CONCORD, NC – April 27, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – To have success over the years at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, taking place this weekend at state-of-the-art zMAX Dragway, the key term for Andrew Hines is adapt. In that regard, the five-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Andrew Hines has had no trouble adapting to the most unique race on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Hines has won the past three Four-Wide Nationals on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson and will look to make it a fourth time against a loaded PSM field. The challenges are vast, but Hines was immediately a fan of what is one of the biggest spectacles in motorsports.
“I would say I’ve enjoyed the Four-Wide race since day one,” Hines said. “It’s something totally different than what we’ve been doing our whole career, but you just have to be able to adapt to new situations. I like not doing the same thing all the time. I like being unique and I was able to adapt. You have to be on your game for this race, but the Four-Wide race has been fun and luckily we’ve been on a good run here the last three years. It’s nice to be a part of those unique events.”
Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) were also last year’s winners of a race that will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including a broadcast of the finals on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. (ET). It marks the second of 16 races during the 2017 Pro Stock Motorcycle season, throwing the top riders in the class almost directly in a challenging gauntlet.
Hines is off to another strong start, posting a runner-up finish to teammate Eddie Krawiec at the PSM opener in Gainesville. But with more than a month off heading into Charlotte, Hines and the rest of his team has been hard at work with hopes to perform even better this weekend.
“It’s like we had whole other off-season and we’ve been trying a few things,” said Hines, who has 47 career wins. “We brought out some ideas that we implemented in the off-season in Gainesville and we were happy to see the results from that. We’re almost in a new learning phase, but that’s exciting for me. We’re trying to look for the next thing to make us better. It’s worked out for us over the years and we’re going to continue to try to find that next edge.”
Always pushing forward is a critical in a class as deep and talented as Pro Stock Motorcycle. Hines saw his quest for a third straight world championship fall when Jerry Savoie claimed his first world title at the season finale in Pomona last year, and the list of challengers reads long and includes Krawiec, two-time world champ Matt Smith, three-time champion Angelle Sampey, veteran Steve Johnson and Cory Reed, NHRA’s top rookie in 2015.
That competition has typically brought out the best in Hines, who can add another impressive feather in his cap with what would be a seventh total victory at zMAX Dragway.
“We’re really pumped about what we have for the future,” Hines said. “We’re all out here to perform the best we can, fighting for as many wins as we can. We’ve been fortunate in the success we’ve had, but that doesn’t change our mindset. We’re always ready to try and bring back a Wally. That’s our goal and to get back to the top, that’s ultimately the goal this season.”
Brittany Force won her first Top Fuel Four-Wide event last year, and will face off with three-time 2017 winner and points leader Leah Pritchett and two-time world champ Antron Brown.
Funny Car veteran Wilkerson won for the first time at zMAX Dragway last year, and will face off against the likes of defending world champ Ron Capps and points leader Matt Hagan in 2017.
Line’s first Four-Wide Nationals victory came in Pro Stock and he will look to grab momentum from fellow 2017 winners Greg Anderson, Bo Butner Shane Gray and rookie Tanner Gray.
The NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series makes the third of 12 stops at zMAX Dragway. The event also features thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, showcasing the future stars of the sport. After Nitro qualifying on Friday, fans can watch the spectacular Muy Caliente Racing jet dragsters sponsored by Lucas Oil alongside Hanna Motorsports jet funny cars, and Douthit Motorsports Black Pearl Nostalgia Jet Funny Car as well. Jet cars are thrust driven vehicles propelled by jet engines with exciting pre-run flame shows.
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. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers. Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 28 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, April 29, at 1:30 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 12 p.m. on Sunday, April 30.
Be a part of the action all weekend with a Three-Day Pass to the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals starting at $107. Tickets for children 13 and under are free with any paid adult ticket; to purchase general admission or reserved seats please visit www.zMAXDragway.com or call the box office at (800) 455-FANS (3267). For more information about NHRA, please visit www.NHRA.com.
