Last weekend, the Harley-Davidson® Screamin' Eagle®/Vance & Hines drag racing team put its new Harley-Davidson® V-Rod® motorcycles down the strip at the 44th annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway. The V-Rods were painted to celebrate the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary, and carried riders Ed Krawiec and Andrew Hines to qualify for Pro Stock Motorcycle eliminations, and each rider won in the first round on Sunday.
The Gatornationals was the first Pro Stock Motorcycle event of the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, and the first to run under new rules that forced the Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines team to design and build a new two-valve pushrod engine and alter its Screamin' Eagle V-Rod motorcycles -- completed just days before the season-opening event at Gainesville.
Screamin' Eagle®/Vance & Hines crew chief Matt Hines said, "When we left the shop I really didn't know if these bikes would make it down the track without melting down. We ran the new motors on the dyno and we were down on power compared to last year, and the question was would we have enough power to compete. But we ran in the sixes right away in testing, and both riders qualified at Gainesville. All things considered, it could not have gone more smoothly."
Hines qualified fifth with a best Elapsed Time (ET) of 6.836 seconds. Krawiec, the defending Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, qualified his V-Rod in 10th position at 6.882 seconds. Viper Motorcycle Company Buell rider Matt Smith topped the quickest Pro Stock Motorcycle field in history with an ET of 6.804 seconds.
On Sunday, Hines defeated Adam Arana on the ProtectTheHarvest.com/MAVtv Buell in round one, and lost to Suzuki rider Steve Johnson in round two. Krawiec advanced in the first round after Vroom/MBT/LAT Racing Oil Buell rider Mike Berry left the starting line early. In round two Krawiec lost to Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr. Arana Jr. defeated Johnson in the final round to win the event.
The NHRA awarded its Gainesville "Best Engineered" honor to the Screamin' Eagle V-Rod raced by Hines.
The Pro Stock Motorcycles will next race at the 4th annual Dollar General NHRA Four-Wide Nationals fueled by Full Throttle, April 19-21 at zMAX Raceway in Concord, N.C.