Pro Stock Motorcycle Champion Andrew Hines Looking To Repeat At Charlotte Drag Race

A third straight PSM Championship is on the line for Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson rider Hines.

2016 Charlotte Nationals, Andrew Hines
Hines became the winningest Pro Stock rider in history taking his 45th career win at Bandimere earlier this year at the Denver Mile-High Nationals.©Motorcyclist

Charlotte, NC – In his quest for a third straight Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship and his sixth overall, Andrew Hines could not be entering the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship on a much better note.

On the strength of four wins at the past five events and five wins on the season, the Vance & Hines Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson rider takes the points lead into the NHRA’s six-race playoffs, which begin at this weekend’s ninth annual NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway. A three-time and defending event winner at the event,Hines simply hopes to keep his remarkable hot streak going.

"I feel like I'm pretty confident right now," said Hines, who has a class-best 47 career wins. "My performance level has been higher this year. I've been kind of dialed in on the reaction times and my riding has been fairly decent. I feel good about this year. I'm getting back into better physical condition than I have been, doing a lot more running, keeping my stamina up, which helps on Sundays when you're going rounds."   For Hines, it's a chance to continue extend his streak of six straight final round appearances. It has included wins in Chicago, Denver, Brainerd and Indianapolis, with the win at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals sending him past teammate Eddie Krawiec in the points standings heading into the Countdown to the Championship.

But Hines isn't taking anyone lightly in a class that features stalwarts like Jerry Savoie, three-time world champion Angelle Sampey and two-time world champ Matt Smith.

“You're going to have to be super consistent and you're probably going to have to go to the semifinals every single race of this Countdown to have a shot come Vegas and Pomona,” Hines said. “If we can get off to the right start, be on the right foot, it sets the tone what's going to come in the next few weeks after that. We're ready for the battle and we're ready for everybody.”

Hines’ recent performances this year and also the past two seasons indicate he will be ready. His first three world championships came in successive seasons and it’s a feat he would love to try and match this season. A sixth world championship would also tie him with Dave Schultz for the most in Pro Stock Motorcycle history.

That possibility isn’t on Hines’ mind at the moment, as his focus is solely on performing strongly right off the bat this weekend in Charlotte.

“You have to get every round win possible,” Hines said. “This is when experience comes into play, keeping pressure out of your head and in the right spot. I've had an awesome team the entire time that's given me the capability to go out there and perform and have a flawless motorcycle every time. You need a great team behind you.”

Jerry Savoie on Friday’s qualifying run at Charlotte
The Suzuki of Jerry Savoie on Friday’s qualifying run at Charlotte.©Motorcyclist

After Friday’s Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying sessions, Savoie raced his White Alligator Racing Suzuki to the top spot with a 6.850 at 195.19. Savoie, an alligator farmer from Louisiana, has five No. 1 qualifiers in his career and is looking for his first of the season, as well as his first victory at zMAX Dragway.

“We should be really good this weekend,” said Savoie. “Tomorrow’s another day. Take it day by day and don’t put yourself under a lot of pressure. The main thing is to go have fun and try to win.”

Angelle Sampey, Englishtown winner, is currently qualified second and Chip Ellis sits in the third spot. Top seed Hines is in fifth.