There are few things worse than a rain delay at the races, but the storm that currently has action on hold at the Dodge//SRT U.S. Nationals is particularly taxing for the Vance & Hines Pro Stock Motorcycle team.
After sitting out the first two races of the season, teammates Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines entered the Big Go as the No. 7 and No. 10 ranked riders in the Camping World standings. Since they have not raced in all of the events, neither rider is guaranteed a spot in the upcoming Countdown to the Championship.
Further complicating matters is the result of Friday’s lone qualifying session where Krawiec rode to the provisional No. 1 spot while Hines made a sub-par run and landed on the bump spot. If qualifying does not resume, Hines and Krawiec will have to race each other in round one and that’s not an ideal situation for either of them.
“My bike bogged last night and that’s why I made a bad run,” said Hines. “Fortunately, we were able to make an adjustment to Eddie’s bike and that’s why he went to No. 1. I definitely slept better last night being No. 16 as opposed to 17 but it’s still not ideal.
“I had the performance to be No. 2 but it bogged so bad that I was lucky enough to get in the show. There’s nothing wrong with the bike. In fact it makes more power now than it has in a long time.”
Should Hines and Krawiec have to race each other in the opening round, there is no game plan or strategy that is ideal. The loser of that race might face the very real possibility of missing the Countdown altogether.”
“Right now, Cory Reed is lurking in the 11th spot and we know he’s got a great bike because we [Vance & Hines] built it,” said Hines. “If he were to win a round or two, that would be enough to knock either Eddie or myself out of the Countdown.
Like everyone else at Indy, Hines hopes to be able to make at least one more qualifying run on Saturday, preferably two so he’ll have opportunities to move up in the field.
“I just need one more run,” Hines said. “Even if we miss the set-up a little, we should have the power to make it into the top half of the field. Right now, we’re just waiting and hoping.”
For the record, Hines has only missed the Top 10 once in his career. He finished No. 11 in 2013. Otherwise, he’s been a Top 10 player in 17 of 18 seasons.
Krawiec has finished in the Top 10 for 14 straight seasons since joining the Vance & Hines team in 2007.