started to come into our set-up. Andrew made that big jump. We are still young in this program but have made some significant progress.”
In Sunday eliminations, Hines won his first four-wide heat with an ET of 6.820 seconds, and advanced along with Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana, who was second in the heat. Krawiec finished second in his first-round heat, which was won by Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr.
The first-round results set up a “Hectors vs. Harleys” second round, as Hines and Krawiec lined up against father and son Arana. Krawiec won the round with an ET of 6.840 seconds, followed by Hines at 6.851 seconds, as both of the Harley-V-Rod riders advanced to the final round of eliminations.
The final round also included Quality Tire Buell rider Scott Pollacheck and Matt Smith Racing Buell rider John Hall. Hall and Pollacheck both left the line ahead of the Screamin’ Eagle riders, but at the finish line V-Rod power prevailed as Hines won for the 33rd time in his career with an ET of 6.859 seconds, just five feet ahead of Krawiec at 6.874 seconds. Pollacheck was third at 6.996 seconds, followed by Hall at 7.547 seconds.
After two of 16 events on the 2014 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle schedule, Hines leads the series with 180 points. Pollacheck is second with 169 points, followed by Hall with 152 points and Krawiec in fourth place with 151 points. Arana Jr. is fifth with 145 points.
The Harley-DavidsonScreamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines team returns to action on May 16-18 at the 34th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga.
April 14th, 2014 / Author: BTS
CONCORD, NC — In her 4th straight final round appearance, Pro Stock’s Erica Enders-Stevens shook the tires and was forced to cut short her chance at back-to-back Wally trophies during the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
The current points leader and her Elite Motorsports Camaro have now appeared in three straight national event final rounds (Gainesville, Las Vegas and Charlotte), as well as the finals during Vegas’ K&N Horsepower Challenge. She won both races in Vegas, and had hoped to go “back-to-back-to-back” with a win in Charlotte. Sunday’s race was also her 3rd Four-Wide Nationals final round appearance in a row.
“Winning would have been incredible, just unreal,” said Enders-Stevens. “My guys have us on a hot streak, and even though we didn’t get the win today, we still put up great numbers, went rounds and continue to hold on to the points lead. I’m bummed we couldn’t make it happen today, but I’m thrilled at what we’re accomplishing together.”
Going into Sunday, Erica had qualified in the number two spot with a pass of 6.524 at 213.13 mph. She was just 0.001 second off the pole and posted the fastest mph of the entire weekend for the Pro Stock class.
During the first two rounds of the unique four-car configuration, where the top two cars advance, Erica reached the finish line first each time, and with the quickest ET. However in her final round, she was forced to push the clutch in and end her run early after the car shook.
“We’ve been blessed to have a consistent race car and a setup that rarely gets away from us,” noted Enders-Stevens. “It bit us this time, but better it was the final than the first round. Now we’ll look forward to getting it done in Houston in front of my hometown crowd!”
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas (outside of Houston) April 25th – 27th.
April 12th, 2014 / Author: BTS
CONCORD, NC — Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens arrives at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals gunning for the Wally that has narrowly escaped her grasp the past two years.
If her last race is any indication, the third time could be the charm.
Hot off a $100,000 weekend in Vegas where she doubled-up to win both the K&N Horsepower Challenge and the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, Erica and her Elite Motorsports crew are looking for their first Four-Wide win and back-to-back Wally’s.
“We’ve got a great team, and they’ve given me a great hot rod,” said Enders-Stevens. “It’s exciting to be in the points lead for the first time ever, and we’re going to carry that momentum right into this weekend.”
The Four-Wide Nationals, however, is not without its quirks.
The unique once-a-year race pits four drivers against each other during every round, creating headaches for some and heartache for others. With three other cars to race, staging troubles and red lights can plague a driver not prepared for the added pressure. It’s the only race of its kind, and as such, even veteran racers must readjust to the format each year.
“Consistency is such a huge factor in drag racing, so when you have a race that changes things up, it demands an even greater focus and situational awareness than what we’re normally used to,” said Enders-Stevens. “It tests us as drivers, and sometimes you’ll see it get the better of someone right when it matters most.”
Erica has stepped up to the challenge in past years with runner-up finishes in both 2012 and 2013.
