MILWAUKEE (March 15, 2017) - The grandstands will quake to a ground-pounding Harley-Davidson V-Twin cadence when the Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines drag racing team lines up to open the Pro Stock Motorcycle season at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 17-19. The weekend of racing at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Fla., kicks off the 2017 Pro Stock Motorcycle season on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Winners of eight NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championships, the Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines team returns to action in 2017 with two of the most experienced and talented riders in the series: five-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Andrew Hines and three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Ed Krawiec. The team is led by crew chief Matt Hines.
'We are looking to open the season right where we left off last year,' said Matt Hines. 'We feel we have the Harley-Davidson horsepower to win, and no team can match the experience the Screamin' Eagle crew brings to the track for every event. It's always exciting at Gainesville and with Daytona Bike Week wrapping up we hope a lot of Harley-Davidson fans will ride to the race and catch the action.'
Hines and Krawiec will race Harley-Davidson competition motorcycles powered by American V-Twin engines tuned to deliver the explosive power required to rocket down the quarter-mile drag strip in less than seven seconds. During the off-season the team has been refining and tuning its Harley-Davidson engines at its Brownsburg, Ind., shop and recently tested in Bradenton, Fla.
'To start the season off right we need to focus on making consistent runs and guiding these Harley drag bikes straight down the track,' said Hines. 'This is such a competitive class we need to be near-perfect every round to advance to the finals. In the long run, consistency wins championships and that's always been our goal.'
The 2017 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle schedule includes 16 events. After the first 10 events, the points will be re-set for the top 10 riders that then qualify for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs (the final six races). The Pro Stock Motorcycle class will race under the same set of rules for the third consecutive season.
'I think the stability of the rules makes the entire field more competitive,' said Krawiec. 'Since we can't do much testing in the winter we don't like to make major engine changes in the off-season. Better to come out with the strong Harley-Davidson bikes we finished on last season and then build incrementally from there. We always know where we stand after Gainesville.'
Andrew Hines, the son of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame tuner Byron Hines and younger brother of three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ Matt Hines, raced a Harley-Davidson competition motorcycle to three consecutive NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championships from 2004-2006 and won the championship twice again in 2014-15. Hines advanced to nine finals and won five times in 2016, including the prestigious U.S Nationals at Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend. Hines was the top seed for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs and placed third in the final 2016 standings. Hines holds the current class elapsed time (ET) record at 6.728 seconds, has an NHRA-record 47 career wins in 15 years of Pro Stock Motorcycle competition and has won at least one Pro Stock Motorcycle event each season since 2004. Hines is 33 years old.
Ed Krawiec made his NHRA debut in 2004 and has won three NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championships (2008, 2011-12) since joining the Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines team in 2007. In 2016, Krawiec raced to five victories in seven final-round appearances and was the number-one qualifier for six events. Krawiec was the second seed for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs, won two Countdown finals (Reading and Dallas) and for the second consecutive year was second in season points.
In his career Krawiec has won 36 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle events in 63 final-round appearances. Ed Krawiec is 40 years old.
Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Racing
Harley-Davidson and Vance & Hines Motorsports created the Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines team in 2002 to compete in the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle division. In 2004 the team was the first to win the NHRA title with a V-Twin-powered motorcycle. The team has won eight of the past 13 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world championships.
The Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines team is led by Vance & Hines Motorsports owners Byron Hines and Terry Vance. Matt Hines, the older son of Byron and a three-time (1997- 99) NHRA champion rider, brings his competition experience to his role as crew chief of the Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines team, making race-day tuning decisions and advising the team riders. Byron Hines leads engineering, development and tuning efforts for the team.
About Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Since 1903, Harley-Davidson Motor Company has fulfilled dreams of personal freedom with cruiser, touring and custom motorcycles, riding experiences and events, and a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, general merchandise, riding gear and apparel. For more information, visit www.h-d.com.