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Team Saddened by Loss of Fellow NHRA Competitor Darrell Russell

The Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines drag racing team worked through its most challenging weekend of the season and placed riders GT Tonglet and Andrew Hines in the elimination rounds of the 8th Annual Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. The event was marred by the death of Top Fuel driver Darrell Russell who suffered a fatal crash during the second round of eliminations.

“It was a tough weekend for our team on many levels. Of course, everyone on the team was deeply affected by the death of Darrell Russell and first and foremost wishes to extend our sympathy to the Russell family and the Amato Racing team on this terrible loss,” said Screamin’ Eagle Racing Manager Anne Paluso. “We struggled a bit this weekend, but a tragedy like this certainly puts things in perspective.”

The Screamin’ Eagle team was notified on June 22 that NHRA imposed a rule amendment which raised the minimum weight for Pro Stock Bike pushrod V-Twins from 575 pounds to 615 pounds, effective immediately. This forced the Screamin’ Eagle team to qualify for the event without testing with the additional 40 pounds of weight in place.

After being among the top qualifiers for each event this season, Hines (7.201/186.98) and Tonglet (7.201/185.41) qualified 14th and 15th to make the 16-bike field at Gateway. Antron Brown was top qualifier with a run of 7.086/187.68, a new Pro Stock Bike track ET record.

“This sudden rule change put the Screamin’ Eagle team under the gun for the race weekend,” said Paluso. “Adding 40 pounds to the Screamin’ Eagle V-Rods changed the dynamics of the bikes and we’ll continue to evaluate the effect of the extra weight.”

In the first round of eliminations, Hines (7.166/185.95) had his best run of the weekend and scored a hole-shot win over Angelle Savoie (7.139/185.66), who had a 0.073 reaction time to 0.011 for Hines. In his first-round race, Tonglet (7.298/183.97) was first off the line but lost to Craig Treble (7.124/191.35).

In the second round, Hines again tried to cut a good light, knowing that was his only chance to win. A red light start by Hines gave Michael Phillips the win, but given the performance disadvantage, Hines would have lost even with a perfect light. In the final, Steve Johnson (7.220/183.34) scored a hole-shot win over Treble (7.129/186.28).

After seven rounds of NHRA Pro Stock Bike competition, Hines leads the class with 655 points, 182 points ahead of Shawn Gann, in second place with 473 points. Geno Scali is third with 446 points, while Tonglet is fourth with 424 points.

The next Pro Stock Bike event on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series is the 25th Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, July 16-18, at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, Colo.

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.

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