HomeTeam ReportsKrawiec Makes Semifinal Round Appearance

Krawiec Makes Semifinal Round Appearance


Hines Takes Loss in Stride Knowing There is Room to Improve
The Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team can breathe a little
easier on race days from now on.

Not only does the team have three-time NHRA POWERade
champion Andrew Hines on their side, but the new guy’s not bad either.
Eddie Krawiec, an Englishtown, N.J., resident and native, not only qualified
for his first NHRA national event, but he went rounds too. The newest member
of the Screamin’ Eagle group made the most of his first weekend on the team.

Krawiec earned two round wins Sunday at the ACDelco
NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. Krawiec beat Paul Gast in the opening
round of eliminations with a 7.150-second pass at 180.24 mph after Gast fouled
at the starting line. In Round Two Krawiec beat Matt Guidera with a 7.243 at
175.46 over Guidera’s 7.620 at 140.09 on his Rocklin Harley-Davidson Buell.

Krawiec lost in the semifinals. Matt Smith recorded
a 6.921 run at 190.22 on his Torco Racing Fuels Buell to cover Krawiec’s 7.058
at 187.83.

"I could not have asked for anything more
this weekend," Krawiec said. "My goals coming into the season opener
were to qualify well and win one round. Going to the semifinals in my debut
with the team is incredible. The crew made it possible."

Krawiec said the team made everything look easy
this weekend.

Photo by Matt Polito, www.dragbikephotos.com

"We had to do a lot of maintenance on the
bike between the first and second round and they made it look routine,"
Krawiec said. "It stressed me out a little bit because I had not been in
that position before, but the teamwork here just helped me get ready for the
round. Knowing (team owner) Byron Hines and (crew chief) Matt Hines were working
on the bike just gave me confidence as we went along. I would have never been
in the semifinals without those guys standing behind me and supporting me."

Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso said
she was impressed with the way the team made a new rider look like he’d been
there before.

"It was a great season and career-opening
event for Eddie," Paluso said. "The team had multiple challenges thrown
at them this weekend and they responded very well. Eddie was in the semifinals
of his first event and ran consistently well in qualifying."

Before Saturday Krawiec’s career-best elapsed
time on a Pro Stock Motorcycle was a 7.254 pass at 186.02. That was before Krawiece
turned in a 6.948 pass at 191.02 in qualifying to improve those career-best
numbers and earn in the No. 7 spot for eliminations.

Hines was No. 8 after qualifying wrapped up after
recording a 6.955 at 192.17 on Saturday but he lost in the first round on Sunday.
The Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod got off the line well before suffering problems at
mid-track for a 10.682 pass at 75.02 in a losing effort against Shawn Gann’s
7.009 at 189.28 on his Race Girl Suzuki.

"I had one of the best 60-foot times in
my career before the run went badly," Hines said. "But I think we
figured out which direction we need to go in. We’ve struggled with our launches
in the past but now that the bikes are more consistent, we can learn how to
tune from them and continue to make improvements."

Hines has eight career wins including a 2004
victory at Gainesville Raceway. He’s still glad the weekend is over and the
team can focus on the next event.

"I’m happy we have the first one out of
the way," Hines said. "The first one always seems to be the toughest.
I can’t wait to roll into Houston and start all over again.

Photo by Matt Polito, www.dragbikephotos.com

"We’re going back to the shop and rebuild
the engines and make some spare parts. We have our work cut out for us, but
we’re fortunate to be able to make it all in our shop. Our machinists will be
hard at work to make sure we’re ready."

Andrew Hines weekend results:
Q1: 7.676 seconds at 137.06 mph
Q2: 7.014 at 191.59
Q3: 6.975 at 193.10
Q4: 6.955 at 192.17
R1: 10.682 at 75.02

Eddie Krawiec weekend results:
Q1: 7.042 seconds at 189.04 mph
Q2: 7.015 at 190.65
Q3: 6.948 at 191.02
Q4: 6.988 at 191.32
R1: 7.150 at 180.24
R2: 7.243 at 175.46
R3: 7.058 at 187.83


Hines and Krawiec make several 6-Second Passes
Before Saturday Eddie Krawiec’s career-best elapsed time on a Pro Stock Motorcycle
was a 7.254-second pass at 186.02 mph.

