CHARLOTTE, NC – September 15, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – In his quest for a third straight Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship and his sixth overall, Andrew Hines could not be entering the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship on a much better note.www.
On the strength of four wins at the past five events and five wins on the season, the Vance & Hines Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson rider takes the points lead into the NHRA’s six-race playoffs, which begin at this weekend’s ninth annual NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway. A three-time and defending event winner at the event, Hines simply hopes to keep his remarkable hot streak going.
“I feel like I’m pretty confident right now,” said Hines, who has a class-best 47 career wins. “My performance level has been higher this year. I’ve been kind of dialed in on the reaction times and my riding has been fairly decent. I feel good about this year. I’m getting back into better physical condition than I have been, doing a lot more running, keeping my stamina up, which helps on Sundays when you’re going rounds.”
Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Del Worsham (Funny Car) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) also bettered the competition a year ago at a race that will be broadcast on FS1 for the first time.
For Hines, it’s a chance to continue extend his streak of six straight final round appearances. It has included wins in Chicago, Denver, Brainerd and Indianapolis, with the win at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals sending him past teammate Eddie Krawiec in the points standings heading into the Countdown to the Championship.
But Hines isn’t taking anyone lightly in a class that features stalwarts like Jerry Savoie, three-time world champion Angelle Sampey and two-time world champ Matt Smith.
“You’re going to have to be super consistent and you’re probably going to have to go to the semifinals every single race of this Countdown to have a shot come Vegas and Pomona,” Hines said. “If we can get off to the right start, be on the right foot, it sets the tone what’s going to come in the next few weeks after that. We’re ready for the battle and we’re ready for everybody.”
Hines’ recent performances this year and also the past two seasons indicate he will be ready. His first three world championships came in successive seasons and it’s a feat he would love to try and match this season. A sixth world championship would also tie him with Dave Schultz for the most in Pro Stock Motorcycle history.
That possibility isn’t on Hines’ mind at the moment, as his focus is solely on performing strongly right off the bat this weekend in Charlotte.
“You have to get every round win possible,” Hines said. “This is when experience comes into play, keeping pressure out of your head and in the right spot. I’ve had an awesome team the entire time that’s given me the capability to go out there and perform and have a flawless motorcycle every time. You need a great team behind you.”
Defending world champion Brown is the points leader in Top Fuel, but he’ll be challenged by talented drivers like Doug Kalitta, who is second in points, three-time 2016 winner Brittany Force and eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher.
The stout Funny Car field is led by Ron Capps, who is first in points and has five victories. Those standing in the way of his first world title include defending world champion Worsham, two-time world champion Matt Hagan and Courtney Force.
In Pro Stock, teammates Jason Line, the current points leader and Greg Anderson have had a dominant regular season and both have seven wins in 2016.
The NHRA Carolina Nationals will also feature thrilling competition in the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series as well as the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 3:15 and 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 12:45 and 3 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for noon on Sunday, Sept. 18.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call 800-455-FANS (3267). Tickets also are available online at www.zmaxdragway.com. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.
NHRA CAROLINA NATIONALS FACT SHEET
WHAT: Ninth annual NHRA Carolina Nationals, the 19th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the first of six races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.
WHERE: zMAX Dragway – Track is located on Hwy 29 off I-85 at exit 49 (Speedway Blvd.) in the Concord, N.C. area.
COURSE: Championship drag strip; Track elevation is 630 feet above sea level.
WHEN: Friday through Sunday, Sept. 16-18
FRIDAY, Sept. 16 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 2:30 and 5 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 3:15 and 5:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, Sept. 17 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying and eliminations
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 12:15 p.m.; first round of eliminations at 2:30 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 12:45 and 3 p.m.
SUNDAY, Sept. 18 – Pre-race ceremonies, 11 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at noon
Friday, Sept. 16, FS1 will televise one hour of live qualifying coverage at 6 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, Sept. 18, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 11 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, Sept. 18, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage starting at 2:30 p.m. (ET).
2015 EVENT WINNERS:
Antron Brown, Top Fuel; Del Worsham, Funny Car; Erica Enders, Pro Stock; Andrew Hines, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Top Fuel – 3.713 sec. by J.R. Todd, March ’15; 332.18 mph by Spencer Massey, April ’12.
Funny Car – 3.934 sec. by Alexis DeJoria, April ’16; 323.50 mph by Matt Hagan, April ’16.
Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15; 215.48 mph by Greg Anderson, March ’15.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.794 sec. and 199.88 mph by Hector Arana Jr., March ’15.
Top Fuel – 3.671 sec. by Steve Torrence, July ’16, Sonoma, Calif.; 332.75 mph by Spencer Massey, Aug. ’15, Brainerd, Minn.
Funny Car – 3.822 by Matt Hagan, Aug. ’16, Brainerd Minn.; 335.57 mph by Hagan, May ’16, Topeka, Kan.
Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.; 215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ‘14, Englishtown N.J.
PS Motorcycle – 6.728 sec. by Andrew Hines, Oct. ’12, Reading, Pa.; 199.88 mph by Hector Arana Jr., March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.
TICKETS: Order tickets by phone at (800) 455-FANS. Tickets also are available online at www.zmaxdragway.com.
GLENDORA, CA — Point standings (top 10) entering into the NHRA Carolina Nationals, the first race of the six-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.
1. Antron Brown, 2,110; 2. Doug Kalitta, 2,080; 3. Steve Torrence, 2,070; 4. Tony Schumacher, 2,060; 5. Brittany Force, 2,050; 6. J.R. Todd, 2,040; 7. Shawn Langdon, 2,030; 8. Clay Millican, 2,020; 9. Richie Crampton, 2,010; 10. Leah Pritchett, 2,000.
1. Ron Capps, 2,110; 2. Del Worsham, 2,080; 3. Matt Hagan, 2,070; 4. Courtney Force, 2,060; 5. Jack Beckman, 2,050; 6. Robert Hight, 2,040; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., 2,030; 8. John Force, 2,020; 9. Tim Wilkerson, 2,010; 10. Alexis DeJoria, 2,000.
1. Jason Line, 2,110; 2. Greg Anderson, 2,080; 3. Bo Butner, 2.070; 4. Allen Johnson, 2,060; 5. Vincent Nobile, 2,050 6. Drew Skillman, 2,040; 7. Chris McGaha, 2,030; 8. Shane Gray, 2,020; 9. Erica Enders, 2,010; 10. Jeg Coughlin, 2,000.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
1. Andrew Hines, 2,110; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 2,080; 3. Angelle Sampey, 2,070; 4. Jerry Savoie, 2,060; 5. LE Tonglet, 2,050; 6. Chip Ellis, 2,040; 7. Hector Arana Jr, 2,030; 8. Hector Arana, 2,020; 9. Matt Smith, 2,010; 10. Cory Reed, 2,000.
About National Hot Rod Association
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 23 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Source: National Hot Rod Association