Andrew Hines Ready to Race at Texas Motorplex

September 21, 2010 by  
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Vance & Hines/Screamin’ Eagle Harley Davidson V-rod pilot Andrew Hines is a three-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Champion. The son of Vance and Hines Motorsports co-founder Byron Hines and brother of another three-time champion Matt Hines, winning clearly runs in his family.

Hines will be racing this weekend during the third of six playoff events in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to 1 championship series. Hines may look like a young rookie out to score his first run, but he’s already a championship-winning veteran.

Hines made his professional drag racing debut in 2002 at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, CO. In 2004, at age 21, he became the youngest world champion in NHRA history as he rode his Vance & Hines/Screamin’ Eagle Harley Davidson V-rod to his first Pro Stock Motorcycle Championship. In 2005, Andrew opened the season at Gainesville with a 6.991-second run to become the first Pro Stock Motorcycle to make a pass under seven seconds. He went on to repeat as NHRA Champion that year and again in 2006.

After barely missing out on the championship in 2007, Andrew started the 2008 season by going to the final at three of the first four races. He would finish in fourth place in the final standings, but helped teammate, Eddie Krawiec, to his first Championship, the fourth for Harley Davidson. In 2009, the Vance & Hines/Screamin’ Eagle Harley Davidson won eight of the 17 Pro Stock Motorcycle races, and again, Andrew claimed the Ringers’ Gloves Pro Bike Battle trophy; his fourth and the team’s sixth straight.

“The great thing about a new season is that we all start even again,” says Hines. “Last season we threw some good chances away, and that’s been hard to deal with. I’d like to see us bounce back and win four or five races and bring home another Championship for Harley Davidson.”

Hines is well on his way. Going into this weekend’s 25th anniversary O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex, Hines has the points lead in Pro Stock Motorcycle racing. Hines has claimed four victories in six final round appearances in 2010.

Hines, however, has yet to win at Texas Motorplex. Will 2010 be his year? Only time will tell. Pro qualifying starts Friday when Pro Stock Motorcycles head to the starting line at 2:15 p.m. for the first of two qualifying sessions on Friday. Qualifying continues Saturday at 11:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Final eliminations start at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

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BLUE MAX FUNNY CAR SET TO MAKE APPEARANCE AT TEXAS MOTORPLEX

September 21, 2010 by  
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ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 21, 2010) – Raymond Beadle and Ronny Young will be making an appearance this weekend at Texas Motorplex for the 25th anniversary O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals.

More importantly…. They will have the original Blue Max Funny Car on display.

The Blue Max car gained worldwide attention by winning the 1975 U.S. Nationals in the heart of Don “The Snake” Prudhomme’s Funny Car dominance. Beadle drove the Blue Max car to three consecutive Funny Car world titles in 1979-’81 – ending a four-year streak of Prudhomme championships.

“The Blue Max car is especially important to race fans in Texas,” Texas Motorplex General Manager Gabrielle Stevenson said. “Beadle is a Texas native and he made his last racing appearance here in 1989. The very idea Beadle and Ronny Young have put this car back to its original form and have decided to bring it back during our 25th Fall Nationals is just incredible for our racers and fans.”

Young said Beadle was one of his childhood heroes – making it an easy decision to put the car back to its original form.

“Beadle and all those guys were my heroes,” Young said. “I ended up working with Raymond and I always loved the mystic of the Blue Max car. We decided that we were going to restore it, but it had to be done the right way.

“We have the original trailer, chassis and we event got the same people that painted and lettered the original one to get it back to the way everything was the first time around. It really is such a neat deal and a great way to get an up-close view of an amazing car in drag racing history.”

Young and Beadle can’t wait to unveil the car during this weekend’s Fall Nationals.

“We are thrilled to be coming back out to Ennis for this event,” Young said. “The car made its name as a Dallas-based operation and it’s still widely known around the world. We get shirt requests and orders from many countries around the globe and everyone is pretty excited we are bringing the car back out to the track this weekend.”

The Texas Motorplex was the first all-concrete stadium-style drag racing facility ever constructed. Built in 1986, The Texas Motorplex has been the place of many drag racing milestones and world record performances. The Billy Meyer-owned facility hosts a number of racing and car show events between March and November each year and also features the Champions Club – an 11,000 square-foot facility – that serves fully catered events throughout the year.

