Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Andrew Hines went 6.856 at 195.82 to go to the provisional number one qualifying spot on his Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines/Harley-Davidson on Friday at the 39th annual Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
Hines, who picked up his 50th career win last weekend, is after his second No. 1 qualifier of the year and 44th in his career. “It’s nice to ride this wave that we’re on,” said Andrew. “My motorcycle (a new one this year fabricated by Mike Mullaney at the V&H shop) has been phenomenal all year. It’s been quite a joy to ride compared to the motorcycle that I’ve been riding the last few years, which unbeknownst to me at the time was apparently not that good. It was throwing away hundredths here and there down the racetrack, but we got it all back with this new chassis.”
Hines said the approached adding the NHRA mandated 15 pounds to their new chassis after Gainesville by remaking some questionably flexible parts heavier. “We beefed up a few parts and made them a functional weight. Then we were able to stack 10 pounds on the front, what we call our ‘diving board.’ It’s a ]plate made out of half inch thick steel instead of quarter inch aluminum. So things like that. It’s not just lead wrapped around a frame rail. We have adjustability so we can move it front to back as well.
Hines’ new bike is 60 footing better than his old one, and the team expects to have Eddie Krawiec on a similar new chassis at Virginia. “We also have the newest MoTec on the bike. We ran the M600 for years, probably more than a decade. We’re probably the last people to switch to the M130, and people have switched away from it. But for what it’s doing for us and our program right now, it’s phenomenal. Fine tuning it now is easier than in the past. Trying to pick apart tenths of a degree of timing per cylinder here and there makes a big difference.”
“The bike slipped the clutch a little more than I might have liked in the first foot and a half,” Hines said about his number one qualifying pass. I was watching the shiftlight through first gear and it just started flickering. That’s when I know it’s gonna travel good to the 330, just on the edge of spinning. You can’t have that thing dead hooked all the way through first gear ‘cause you’re just givin’ up acceleration.”
Like last week at zMAX, Chip Ellis is on hand helping out V&H with Angelle Sampey’s third Harley to deal with. “For the first two events, Blake (customer engine builder Blake Ritter) was around but he had prior obligations for the rest of the season. Chip jumped on the chance for Charlotte and Atlanta. He’s like a family member for the team, but he won’t be able to be here every weekend and we need someone solid for the team. We tried out Eddie’s brother Jay in Charlotte and we hope he’s gonna sign on for the rest of the season.
Jerry Savoie sits 5th in the qualifying order after 2 rounds. Jerry’s White Alligator Racing Suzuki ran 6.901 at 193 mph. “We have to work harder than everybody else,” Savoie said about his team and the other Suzuki teams. “We have to do everything perfect to have a chance, and they still smokin’ us on the back half.”
“We have to beat them to the 330 to have any chance,” said WAR tuner Tim Kulungian.
Joseph Gladstone had a plug wire come off (or break, I don’t remember) in Q1 and Cory Reed’s bike shut off at 100 feet or so in Q2.Joey is 10th with a 6.94 at 193, Reed 12th with a 6.98 at 192.
Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.856, 195.82; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.859, 197.02; 3. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.861, 196.27; 4. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.892, 192.36; 5. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.901, 193.18; 6. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.909, 197.45; 7.Matt Smith, EBR, 6.909, 196.33; 8. Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.919, 194.38; 9. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.929, 195.25; 10. Joey Gladstone, EBR, 6.946, 193.99; 11. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.957, 194.55; 12. Cory Reed, EBR, 6.983, 192.25; 13. Angie Smith, EBR, 7.016, 194.97; 14. Melissa Surber, Buell, 7.026, 191.48; 15. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 7.051, 190.32; 16. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 7.081, 191.27. Not Qualified: 17. Andie Rawlings, 7.326, 180.89.
J.R. Todd raced his DHL Toyota Camry to the top spot in Funny Car with his pass of 3.944-seconds at 323.50 mph on Friday. After picking up his first win of the 2019 season in Houston, Todd is now going for his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and 11th in his career. If it holds up, Todd would also give Kalitta Motorsports its 100th career No. 1 qualifier.
“This gives me a lot of confidence, but I know going into a race that I have a great team behind me and they can adapt to any condition,” Todd said. “It was tricky and I had my hands full down track. We were lucky to hang on and I think we just hit it right.”
Funny Car — 1. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.944, 323.50; 2. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.958, 322.04; 3. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.959, 324.83; 4. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.981, 314.61; 5. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.987, 322.11; 6. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 4.040, 316.30; 7. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 4.101, 295.40; 8. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.129, 263.98; 9. Dave Richards, Mustang, 4.442, 211.46; 10. Robert Hight, Camaro, 4.816, 162.90; 11. Jack Beckman, Charger, 5.126, 149.12; 12. Ron Capps, Charger, 5.730, 120.31; 13. Paul Lee, Camry, 5.792, 118.70; 14. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 6.258, 138.46; 15. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 7.802, 85.02; 16. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 11.154, 75.54. Not Qualified: 17. Jim Campbell, 32.340, 20.91.
Brittany Force, who already has two No. 1 qualifiers this season in her Advance Auto Parts dragster, currently sits atop the Top Fuel field after going 3.720 at 319.52. She is seeking her 13th career No. 1 qualifier this weekend, as well as her first career win at Atlanta Dragway.
Top Fuel — 1. Brittany Force, 3.720 seconds, 319.52 mph; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.727, 328.46; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.737, 320.36; 4. Leah Pritchett, 3.764, 325.14; 5. Jordan Vandergriff, 3.788, 316.97; 6. Dom Lagana, 3.806, 321.88; 7. Richie Crampton, 3.814, 312.64; 8. Clay Millican, 3.817, 321.04; 9.Scott Palmer, 3.827, 314.24; 10. Antron Brown, 3.832, 306.74; 11. Austin Prock, 3.843, 319.37; 12.Pat Dakin, 3.850, 302.55; 13. Audrey Worm, 4.005, 297.61; 14. Shawn Reed, 4.036, 237.59; 15.Cameron Ferre, 4.310, 218.87; 16. Terry McMillen, 6.681, 101.84.
story by Tim Hailey and NHRA, photos by Hailey