“I was runner up last year in the K&N Challenge and the Vegas race, and we saw what happened there,” noted Enders-Stevens. “Maybe we’ll be able to start a trend and do the same here.”
Pro Stock qualifying for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway gets underway at 1:15 p.m. (ET) and 4:15 p.m. (ET) Friday and Saturday, with Sunday eliminations beginning at 11:00 p.m. ESPN2 will carry both qualifying and elimination post-race broadcasts.
March 25th, 2014 / Author: BTS
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (March 25, 2014) – Matt Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots team are going back to what they know for the 15th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.
After starting the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season with a runner-up finish, the Mopar team led by crew chief Dickie Venables has suffered opening-round losses in NHRA eliminations near Phoenix and Gainesville, Fla.
After the Gainesville event Venables noted that it was time to get back to racing with what they know is a proven combination.
“We’re working on it and we’ll continue to test new things but it might be time to go back to what we know and what is proven for race day,” he said. “It’s early in the season and we’ll get our combination figured out.”
The Mopar team earned five event titles (Charlotte 1, Englishtown, Chicago, Seattle, Pomona) last season with the car and combination they will take to Las Vegas.
“We’re coming out with our old car and our old combination from last year,” said Matt. “We won five races with it and I think that we can do well. We have a lot of data to go off of and Dickie and (assistant crew chief) Mike Knudsen feel very positive and strong about it. I’m excited to crawl back in our old race car and get that old feeling back and go have some fun in Vegas.”
Qualifying at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway begins on Friday at 2 p.m. (PT).
“They will pull it together and we will run well,” Matt said. “I’m sure there will be a learning period again but I’m confident in their decision. I’m coming in with a big smile and a positive attitude and I’m hopeful that we can get this turned around and start turning on some more win lights.
“Vegas is a crazy town and a crazy race and I’m excited to get out there and see all the fans.”
March 19th, 2014 / Author: BTS
GAINESVILLE, FL (march 16, 2014) – Robert Hight qualified his Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang Funny Car in the No. 10 spot at the day’s end on Saturday, setting him up for what would be his first victory of the 2014 season. The Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals win put a 55” flat screen TV in the hands of Robert Houston of Gainesville, Fla., compliments of BrandSource and the “Win with Force” promotion. It was a lock for Houston considering Hight was racing JFR teammate John Force in the final.
“This win was huge. That guy (Force) has 16 championships and he is the best out here. To add to that he is driving for my old team. There was some added pressure there and it is hard to go up there and get motivated and do your best job. You just have to focus. I wasn’t as focused in the first round and semis as I should have been. I was alright in the second round,” said a fired up Hight from the winner’s circle.
“I got up for the final because I started to think about last year and not making the Traxxas Shootout. That was no fun to get to the US Nationals and not be running for the $100,000 prize at the Traxxas Shootout. We needed this win for the Auto Club. We got two finals in a row and now a win. This could not be a better start.”
Hight defeated Tony Pedregon, Bob Tasca III, Ron Capps and John Force in route to his 30th career event win. He had low ET of the weekend with a 4.061 on Sunday. This is the second TV JFR has given away in 2014.
At each NHRA national event when a JFR team qualifies No. 1 a lucky fan that has signed up at the JFR “Win with Force” display located in Nitro Alley will be eligible to win the BrandSource No. 1 Qualifier Award, a front loading washer and dryer set. If a JFR driver wins the event a different fan will win the 55” flat screen TV Winner’s Circle Award from BrandSource. At the end of the season a grand prize winner of the “Win with Force” Sweepstakes will be awarded a 2014 Ford Escape S-Series.
Thanks to a winning season by John Force Racing in 2013, BrandSource gave away eight flat-screen televisions and nine washers & dryers to lucky fans. More than 24,000 race fans registered to win prizes at the “Win with Force” display in NHRA’s Nitro Alley. Another 91,000 fans signed up online at BrandSource.com.
Fans can sign up to win at the John Force Racing interactive midway display. This 53-foot trailer will be in the Nitro Alley area of every NHRA Mello Yello Series national event in 2014. The “Win with Force” promotion now includes JFR team partners Castrol, BrandSource, Ford, Traxxas and Mac Tools, all joining together to create an incredible promotion for the fans.