Then Saturday happened. The newest member of
the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team ran career-best numbers
– by a bunch – at the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals. The New Jersey
native turned in a 6.948 pass at 191.02 at Gainesville Raceway. The numbers
were good enough for the No. 7 position in the quickest field in NHRA history.

It was also the first of two 6-second passes
turned in by Krawiec.

"It’s actually unbelievable," Krawiec
said. "It’s like I’m living a dream. I finally get to do something that
I have been going after for a very long time. And I get to do it with two three-time
champions (Matt and Andrew Hines) and a legendary tuner (Byron Hines) in my

"I’ve never been able to come to an NHRA
race with equipment this good and a team this prepared and supportive. To be
able to come into my first weekend and progressively get better on three of
the four runs and record two six-second passes is just phenomenal."

Teammate Andrew Hines will start Sunday’s final
eliminations from the No. 8 position after riding his Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod
to a 6.955 pass at 193.10. Hines – the defending three-time NHRA POWERade
Pro Stock Motorcycle champion – earned his first professional victory
and the first victory for a factory-sponsored Harley-Davidson at Gainesville
Raceway in 2004.

With eight career victories on his resume, Hines
was pleased with the way the team improved the bike’s performance.

"I’m very happy that we improved on all
four runs," Hines said. "We started off slowly and we saved the best
for last. I think we are starting to get a handle on things and I think we’re
figuring out what we need to do to be in a position to win rounds on Sunday."

Angelle Sampey rode her U.S. Army Suzuki to the
top spot with a national record 6.911 run at 191.65 while Karen Stoffer anchored
the record-setting field with a 7.033 pass at 191.87 on her Geico Suzuki.

"There are 29 racers here that made qualifying
attempts and it took a record-setting field to be able to race on Sunday,"
Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso said. "It seems like this class
gets more competitive every year."

Paluso said Krawiec’s qualifying performance
can now be added to the Harley-Davidson history books.
"Gainesville Raceway has always been a good track for historic performances
by the Harley-Davidson factory team," Paluso said. "Andrew won his
first race here, he recorded the first six-second pass in NHRA history here
and now Eddie qualifies for his first NHRA event and makes two six-second runs
doing it. That’s a great way to kick off his career with the Screamin’ Eagle
team and hopefully it just gets better on Sunday."

Krawiec will face Paul Gast, who qualified in
the No. 10 position with a 6.972 at 191.13 on his Fast By Gast Suzuki. Hines
will match up with No. 9 Shawn Gann (6.962 at 193.27) and the Race Girl Suzuki
team in the first round of competition.

"We have bikes that are capable of winning
rounds tomorrow," Hines said. "The way the class is right now you
have to be on top of your game. It doesn’t matter where you are qualified in
the field. You can win or lose from any of the 16 spots. To win we need to make
sure we are consistent, hit our shift points perfectly and make a great pass."

Andrew Hines qualifying results:
Q1: 7.676 seconds at 137.06 mph
Q2: 7.014 at 191.59
Q3: 6.975 at 193.10
Q4: 6.955 at 192.17

Eddie Krawiec qualifying results:
Q1: 7.042 seconds at 189.04 mph
Q2: 7.015 at 190.65
Q3: 6.948 at 191.02
Q4: 6.988 at 191.32


Hines and New Teammate Ready to Tackle Season Opener
To be honest, he just wants to get this race over with. Can you blame him?

Eddie Krawiec is the new kid on the block and
he wants that first race of his professional NHRA POWERade drag racing career
in the books.

He wants that first pass on his Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson
V-Rod to go off without a hitch and he wants to stop thinking about what it
will "be like" and be able to talk about what "it is" like
to race for a championship-winning team.

After all, his teammate, Andrew Hines, is the
current and defending three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion. It’s not a bad
way to kick off your pro career.

Hines and Krawiec may have different motives at the season opening ACDelco NHRA
Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, but in the end, they both want to be
the last man standing on Sunday.

Krawiec has made appearances at eight NHRA national events in the past, but
has yet to qualify for final eliminations.

"I’m really looking forward to getting on
that V-Rod and being able to go out there and compete with confidence knowing
I have a great motorcycle," Krawiec said. "I’ve never been in that
position before. The team is giving me great equipment to race, Andrew has already
shared some of his experience and I think it’s all going to help me be there
on Sunday.

