Tii Tharpe (Tom McCarthy photo)
In other fuel bike racing news, at the NHRA Thunder Nationals in Bristol TN, on June 18 Tii Tharpe won his second career NHRA Top Fuel Harley race in as many attempts when he turned on the win light after defeating Jay Turner in the final round of racing. He won in Epping, NH, just two weeks prior at the New England Nationals.
If Tii’s twin-wins had happened earlier in the NHRA season, he could have made a strong title shot at the championship this year. By scoring his wins during events six and seven of an eight-race season, it’s too little, too late against the championship point totals accrued by Jay Turner thus far.
The next event for the NHRA, Mickey Thompson Tires, Top Fuel Harleys will be on August 4-6 at the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, WA. Going into the NW Nats, Turner has a dominating 504 points, well ahead of Rickey House with 379 points accrued and Tharpe holding 331 championship points. Turner is about to notch his second consecutive NHRA title.
Qualifying Notes: At the NHRA season opening event in 2017 at Pomona, there were nine T/F bikes vying for a place on an eight-bike competition ladder. At the Arizona Nationals there were nine T/F bikes, Las Vegas 13, Texas nine, Topeka 16, Epping 11, and at Bristol, TN there were 15 bikes that attempted to make the field. In seven out of eight races run so far in 2017, the T/F Harleys have presented the NHRA with full fields.
At the AMRA race in June, there were three Harley Top Fuel bikes present in competition. At the ADRL Summer Drags, also contested in June, there were seven Top Fuel Harleys present for qualifying. There are over some two dozen active Harley Top Fuel bikes ready to rumble this year. Let’s hope they can find the funding to fill up the ranks of the various sanctions that support this kind of racing.
Johnny Vickers (Tom McCarthy photo)
Hawaya Racing has recently released that chassis master Pete Browne has Johnny Vickers’ newest Pro Fuel chassis for his latest T-2 (that’s the Terminator II bike) under construction. In fact, before the ink is dry on this memo, the chassis will be in the hands of the craftsman at Hawaya Racing and Johnny’s latest P/F creation will be in testing by Fall 2017 at the latest. The first ever sub-seven-second ET in Pro Fuel will happen this season. It’s only a question of where and when.
Speaking of firsts: Jaska Salakari of Finland is getting close to running the first 5 by a V-Twin hybrid. In the EU they refer to Top Fuel Harley racing as Super Twins (perhaps a most fitting title for the class), and they have quite an eclectic mix in their ranks. Jaska’s Super Twin is a marvelous creation by his own hands and a beautiful mind.
motorcycle memo's w/Tom McCarthy
Pridemore Racing Tops in Top Fuel
Jason Pridemore team (Tom McCarthy photo)
Winning two races in barely two weeks, the Jason Pridemore Top Fuel Harley team out of Ohio is on fire going into the month of July during the summer of 2017. This family affair Top Fuel team known as Gunslinger Racing came out guns ablaze, entered two races this season and has won them both.
On the weekend of June 24-25, at Beach Bend in Bowling Green, KY, Jason and supercharged, blown, injected Nitro Harley qualified number one with a 6.60 and then went on to defeat Jake Stordeur in the finals with a 6.53 to Jake’s troubled 7.29 @ 205 MPH. This was an AMRA-sanctioned event.
Janette Thornley (Tom McCarthy photo)
Much the same can be said for Pro Fuel Harley standout Janette Thornley of Statesville, North Carolina, who is three for three in winning consecutive Nitro Harley events this year. In Pro Fuel, the high gear-only, carburetor class, Janette won the April AMRA Spring Rally and drags in Kentucky, then in June she repeated with another AMRA victory at their Summer Shoot Out & Rally, held also at Beach Bend. Then she struck gold again at the ADRL Summer Drags in Martin, Michigan, to kick off the month of July, posting three wins in as many months. Her Johnny Vickers, Hawaya Racing P/F bike, tuned by her better half, Buddy Foss, has been mighty consistent in the mid sevens, helping her concentrate solely on driving.
VOLUME XIX, NUMBER 7 - JULY 2017
DRAGRACINGOnline will be published on or around the 8th of each month and will be updated throughout the month.
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European Correspondent, Ivan Sansom
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Jaska Salakari (Ivan Sansom photo)
Jaska is a Master Machinist an engineer and a bit of a mad scientist who is unafraid to think and create outside the norm. His V-Twin creation is a two-cylinder DOHC motor of his own design, with a 4.5" bore x 3.25" stroke, displacing 103 cubic inches. He feeds it with a HPS 2.1 screw type supercharger, its direct drive with NO transmission. He gets his grab on with a 7" 3-plate single stage clutch using Boninfante friction plates. The fuel system is his own creation too, sporting a digital fuel system using a Waterman 35-gal. pump, and an MSD Nitro Harley ignition with special 12,500-rpm software, he actually needs! The whole race ready weight is 850 lbs.
Best numbers in the eighth mile recently run at Gardermoen, Norway: 4.06 @ 192 mph with a 1.00 sixty-foot time. These are clearly 6.0 to high 5-second elapsed times at half-track indicating this flying Fin is most assuredly close to running the first 5 for the T/F Harley crowd.
Motorcycle drag racing in July begins July 7-9 with the NHDRO will be busting a move with their Mid-Season Sizzle at Ohio Valley Dragway in Louisville, KY, with their NHDRO Grudge Reunion.
On July 15-16 the Man Cup motorcycle drag racing sanction rolls into GALOT Motorsports Park, in Benson, North Carolina, for the inaugural MTC Nationals. The race will be contested on Saturday and Sunday, with racing set to begin at 9 a.m. each day. This will be the first time ever the Man Cup sanction has brought the big show to an eighth-mile drag racing facility in the seven years of Man Cup motorcycle drag racing.
On July 28-30, the Mickey Thompson Tires IDBL racing series will bring its show to MIR, in Budds Creek, Maryland, for the WPGC 95.5 Bike Fest featuring Top Fuel bikes, Pro Mods, 600 S/S, and the usual line up of top-shelf IDBL class racing. Three days of motorcycle drag racing, hot summer nights, a bikini contest - who could want for more?