POMONA, Calif. (November 10, 2013) – Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines rider Ed Krawiec wrapped up the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season with a win at the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway. Krawiec rode a Harley-Davidson® V-Rod® motorcycle to defeat Quality Tire Buell rider Scott Pollacheck in the final round of eliminations.
“My theory for the weekend was to come out and do the best I can, and we got a win and finished third in the points for the season,” said Krawiec, the defending NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion. “This was my sixth straight final at Pomona and I’m three-and-three, so I like my chances here.”
Krawiec qualified sixth for the event with an Elapsed Time (ET) of 6.893 seconds.Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines qualified the team’s other V-Rod in 12th position with an ET of 6.940 seconds. Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr. led all qualifiers with a best run of 6.818 seconds.
On Sunday, Hines lost to Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Sr. in the first round of eliminations after a tense staging battle on the starting line.
“Hector has a fast bike, so I knew I’d have to try and win at the starting line,” said Hines. “I also tried to play a few games with him in staging to throw him off, but that didn’t work this time.
Krawiec started the Sunday rounds with a holeshot win over Mercedes-Benz Elite Suzuki rider Steve Johnson, and advanced to his fourth final-round appearance of the season with wins over Viper Motorcycle Company Buell rider John Hall and Sovereign-Star Racing Buell rider Michael Ray. Krawiec won the final with a 6.918 ET to 6.963 for Pollacheck. It was the second event win of the season for Krawiec, and the 22nd of his NHRA career.
Krawiec presented his race-win Wally trophy to Willie G. Davidson, Harley-Davidson Chief Styling Officer Emeritus, who was in attendance at the race. “I look up to him for what he’s done in the sport,” Krawiec said. “He has a long history of success in motorcycle racing. He has everything he’s ever wanted, but he didn’t have a Wally. That was just a small token of my appreciation for him.”
After winning 15 of 16 events and the series championship in 2012, the Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines team won three times in 2013 after opening the season with a new engine designed to meet rules announced by the NHRA in November 2012.
“This was really an R&D season for us with the new engine,” said Hines, who like Krawiec is a three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion. “Even this last weekend of the season, we tried some new cylinder heads on my bike in the first round of eliminations. It was a tough time frame for us to get the new engine ready for the first race at Gainesville, and I think just to make it there and qualify both bikes was a win for us. It was an up-and-down year but we know where we need to go for next year. The parts are already ordered and I think we’ll be significant front runners next season.”
Viper Motorcycle Company Buell rider Matt Smith clinched the 2013 Pro Stock Motorcycle title on October 27 at the Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and wraps up the six-event NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs with 2,633 points. Ray finished second in the standings with 2,501 points, followed by Krawiec with 2,492 points. Arana Jr. was fourth with 2,464 points, followed by Arana Sr. with 2,456 points. Hines did not qualify for the Countdown.