"Obviously there are a few nerves. I want
Gainesville to just get here. I want that first pass over with. I will probably
be one of the first, if not the first, rider to make a pass on Friday and I
know all eyes are going to be on me. It’s exciting but I’ll be happy when that
first run is over with."
Hines earned the first of his eight career wins at Gainesville Raceway in 2004.
He has also earned two No. 1 qualifying awards (2004, 2005) at the season-opening

"Gainesville has always been good to me,"
Hines said. "I’m just excited to start another year of racing. It seems
like the offseason takes forever and I think everyone in the Pro Stock Motorcycle
class is anxious to finally get back on the track. It seems like this race can
never come soon enough for me."

Gainesville continues to be one of the favorite
tracks of the entire Harley-Davidson organization.

"When we won the race in 2004, the crowd
went nuts with excitement," Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso
said. "It just made the Harley employees that much more excited. We also
made our first pass in the six-second range there, so it’s a track with great
historical meaning to Harley-Davidson racing and it’s a weekend we always look
forward to each season."

Hines earned three wins in five final round appearances
en route to the third consecutive NHRA title last year. He can’t help but look
at those numbers and know there is room for improvement.

"I always try to do better than the year
before," said the 23-year-old Indianapolis resident. "My entire team
strives to set preseason goals and one of them is to win more races than the
previous season. First we have to worry about winning rounds and if we can do
that, everything will fall into place."

He may be young and he may have already tasted
more success than most competitors will throughout their careers, but that doesn’t
mean he’s short on motivation.

"I know I have already accomplished a lot
in my career, but I still want to go out there and win," Hines said. "I’m
happy with the results so far, but I’m still not satisfied. I think this Screamin’
Eagle/Vance & Hines team has more races to win and hopefully more championships
to win too.

"The best part is that I caught up with
my big brother (three-time champion and current team crew chief, Matt Hines)
and that was a big deal. But we still spent the offseason working as hard as
we could to find more horsepower and do whatever it took to be prepared for
another competitive season."
Another motivating factor in this season’s attempt to become the first rider
in NHRA history to win four consecutive championships is being able to tackle
the new points system implemented by NHRA officials. The Countdown to the Championship
will force riders to not only compete for race wins, but valuable points positions.

If you’re not in the right position at the right
time, you don’t get to race for a championship.

Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso said
it’s just one more thing the team has to prepare for this season.

"We have a lot going on this season but
the team is ready for all of the challenges," Paluso said. "We have
a new Countdown points system, we’re trying to defend a championship the way
no one ever has in history and we have a new rider set to make his professional
debut. We couldn’t pick a better place to start all of that at other than Gainesville."

With the new points system the Pro Stock Motorcycle
racers will have just 11 events to get into the top eight and therefore become
eligible to compete for a championship. Eventually that will be trimmed down
and just the top four riders will be able to race for the title at the final
two races of the season. Each time the field is cut, the points are readjusted.

With just two races left in the season, for example,
four riders will be separated from 10-40 points, making it impossible for anyone
to clinch the 2007 NHRA POWERade championship before the season finale at Pomona,
Calif., in November.

"I think the new points system is going
to make it even more exciting for the fans," Hines said. "It is also
going to force teams to stay on top of their game all season long. If you make
a mistake at the wrong time, it could mean you’re not in the championship countdown."

But first, the team has to focus on Gainesville
– something that’s easy for Hines to do.

"I love the Gatornationals," he said.
"I like the fan base there and people love the bike class and they always
pack the stands. We talk to fans every year that have been to the Gatornationals
for 15 consecutive years or more. It makes you want to go back and race there
even more because of the dedicated fan base."

Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying will be held
at noon and 2:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Final eliminations begin at 11
a.m. on Sunday.

All the action of the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals
can be seen on ESPN2 starting on Sunday with two hours of coverage at 1:30 a.m.
(ET), continuing with two hours of final eliminations on Sunday evening at 5
p.m. (ET).

Screamin’ Eagle Performance Parts are inspired
by and built in the spirit of the raw adrenaline and power of motorcycle racing.
Screamin’ Eagle Pro parts are specifically designed for race-use applications,
while Screamin’ Eagle parts offer street-use performance options for the
Harley-Davidson motorcycle owner. Visit www.harley-davidson.com
for more information.
The Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Pro Stock Motorcycle team is sponsored
by Ford Truck, Dunlop, Matco Tools and S100.

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