‘New’ AMRA starts season at Beech Bend

The venerable American Motorcycle Racing Association (AMRA) changed ownership over the winter, landing in the hands of four racers known as “The Pennsylvania Posse.” The new group had the first opportunity to show their skills to the biggest opening field in many years at their Spring Rally & Drags season opener on April 27-28 at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, KY.


The popularity of Top Fuel Harley at NHRA national events may be helping a nitro growth spurt at AMRA, with a surge of “nitro newbies” on hand at Beech Bend.


Among the winners were “Houston” Hal Cort (above), Brian Conley Jr. (Hot Street), Charley Douglass (Super Street), Gary Douglass (Modified), Stephane Crete (Outlaw Street), Curt Stuckenschneider (Top Eliminator 9.30 Index), Donnie Huffman (Super Comp and Pro Gas), Kimberly DeShields (Super Gas 9.90), Terry Mason (Pro 10.90), Kevin Winters (Street Elim. 11.50), Dave Doremus (Super Pro 10.30), and Scott Barkley (Thundermax Elim.). Tony Eads and Roy Meadows both took Street Trophy wins.

Assim Chaudhry won the Dressers class.

Bill Doherty was the Pro Modified winner. 


AMRA will bring Top Fuel bike to the Orlando Speed World Nationals on May 18-19. 

Door car has the ‘Wright’ stuff to take Thursday Spring Fling win

The payday was raised to $20,000 for JEGS Thursday at the K&N Spring Fling presented by Optima Batteries at Galot Motorsports Park.


For the quarter finals, with three door cars and two dragsters left, David Wright received the bye run by virtue of his reaction time, Dean Turner took out Jack Ostrowski, and Wednesday’s winner, Gary Williams, defeated William Daniels. With his best reaction time of the round, Williams received the semifinal-round bye to move directly to the final against either Turner or Wright, with the possibility of an all door car final. That all door car final was not to be as Turner ran out against Wright, making it a dragster versus a door car for all the bucks.


For the final, Williams left first based on his dial-in, but it was Wright with the reaction time advantage and dead-on the dial with a “2” for the win.

With a JEGS Thursday champion crowned, the attention turned to the Hoosier Tires Door Car Shootout, a limited 32-car field shooting for a $10,000-to-win prize. In the semifinals, Kurt Harrington defeated Brian Nolf and Paul Warwick took out Chad Axford. Two years ago, Warwick defeated all in the Super Tuesday Dragster Shootout and this year he was not to be denied in the Hoosier Tire Door Car Shootout. 

‘G-Dub’ takes $15K at Spring Fling

Hector Arana Jr. has qualified in the top four at the first three NHRA races where Pro Stock Motorcycle has been contested, winning the Four-Wide event in Las Vegas and advancing to the final quad last weekend in Charlotte. This year a new approach and a calmer demeanor has resulted in an increased comfort level on the bike. In a class loaded with talent, Arana admitted to putting too much pressure on himself in previous seasons. Through plenty of work in the off-season, Arana believes he’s changed that, and he’s already noticed a difference in his performance.


“You have to believe in yourself and get in the right mindset,” said Arana, who has 15 career wins. “My focus is to not even think about the bike when I get up there. My focus is to be consistent as a rider, and to repeat and do the same thing every time. The beginning of last year and the year before that, I had issues where I was red-lighting and then I would be nervous about a red light and be super late. But I’ve got myself in a good place. You’ve got to have the right mindset in this sport. I’ve figured out a way that when I get on the bike, I relax, get in my happy place and have fun.”


The first PSM rider to reach 200 mph, Arana goes into Atlanta third in points behind Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec.


“I’ve been practicing a lot in my basement to make my movements and reaction second nature,” Arana said. “You want to get where you don’t think about it. When you think, that’s when you make mistakes or you’re late on the light. The more I can just dial in and not think about things, the better I am. I just want to keep this up. We’ve got a good set-up in the bike right now and I’m enjoying riding this Lucas Oil EBR.” 