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CAPERTON SET TO SING DURING 25TH ANNIVERSARY O’REILLY SUPER START NHRA FALL NATIONALS

ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 21, 2010) – It’s only natural that 17-year-old Kaley Caperton sings at Texas Motorplex during the O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals every year.

Caperton, after all, comes from a racing family. Steve Caperton, Kaley’s father, raced Super Comp and Super Gas in Divisions 4 and 5 for years. Kaley Caperton didn’t want to race, but can’t imagine not being at the race track.

“I don’t think I have ever missed a Fall Nationals event at Texas Motorplex,” Caperton said. “I can’t imagine not being at the track for the big NHRA event. I love the fans and love singing in front of a home town crowd.”

Caperton has been the national anthem singer in past years but this year will be the featured live performer on Friday night and again before the 25th anniversary DRAW auction in Champion’s Club on Saturday night. 

Caperton has opened for acts such as Lady Antebellum, Craig Morgan, Asleep at the Wheel, the Eli Young Band, Wade Bowen, Restless Heart, the Randy Rogers Band, Rick Trevino and Ted Nugent. She will be one of the featured performers at the Texas State Fair’s Chevy Main Stage on Oct. 16.

For more information about Caperton, go online to www.kaleycaperton.com, follower her on Twitter or friend her on Facebook.

The Texas Motorplex was the first all-concrete stadium-style drag racing facility ever constructed. Built in 1986, The Texas Motorplex has been the place of many drag racing milestones and world record performances. The Billy Meyer-owned facility hosts a number of racing and car show events between March and November each year and also features the Champions Club – an 11,000 square-foot facility – that serves fully catered events throughout the year.

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Stretch run should favor Jeg Coughlin Jr.

September 21, 2010 by  
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DALLAS (Sept. 21) — Jeg Coughlin Jr. came out on the winning side of the biggest single drag race of the year Sunday in Charlotte when he beat class leader Mike Edwards in the first round of the national event in Charlotte. But as good as that win was for the four-time Pro Stock champion, he couldn’t fully capitalize on the fortunate turn of events, dropping a quarterfinal tilt against Greg Stanfield an hour and a half later.

“We missed out on a huge opportunity right there,” Coughlin admitted. “That race against Mike, if he had won, it would have made it awfully tough for us to stay in the fight. To win it, on a holeshot at that, was such a big deal I felt like I should have pulled off at the top end and been handed the trophy. It was that crucial.

“Of course the best-case scenario would have been to roll on from there and gain as many points as we could on him, but it wasn’t meant to be. The car got a little loose at the launch in Round 2 and it was enough to cost us the race. At least we gained a little ground and are still right there in the lead pack. It’s sure getting exciting now.”

An optimist by nature, Coughlin already has his sights set on the future, beginning with this weekend’s 25th annual Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, just south of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Coughlin won this race in 2002 and was runner-up three times, in 2000, 2003, and 2008. He also was the low qualifier at the all-concrete strip in 2000, 2004, and 2008.

“The last four races of the year are at racetracks I consider to be favorites of mine so we’re very, very pumped up,” Coughlin said. “I’ve won at all four places, and Vegas and Pomona are probably the two tracks where I’ve had the most success so there’s every reason to be excited about the stretch run.

“The JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt is running exactly the way we want it to. Dallas is a tricky track, but it can be a drivers’ track too, which I think favors this team. I hope we’re up for the call.”

Qualifying begins with two sessions at 2:15 and 5:15 p.m. Friday. Highlights of the time trials will be shown Saturday evening on ESPN2.

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Texas Brandon Bernstein ready for O’Reilly Super Start NHRA Fall Nationals

September 21, 2010 by  
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After a red hot 30 years, Kenny Bernstein Racing is turning blue.  2010 signifies a new chapter  for Kenny Bernstein Racing with Copart, Inc., an online vehicle auction company. It marks the first year since Kenny Bernstein formed a full-time professional drag racing team in 1980 that he has rolled out anything other than a red dragster, except for a handful of specialty paint schemes, but this season the dragster driven by Brandon Bernstein sports the logo and blue livery of Copart.

Joining Copart is long-time sponsor Lucas Oil as well as Mac Tools.

Though the DNA has changed from red to blue, the goal remains the same:  win races and run for the coveted NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel championship.

