It was (depressing?) double vision deja vu as the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines/Harley-Davidson team celebrated another Eddie Krawiec win
Defending event and world champion Krawiec rode his bike to winner’s circle with a 6.824 at 198.44, defeating teammate Andrew Hines in the final following a mock staging duel that was as sincere as Eddie Haskell. But at this point, the team has to entertain themselves and attempt to entertain the fans as well.
“Right now, I’m riding with the confidence that no one can beat me,” Krawiec said after his sixth Gators win and third straight. “I have a great motorcycle underneath me and a great team behind me. Anytime a rider or a driver has confidence it just makes them that much better.”
Krawiec was the No. 2 qualifier and reached the final via LE Tonglet, Steve Johnson, and Hector Arana.
Saturday: Hines #1 PSM Qualifier at the Gators
Andrew Hines raced to the top of Pro Stock Motorcycle order during the fourth qualifying round at the 49th annual Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. His 6.773 at 198.64 beat his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammate Eddie Krawiec by .012. Hines’ last victory at Gainesville was in 2004 and he was the runner-up in 2017.
Hines offered little new in his media interview. “Last year we figured out how to get our Street Rods off the starting line a lot more consistently. Coming here it was just a progression of taking our notes from last year and just making sure we are making the proper calls at the right time.” He did admit to doing nothing fun over the winter, but with a new baby in the house, that might be expected. Except for for with the baby, I guess. Babies are fun, right?
Today’s pairings in Pro Stock Motorcycle—1. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.773, 199.05 vs. 16. Mark Paquette, Victory, 6.943, 193.21; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.785, 199.67 vs. 15. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.929, 196.64; 3. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.793, 196.93 vs. 14. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.917, 198.64; 4. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.806, 201.01 vs. 13. Cory Reed, Victory, 6.910, 191.67; 5. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.816, 197.51 vs. 12. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.902, 195.59; 6. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.821, 196.50 vs. 11. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.889, 195.14; 7. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.855, 197.74 vs. 10. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.889, 196.10; 8. Angelle Sampey, Victory, 6.856, 196.07 vs. 9. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.881, 195.22.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Matt Smith, 6.945, 195.87; 18. Kelly Clontz, 6.970, 192.11; 19. Lance Bonham, 7.205, 694.44; 20. Andie Rawlings, 7.223, 182.45.
Friday: Not a Care in the World for #1 Krawiec
Defending NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Eddie Krawiec currently sits in the No. 1 qualifier position with a 6.785 at 199.67 miles per hour on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson at the 49th annual Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.
I’ve known Eddie since he was a teenager, and I’ve seen him go through many stages. The good racer on a great Yamaha that would get spooked when he got as far as the semis in Supersport 600. The driven independent who drove to Columbus and—with Joe Marasco’s help—assembled his Suzuki in the National Trail pits and still qualified. The surprise choice by the Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team to ride their motorcycle, and then had to fit himself into a rigid corporate culture previously unknown to the Englishtown track manager. The championship winning racer, usually outpacing his teammate. The confident racer, consummate corporate man, and respected V&H representative.
And now with this fourth championship in his trophy case, a new, more relaxed, loose, and humorous Eddie Krawiec than I’ve ever seen. Watch the interview video in the Eatmyink Facebook group and you’ll see what I mean.
“It’s good to be back out racing,” Krawiec stated. “We pretty much started right where we left off and that’s our motive heading into these next couple races. We really didn’t change anything from Pomona on our motorcycles so we could come here to be fresh and ready.”