500th event for Wilkerson this week

Tim Wilkerson will compete in the 500th nitro Funny Car race of his career this weekend at the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals.


"I can't believe it's been 500 races. That's a long time," said Wilkerson, whose first start was in Gainesville in 1996. "We really need to thank [primary sponsor] Dick Levi for that. He's been the man for 20 years, and I think it's really cool that this year we celebrate our 500th race in our 20th year with Dick Levi. There aren't a lot of teams who have had a primary sponsor for 20 years, and we're beyond grateful to Dick for his support. It really means a lot to us."


During his tenure, Wilkerson has won 20 events in 23 final rounds. He has finished in the top 10 in each of the past 11 seasons, as well as 14 times in his career. His best season to date was in 2008, when he finished No. 2 in the nation.


"In the beginning, I started out like everybody else – just happy to qualify and then win a round or two here or there," said Wilkerson, who earned his first top 10 finish in 1998 and scored his first win in 1999 in Chicago. "Once we won a race, it was like, wow. We can do this, now we know it's possible. We stumbled pretty hard a couple of years, but we're tenacious. We don't give it up. You just keep going."


Team Summit driver Wilkerson, the driver, tuner, and team owner of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car, is an independent driver and the only single-car team in the class to finish in the top 10 in 2018. 

Monroe gets 8th JEGS Super Quick Series win

The JEGS Super Quick Series was scheduled for a one-day event at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, but became two when rain moved in on Saturday afternoon. Forty-two racers attempted to make the field with the number 32 bump at 4.622 seconds.


In the final, Ohio racer Ashley Marie Bach was off the line in .003-seconds but James Monroe (far lane) of Indianapolis overcame his worst light of the day (.022) to take the win.


The JEGS Super Quick Series makes its next stop in Bowling Green, KY, on May 24-26. 

Ruggiero takes Western Pro Extreme series opener

Auto Club Dragway at Fontana, CA, also hosted the Western Pro Extreme Association’s series opener on April 27-28. The opener had been originally scheduled for Sonoma, but was cancelled because of weather.


Craig Brown rode his turbo Hayabusa to the final round by defeating No. 1 qualifier (6.82) Vincent Testa while Tony Ruggiero on a Harley got to the final on a bye run. Ruggiero’s “Nitro Syndicate” took the final win with an 8.289 at 189.52 mph to an 8.312/142.82 for Brown.


The Western Pro Extreme series continues June 8-9 at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, CA.    

Off the Track: Bridgestone to develop tire for space exploration vehicle

Bridgestone Corp. will take part in an international space exploration mission with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corp. Recently announced by JAXA and Toyota, the mission’s goals are to expand the domain of human activity and develop intellectual property on space exploration, according to a press release.


As a first step, JAXA and Toyota agreed to further cooperate on and accelerate their ongoing joint study of a manned, pressurized rover that employs fuel cell vehicle technologies. Such a form of mobility is deemed necessary for human exploration activities on the lunar surface.


Bridgestone’s assignment is to research the performance needs of tires for use on the rovers in order to help them make better contact with the surface of the moon. The initial concept proposal calls for a rover roughly the size of two microbuses that accommodates two people—up to four people in an emergency.


The development of an Elastic Wheel to support the rover’s weight, acceleration and braking, minimize shock absorbance and improve maneuverability enables the vehicle to cruise more than 6,000 miles on the lunar surface.    

New Product of the Day


All-in-One EFI Fuel Filter/Regulator from Holley

JEGS now has GM Cylinder Head Gaskets for GM LSA, LSP and Supercharged LS3, 192 6.2L engines in two styles: high-temperature graphite or Multi-Layer Steel (MLS). The High-Temperature Graphite gaskets are made with a special coating for more lubricity or a clear rubber coating for extra sealing on blocks/heads with a slight mismatch. The MLS Gaskets have a stainless inner core and multiple layers of embossed steel riveted together with a special coating to improve the seal. Bore is 4.10 inch; thickness is .055 inch. 



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