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November 3, 2016

Andrew Hines

Eddie Krawiec

Glendora, California

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for joining us. We're now joined by Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec, teammates on the Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley Davidson team. Andrew is currently tied with Eddie. Well, they are tied, actually, for the Pro Stock Motorcycle points lead. Andrew is a five-time 2016 event winner and the reigning and five-time world champion. Eddie is also a five-time 2016 event winner and a three-time world champion.

Thank you, guys, for joining us. You're currently tied heading into the final race. How friendly or how competitive are you guys right now?

ANDREW HINES: I'd say it's going pretty good right now. We both have the desire to want to win this race, so we're going to do whatever we can to try and take out the alligator that's chasing us.

EDDIE KRAWIEC: And again, I think ultimately coming back to it, our goal is to bring the championship back to Harley Davidson and obviously Vance & Hines. In my eyes it's kind of irrelevant who does it right this minute. We just want to bring it back.

Q. You guys have been so good, two of the best all season. What makes this Harley Davidson team so special?
ANDREW HINES: Well, we have a great group of guys here in our shop. They bust their butts to make sure that we can get the parts we need in a hurry, and as we speak right now, like we've got our machine shop here making parts that we're going to fly out to Pomona with us next week. We'll be working on the bikes on Thursday, and it just shows how much everyone at our shop wants to win. Everybody puts forth the maximum effort they possibly can to make sure we're in the position that we are in right now, and we've been here fortunately a lot here the last few years. If all goes well, hopefully we can bring another championship to Vance & Hines. Like I said, it's just a great group of guys that makes sure we have perfect equipment every time.

Q. Vance & Hines is obviously excelling at a very high level in everything you all do right now; if Jerry were to pull it off next weekend, would the success of your Suzuki program ever spoil the relationship you had with Scooney (phon) and the Motor Company?
EDDIE KRAWIEC: I mean, to be honest, they came aboard as a partner before we were doing it, when we were doing it, and we still are doing it, so I don't think it'll have any impact on it. We have great customers that support our program and believe in us, and we give them the best products we can, 100 percent.

Q. It seems like it was only a year ago that you weren't tight going into the finals, but it was pretty close, and if I remember correctly, Andrew, you were told to look out for a black suburban with some suits getting out of it. Anything like that been said so far?
EDDIE KRAWIEC: We actually -- actually Andrew is the one that said to the media the other day, he said, hey, don't you know somebody, we should send them over and get Jerry.

Q. Well, I guess it could work that way, too. What a season you guys have had. There's been a few other winners, but you guys have really dominated virtually every race that they race the pro style bikes at. Do you attribute it to just how good the Harleys are, or is it a team, or is it you on the bikes, because you have won some races by reaction time, not by ET?
ANDREW HINES: Yeah, I wouldn't say we've dominated. I think the only race we really had a big advantage was probably Redding, and we just had our tune-up spot-on there. You can see by the field, there's people going quicker at these last couple races than they were going at Redding, where you had air where you're supposed to go that fast.

We've won probably -- we were talking about this the other day. We've probably won four or five races this year between the two of us that we should not have won. We didn't have the fastest bikes on the property. We just had more consistent motorcycles, and come Sunday were able to tune on them a little bit and keep them in the window where they were happy.

Yeah we've both won races on the hole shots this year. We've won rounds on hole shots to keep each other going, and we've benefitted from faster bikes going out earlier in the day. It's frustrating on a dyno guy, engine, R&D level that we're not able to have the quickest bikes every weekend, but it's nice that we can help out the team here and there and have good reaction times and make up for a little bit of the slack the motorcycle has sometimes.

It's nice to have all those wins, but they've been hard-fought all year long. Everybody has been super fast, and you had multiple No. 1 qualifiers from different teams, and we're just here trying to win them when we can.

EDDIE KRAWIEC: Yeah, I think this year Andrew and I have been brought to a better level of riding. Definitely with the level of competition, there's about eight or ten bikes on any given weekend that could possibly win, and when you sneak out of there with the win when you shouldn't, it's definitely high-fived by the team guys when we get back to the back, because that's a weekend that the rider carried the bike, and there's been many weekends that the bike has carried the rider. It's definitely good to win on a weekend where you know you pulled it off.

Q. When I said dominated, I meant dominated by standing at the end of the day holding the Wally, not necessarily having the quickest and fastest bike. But once again, you guys, Jerry's engines come out of your shop, and even though he won the last race, even though he's doing so well and it's really tight, does it give you any sense of gratification knowing that you have a hand in propelling Pro Stock Motorcycle to where it's at?
EDDIE KRAWIEC: Absolutely. You know, one of the things years ago, Byron and Terry basically when they were racing, there was two or four motorcycles on any given day that were going to win, and back then it was the Dave Schultz, John Myers, and then it turned into Angelle and Matt. The thing that they did from there is when Matt started really running well and dominating, it opened up a window to create an engine program, and Terry's vision of that was to make sure the class had very competitive bikes.