Team owner and six-time NHRA champion Kenny Bernstein is a gifted driver and businessman. He began his professional driving career in the late 1960s driving Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in and around Texas.  He was in and out of racing in the ‘70s spending the majority of his time founding and managing a chain of Chelsea Street Pubs restaurants. In 1980 he became a full-time campaigner on the NHRA circuit, having sold his interest in the restaurants.  He dominated Funny Car competition in the 1980s, switching to Top Fuel in 1990, continuing to make history.

Bernstein earned the title “King of Speed” when he became the first NHRA driver to break the 300 miles-per-hour barrier March 20, 1992, during qualifying for the NHRA Gatornationals in
Gainesville, Fla.  He was also the first to win championships in both nitro categories, Funny Car and Top Fuel.

He holds the unique distinction of being the first and only race team owner to have collected wins in each of America’s three major motorsports series:  NHRA drag racing, NASCAR, and CART.

Bernstein began an association with Budweiser which lasted for 30 years, setting the watermark as the longest-running sponsorship in the history of auto sports. During his driving career he won 69 NHRA national events, four consecutive Funny Car championships (1985-1988) along with two Top Fuel championships (1996 and 2001).  There’s hardly a major NHRA award he hasn’t won and most he’s won in multiples.

The Texan was nominated for the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association Newsmaker of the Half-Century award in 2005.  Other nominees included in the list of motor sports royalty in alphabetical order were:  Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt, John Force, A.J. Foyt, the France family, Jeff Gordon, Dan Gurney, the Hulman-George family, Wally Parks, Roger Penske and Richard Petty.

He was also voted in the top 10 on NHRA’s 50 Greatest Drivers list.  He has been inducted into the Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame, the Don Garlits Internationals Drag Racing Hall of Fame, and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

Known as a savvy businessman, Bernstein is a merchandiser, salesman and avid ambassador for products he represents.  It’s his combination of professionalism, commitment and competitiveness that have made him a motor sports icon.  Bernstein has always credited his father, Bert, with teaching him the principals of business that have contributed to his success.  In his adult years, Kenny owned a variety of successful businesses and is widely credited with turning the hobby of racing into the business of racing.

An avid fitness and exercise buff, Kenny rises early nearly every day to speed walk five miles before the tackles the day’s business

A soccer star at Jesuit High School in Dallas, Brandon proclaimed his desire to follow in his father’s racing footsteps during his high school years. During summer breaks from school, Kenny began grooming his son, letting him get the feel of his surroundings at first by sweeping floors and running errands.  Before he was invited to become a bona fide member of the race team, Kenny insisted his son get a college degree. In 1996, Brandon graduated from Texas A & M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology.  Shortly after graduation, he joined his father’s legendary team as a crew member learning from the ground up, gradually assuming more responsibility, eventually winning the opportunity to drive.

Brandon stepped into his first car in 2001 and burst into the headlines when, driving an alcohol dragster in the sportsman category, he got his first win in Las Vegas on the same day his dad won the Top Fuel division.  They became the first father/son duo in NHRA history to win at the same national event.  They repeated the feat in Chicago in June of that year.

“Brandon seems to have a bit of natural talent, and he proved that in the alcohol car,” Kenny said.  “With this team, he’ll be able to win.”

In 2003 Kenny turned the driving chores of his 8,000-horsepower dragster over to his son Brandon, and true to his father’s predicition, Brandon scored his first victory in only his second national event outing in Phoenix, Az.  That win launched the most successful career start of any Top Fuel or Funny Car driver in NHRA history, as Brandon notched victories in five of his first 13 starts. His celebratory start came crashing down, literally, when he suffered season-ending back injuries in a first round accident in Englishtown, N.J.

During Brandon’s recuperative period in 2003, Kenny jumped back into the familiar confines of the cockpit, chalking up four victories in the final five events of the season.

Despite being sidelined by an accident in his inaugural season, the second generation driver accumulated an overwhelming number of votes from a blue ribbon motor sports panel to win NHRA Southern California Auto Club “Rookie of the Year” honors.

Brandon stepped back into the cockpit to launch the 2004 season and has accrued an impressive 18 career victories through the 2009 season.

In addition to driving, he is actively involved in the day-to-day management of his father’s Copart/Lucas Oil team.

“My father is my hero,” said Brandon, “and he continues to inspire and challenge me on the business side, as well as the racing side.”

When their schedules allow, father and son enjoy golfing and motorcycle riding.

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