NHRA FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS FACT SHEET
WHAT: Eighth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, the sixth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2017 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.
WHEN: Friday through Sunday, April 28-30
FORMAT: Qualifying sessions and elimination rounds will be conducted using four lanes in all Mello Yello Series classes; Lanes will be identified from left to right facing downtrack as 1-4; The standard Friday qualifying procedure of a top 12 format will not be in use; Two Christmas trees will be in use, one between each two lanes; The Compulink Autostart system will continue to be utilized and it will not activate until all four vehicles are pre-staged and one vehicle has staged; The ladder structure will feature Race A: qualifiers 1, 8, 9, 16, Race B: qualifiers 4, 5, 12, 13, Race C: qualifiers 2, 7, 10, 15, and Race D: qualifiers 3, 6, 11, 14; Race A and Race B will be on one side of the ladder, while Race C and Race D will be on the other; Lane choice for eliminations goes to the driver with the quickest E.T., then the second-quickest, and so on; The first two drivers in each elimination round to cross the finish line advance to the second round and final; In the final round, teams will finish in the order they cross the finish line (barring any red-light starts), with winner, runner-up and two semifinalists in that order.
FRIDAY, April 28 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES qualifying at 3:45 p.m. and 6:15
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 4 and 6:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, April 29 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES qualifying at 2:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
SUNDAY, April 30 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10:30 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at noon
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES eliminations at 12: 55 p.m.
Friday, April 28, FS1 will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 7 p.m. (ET).
Saturday, April 29, FS1 will televise three hours of qualifying highlights at 12 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, April 30, FS1 will televise three hours of elimination highlights at 5:30 p.m. (ET).
2016 EVENT WINNERS: Brittany Force, Top Fuel; Tim Wilkerson, Funny Car; Jason Line, Pro Stock; Andrew Hines, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
MOST VICTORIES: Antron Brown, 2, TF; Jack Beckman, 2, FC; Robert Hight, 2, FC; Greg Anderson, 2, PS; Mike Edwards, 2, PS; Andrew Hines, 3, PSM.
Top Fuel – 3.713 sec. by J.R. Todd, March ’15; 332.18 mph by Spencer Massey, April ’12.
Funny Car – 3.876 sec. by Tommy Johnson Jr., Sept. ’16; 331.04 mph by John Force, Sept. ’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 – 3.658 sec. by Leah Pritchett, Feb. ‘17, Phoenix; 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) following the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway, the fifth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –
1. Leah Pritchett, 494; 2. Antron Brown, 440; 3. Tony Schumacher, 438; 4. Doug Kalitta, 358; 5. Steve Torrence, 352; 6. Brittany Force, 282; 7. Clay Millican, 269; 8. Troy Coughlin Jr., 228; 9. Terry McMillen, 195; 10. Scott Palmer, 180.
1. Matt Hagan, 400; 2. Ron Capps, 398; 3. John Force, 371; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., 357; 5. (tie) Courtney Force, 301; Robert Hight, 301; 7. Jack Beckman, 282; 8. Jonnie Lindberg, 235; 9. J.R. Todd, 222; 10. Jim Campbell, 211.
1. Greg Anderson, 457; 2. Bo Butner, 426; 3. Jason Line, 403; 4. Jeg Coughlin, 372; 5. Tanner Gray, 370; 6. Shane Gray, 278; 7. Erica Enders, 255; 8. Chris McGaha, 246; 9. Vincent Nobile, 235; 10. Drew Skillman, 225.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
1. Eddie Krawiec, 120; 2. Andrew Hines, 97; 3. Joey Gladstone, 81; 4. Steve Johnson, 74; 5. Jerry Savoie, 63; 6. LE Tonglet, 58; 7. (tie) Scotty Pollacheck, 52; Matt Smith, 52; 9. Hector Arana, 36; 10. Hector Arana Jr, 35.
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 24 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 program 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; Gainesville Raceway 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