The Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines drag racing team clinched the 2012 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championship as rider Ed Krawiec roared to his ninth Pro Stock Motorcycle win of the season and third in a row at the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The defending Pro Stock Motorcycle champion now leads the class by 111 points with one event left on the schedule. Only his teammate Andrew Hines remains in contention for the title.
“What a great weekend for our team,” said Krawiec. “I had an outstanding Harley-Davidson® V-Rod® motorcycle to race and I’m relaxed and confident. There’s simply no pressure or stress when I roll up to the line. All I’m thinking about is going to Pomona with a chance to end the season winning four Wallys in a row, which I’ve never done.”
Krawiec actually won two events at Las Vegas. On Saturday he and Hines raced in the last round of qualifying to complete the final elimination round of the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals, which was postponed by rain on Oct. 8 at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. Krawiec won that face-off for his 19th career win and eighth of the season, and pulled ahead of Hines, his closest rival for the championship, by 51 points. Earlier in qualifying, Krawiec rode his Harley V-Rod to an Elapsed Time of 6.902 seconds to claim the top spot for Sunday eliminations for the fifth time this season.
On Sunday, Krawiec made his last appearance of the season on a Harley V-Rod with a special Hard Candy Pink Flake paint scheme and matching leathers, the end of a month-long effort to raise breast cancer awareness. For the season finale at Pomona, both Screamin’ Eagle V-Rods will revert to the team’s traditional Black and Silver paint schemes.
In elimination rounds, Krawiec had wins over GT Motorsports Suzuki rider GT Tonglet, Scott Pollacheck on the Sovereign/Star Racing Buell, and John Hall on another Sovereign/Star Buell. In the final, Krawiec faced Viper Motorcycle Company Buell rider Matt Smith, and got the 20th win of his career and ninth of the season with a 6.959-second ET to 6.967 seconds for Smith.
Hines opened Sunday eliminations with a fortunate win over Pirana Z Buell rider Shawn Gann, who fouled at the start. Hines lost an air-shifter line during the run and over-revved his engine, but managed to coast across the finish line for the win. After an engine change, Hines lost to Hall in round two.
“We did a good job getting the bike ready for round two, but we’ve been lost on the tune-up for my bike all weekend,” said Hines. “We just could not find the set-up.”
Krawiec leads the Pro Stock Motorcycle Countdown with 2672 points. Hines is second with 2561 points. Lucas Oil Buell rider Arana Jr., who lost in round two on Sunday, is third with 2448 points. Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Sr. is fourth with 2399 points, and Geico Suzuki rider Karen Stoffer is in fifth place with 2334 points.
The Pro Stock Motorcycles will close out the 2012 season Nov. 8-11 at the 48th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.