Tuesday, November 18, 2008

H-D’s Krawiec Scores NHRA Title

H-D’s Krawiec Scores NHRA Title
Courtesy of NHRA

Ok, so it's not motocross, but former Raceway Park drag strip manager Eddie Krawiec just won a National title and NJ Motocross would like to send out congratulations.

Great job Eddie!!

Krawiec rides Harley-Davidson V-rod to NHRA championship National Hot Rod AssociationImage via Wikipedia
Krawiec rides Harley-Davidson V-rod to
NHRA championship.
Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Ed Krawiec overcame a 20-point deficit to win the 2008 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championship at the season-ending Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway. The championship is the fourth NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle title in five seasons for the Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team.

"We are really excited to bring the championship back home to Milwaukee," said Krawiec. "I have to thank team owners Byron Hines and Terry Vance, my crew chief Matt Hines and my teammate Andrew Hines, and Anne Paluso and everyone at Harley Davidson. We won this championship with hard teamwork."

Krawiec started the final weekend of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series in second place, 19 points behind NitroFish Buell rider Matt Smith. Smith, the reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, gained a point on Krawiec by leading all qualifiers for the event with a 6.967-second run. Krawiec qualified second at 6.987 seconds.

Trailing Smith by 20 points - exactly one round of eliminations - Krawiec started Sunday eliminations by defeating Peggy Llewellyn in round one and then used a 0.019-second reaction time and 7.042 ET to narrowly defeat a 0.043/7.022 pass by Chip Ellis. Smith beat Mike Berry in the first round, but saw his shot at a second title slip away when his motorcycle broke during his second-round run against Chris Rivas. That left Krawiec and Smith tied, with Krawiec needing a win over his Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines teammate, Andrew Hines, to clinch the title in the semi-final round. Krawiec (7.098) beat Hines (7.609) to win the first NHRA title of his career. Krawiec had a chance to cap the weekend with an event win, but his 7.009-second run was not enough to beat a event-best 6.929 pass by Rivas.

"I'll tell you, coming into the season I was hoping to get a win or two, and finish in the top five in points," said Krawiec. "That didn't happen, but we've been able to accomplish something that's only happened once before in NHRA history. The level of competition is so high, but this has always been a very consistent team, and that paid off this season."

Krawiec is only the second champion in NHRA history to win his title without winning a national event. The 31-year-old rider succeeded with consistency, making four final-round appearances, reaching the semi-finals five times, and posting the No.1 qualifying time at three events. He lost in the first round just three times in 17 events. Krawiec won the eight-rider Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle bonus event at the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend. Krawiec entered the five-race Countdown to One playoffs in seventh place, 80 points behind first-place Smith, but was runner-up in Charlotte to jump to fourth place. He reached second place with a semifinal finish in Dallas then scored back-to-back runner-ups in Richmond and Las Vegas to pull within 19 points of Smith.

In 2007 Krawiec left his job as track manager at Old Bridge Township Raceway in Englishtown, N.J., to race full-time for the Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines team, and placed seventh in the Pro Stock Motorcycle standings that season.

Krawiec started motorcycle drag racing in the AMA Prostar series in 1999, where he won nine events and placed second in series points in 2002 and 2003. He made his NHRA racing debut at Englishtown in 2004. He now lives in Avon, Ind., near the Vance & Hines race shop.

The championship is the fourth NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle title for the Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines team. Andrew Hines rode a Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson to win the title for three consecutive seasons from 2004 to 2006. The Vance & Hines organization has now won 11 professional motorcycle drag racing titles.

Andrew Hines won at Atlanta and Madison, Ill., in 2008, and made three other final-round appearances during the season. Hines was the No. 2 qualifier in the Countdown to One playoffs and finished the season points race in fourth place. Hines and crew chief Matt Hines also won the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship in the Pro Stock Motorcycle division, which recognizes teams for performance and consistency during qualifying over the course of the season.

The 2008 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle final point standings:
1. Eddie Krawiec, 2471
2. Chris Rivas, 2466
3. Matt Smith, 2451
4. Andrew Hines, 2334
5. Angelle Sampey, 2310.

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