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HINES and KRAWIEC look forward to tackling gateway international raceway starting Friday


MILWAUKEE - Eddie Krawiec has earned a trophy from a drag race at Gateway International Raceway before. Sure, the trophies didn’t come from an NHRA POWERade national event, but he has winning experience at the track in Madison, Ill., just a few minutes outside of St. Louis, and that’s what really matters.

Krawiec – the newest member of the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson V-Rod team – is hoping his experience from his past will help him when he and teammate Andrew Hines start competing at this weekend’s O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals.

“St. Louis has treated me well in the past,” Krawiec said. “I’ve won a couple of AMA Prostar events and I’ve just always liked the race track and the area. I think the races there always attract a great fan base and there is a great atmosphere that produces lots of positive racing energy. There are a lot of motorcycle fans in St. Louis and that kind of support just makes you more anxious to get there and try to put on a good show for everyone.”

Hines, the three-time defending NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, was the No. 1 qualifier there in 2005 but has yet to make it to the finals. He won his first round of the season on Sunday at Atlanta Dragway and is looking forward to continuing the round win streak this weekend.

“Gateway is a nice facility for us to race at and the fan base is great,” Hines said. “I especially like racing there because the track is so smooth and we never have any issues with bumps or anything else going down the track. It’s definitely one of my favorite surfaces on the NHRA tour.”

Both Hines and Krawiec also agree that they couldn’t be happier with the first back-to-back event set of the season. This is the fourth of 16 national events of the season for the two-wheeled racers but it’s the first time this year that races have been on consecutive weekends.

“Racing is what I love to do and I would much rather get on the road, travel to all of the events and not have to worry about how much time we have between races,” Hines said. “I like going from one race to the next.”

That’s especially true for Krawiec, who is coming off a DNQ weekend from Atlanta – his first with the Screamin’ Eagle team.

“We had a less than stellar outing in Atlanta but I still think it was successful in the fact that we can learn a lot from that experience,” Krawiec said. “Plus, I would much rather this happen early in the season because it will just make us a stronger team. I don’t want that to happen ever again, so hopefully I got the season’s only DNQ out of the way. Now we can focus on doing what it takes to win rounds on Sunday.”

Qualifying will start Friday with two sessions at 4 and 6:30 p.m., continuing Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Final eliminations will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

All the action of the O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 starting on Saturday with two hours of coverage at 5 p.m. (ET), continuing with three hours of final eliminations coverage on Sunday at 7 p.m. (ET). NHRA Race Day – a live magazine show filmed at the track – can be seen on Sunday at 11 a.m. (ET), also on ESPN2.

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The Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines Pro Stock Motorcycle team is sponsored by Ford Truck, Dunlop, Matco Tools and S100.


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