There were 3 Suzukis, 11 Buells and 2 Screamin’ Eagle/Vance and Hines Harley-Davidsons in the 16-bike elimination field at the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals this past weekend at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, NC, and at the end of Sunday’s four-wide final round, it was the Screamin’ Eagle H-D of Andrew Hines taking home the “Wally” (the winner’s trophy named in honor of NHRA founder Wally Parks) with a 6.859-second pass at 196.10mph alongside SE teammate Eddie Krawiec (6.874 at 196.13mph), Quality Tire Buell rider Scotty Pollacheck (6.966 at 191.73) and the Matt Smith Racing Buell entry of John Hall ( and early shut-off 7.547 at 133.32).
Steve Johnson, who put Suzuki in the win column at the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle season opener at Gainesville, FL for the first time since 2011 was edged out of the 4-Wide eliminations during Saturday qualifying, just missing the field by .037 seconds. The three Suzukis that managed to qualify were at the bottom of the 16-bike ladder in the number 13, 15 and 16 spots which put them up against the class’ top qualifiers in the opening eliminator. Two of the three Suzukis (Jim Underdahl and Katie Sullivan) fell early in Round 1 due to red-light starts; Jerry Savoie piloting the third Suzuki cut a solid .019 light but his 6.899 at 193.88mph run was not enough.
The win for Hines, a three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ, makes this his second straight Charlotte victory and first of the 2014 season.
“This does a lot for my confidence because I’ve never had a round win here [at the Four-Wide],” Hines said. “In fact, Charlotte was bad to me. It took four races before I broke through for a win at the two-wide race in the fall. At this race there is so much going on that you never know what’s going to happen. Some guys take a long time to stage and some guys want to get up there as quickly as they can. You have to be prepared for anything.”