Hines stays hot with $25,000 Pro Bike Battle Victory
Saturday, July 26, 2014

by Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor

Andrew Hines, left, accepts the $25,000 winner’s check from Danny Griego, country music songwriter and entertainer and chief operating officer of MiraMonte Records, after winning Saturday’s MiraMonte Records NHRA Pro Bike Battle.

Andrew Hines extended his win streak to 11-0 by winning the inaugural MiraMonte Records NHRA Pro Bike Battle on Saturday at Sonoma Raceway. Since unveiling his new chassis earlier this month, Hines won in Norwalk and Denver, and he remained perfect with a final-round win over Scotty Pollacheck to claim the $25,000 top prize in the specialty event, which was open only to the top-eight riders based on qualifying performance this year.

“This is a big deal for Vance & Hines and Harley-Davidson,” said Hines. “It’s been a while since we’ve had a specialty race. I think 2009 was the last time, and five years later, we’ve been able to continue what we started. Our team has won the last five of these [specialty] races, and I’m glad to keep that streak going. I’ve been on a roll since we broke out this new motorcycle. [New bikes] don’t usually start winning when you first bring them out. I’m 11-0, and I’m not looking forward to the day when it doesn’t turn on the win light.”

Hines was the No. 3 seed in the event and rolled to a narrow 6.818 to 6.852 win over John Hall in round one. Hall grabbed a lead at the start, and Hines won by just two-thousandths at the finish line. Hines, the winner of four previous specialty races, punched his ticket to the final with a 6.853 to 6.920 win over Hector Arana Sr. in the semifinals.

Hines was confident in the performance of his Harley V-Rod; he was less than enthusiastic about his reaction times, which have suffered since the team adapted a new clutch tune-up recently. Hines was especially concerned about the final round since Pollacheck is a former bracket racer who is considered one of the best leavers in the class. Hines went on to win the final, 6.835 to 6.866.

“I was definitely concerned,” said Hines. “In fact, I rolled in about 2 inches deep in the final, and that’s not something you ever see on a Pro Stock Motorcycle. I knew I needed to do something to get my reaction time down, and it worked. Right now, I could probably knock the top light out and not go red, and we can’t race like that. I did what I needed to do, but we’re going to have to go testing soon to figure out how to get our bikes to leave the starting line better.”

Pollacheck, who earned $10,000 for his runner-up finish, began his day with a holeshot win over Hines’ Screamin’ Eagle Harley teammate, Eddie Krawiec, and followed with a narrow eight-thousandths win against his own teammate, Matt Smith, in the semifinals.

Hines’ Road to Victory:
Round 1: def. John Hall, 6.818 to 6.852
Semifinals: def. Hector Arana Sr., 6.853 to 6.920
Final: def. Scotty Pollacheck, 6.835 to 6.866