At one point in time, there was 15 out of 16 motorcycles qualified were running Vance & Hines engines. It definitely is something that we take pride in, we look forward to, and no matter who it is that beats us, if they've got a Vance & Hines engine, they're a team guy in any aspect of it, and we do take pride in it when every individual goes out there and does well. And to be quite honest, we try to help out some of the guys when they're maybe struggling a little bit or not going down the right road. We do what we can to make sure that they have the best equipment under them and can get the job done.

Q. You've talked about the shop and how you've sometimes been lucky that some of the strong competitors have lost in early rounds, but you're going to Pomona. Both of you have done well there, but you've only got a three-point lead. Any advantage or disadvantage at that track?
ANDREW HINES: Pomona is a little bit different. We have a downhill racing surface there, so that'll benefit the heavier bikes, so it'll be easier to accelerate them than like Vegas where it's slightly uphill. That'll help us out a little bit. Obviously with being a V-twin without a fairing, we're at an a aerodynamic disadvantage, so it's still going to be tough on that aspect of it, but like you said, we've had a pretty decent track record there. I think Eddie has been to eight straight finals there and won a handful of them. We've got good notes for that track. We ran decent there last year, and our engine package is getting better and better by the day, and I'll be making dyno pulls here in another half an hour after we get off the phone. We'll be bringing parts out there, and I think we can find a little bit more of an edge, and hopefully if we can find another one or two hundredths, it'll get us closer to Jerry, where hopefully he doesn't gobble up all the little bonus points in qualifying, and we need to keep him behind us going into Sunday, that way we don't have to go around past him.

Q. For both of you gentlemen, you get the biggest break, whichever one of you wins this championship gets a bigger break than the other champions in the NHRA. Is that something you look forward to, or do you almost want to run another race as immediately and as soon as possible?
EDDIE KRAWIEC: Well, to be quite honest, I don't want to go out racing the next weekend, but man, I'll tell you, the extra month, month and a half is quite long. But on the reverse side of things, it definitely lets us prepare. It's worked to our favor in the past few years because we haven't had to totally redesign or reengineer an engine, so we're able to focus and really keep after the dyno sessions. Andrew handles most of the R&D and development on the spearheading side of it, and when you're dealing with vendors and other people, sometimes it's difficult to get parts.

I for one, I don't mind the break, but it is quite long.

ANDREW HINES: It's four months off, and when we get back out there for our test session right before Gainesville, seems like it's been three years since we rode the motorcycle. But you put your helmet back on and you're ready to go racing again.

As the off-season rolls through, I've been fortunate enough to win the championship the last two years and go out to the Winter Nationals to collect some hardware out there, and standing around on Sunday watching all the cars running up and down the track and smelling the racing gas, it's like, man, I wish I had my motorcycle here so I could go make some runs. There's times that you need some time for development, but as a racer, we want to be racing a lot.

Q. Given that both of you all have won championships, who's the greatest person you've been able to meet because you've won a championship?
EDDIE KRAWIEC: Wow, caught me off guard on that one. Well, that's a good question.

ANDREW HINES: That is a good question.

EDDIE KRAWIEC: I'm not going to say I got to meet him because of the championship and stuff, but to be quite honest, the fans, and I don't want to sound like a cliché answer or something like that, but it's amazing on everybody we get to meet throughout the year. A lot of fans and a lot of people that swing by the trailer, it's just -- we have the most I would say unique fan base, being supported by Harley Davidson. Somebody that's great, getting to hang out with Willie G. Davidson and others that come to the track is just something that's really special, and it's not because we won the championships, it's just because we're part of a big, great team. I mean, the category itself right now is just phenomenal, and like I said, all the fans that we have that stand behind us, and I do think some of that is because we've won championships, but the fans that come out to the race and stand behind us and cheer us on is just awesome.

One guy that's a die-hard Harley guy that looks like he's ready to rip your head off at the back of the rope standing next to this lawyer in a suit that's just happy to be there. So it's just unique. But the one thing that does make it extra special for us is we get to go overseas every year and possibly because we are champions, and go visit the troops with Summit Racing guys, being that Greg and Jason were on the call here, to be able to be a part of that with those guys and do Operation Appreciation is something extra special and something that I hold close to my heart. So definitely to see all the troops and everybody is something special to me.

ANDREW HINES: I think Eddie pretty much hit it on the head there, but if you really want an answer, I think being a champion and racing for Harley, I was invited to the Love Ride out in California years and years and years ago, and I got up on stage with Jay Leno, and that was a very cool deal except he did make fun of me because I was wearing shorts that day, and my legs are pretty darned white because wearing pants and leathers all day long, we don't get a chance to get a tan. So I got a national celebrity there cracking jokes on you. I think that counts for being a champion. I was up on that stage.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, everyone, for joining us today. Andrew and Eddie, thanks for taking the time to come talk with us.

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