motorcycle memo's w/Tom McCarthy

Last Call

This is Last Call for this column with Drag Racing Online and oddly enough it comes one year after the closing of The Motorcyclist’s Post magazine. Riding the train to the end of the tracks is my preferred method of travel when I take a long journey with an employer. Sad but true, all things do come to pass my friends.


So, with this my last installment of Motorcycle Memos, I will take this opportunity to cover a bit about where motorcycle drag racing is and where it’s going in 2020, then deliver some appropriate remarks as we deliver closing time once again.

With this being the month of February, in the year 2020, there is no better way to start the year than with the Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley motorcycles thundering down the Pomona 1320 to start off motorcycle drag racing this season. The Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals will take place February 6-9 at Pomona, California. Going into the event, the first of ten races with the National Hot Rod Association this year, two-time defending champion Tii Tharpe of North Carolina is looking to three-peat this season. Prior to the first race of the year, ten teams are entered for the NHRA 2020 Winternationals.


There is no question that Tii can get the job done -- his Jay Turner Racing affiliates are razor sharp and have ruled the NHRA roost for four consecutive seasons now. They are great racers delivering great racing year after year.

National #2 Doug Vancil has lost vital sponsorship funding and his Vance & Hines race team will not be in competition for 2020. His future participation in TFM drag racing is in question at this time.


On a brighter note, Mike Scott has a new ride and will be back in the hunt this year as will Mike Beland. Stalwarts like Jay Turner, Rickey House and Randal Andras will welcome Tony Ruggiero, Tyler Wilson, Rich Vreeland, Greg Justice and Tim Kerrigan into the fray. The competition will be fierce as always in the premier Top Fuel Harley motorcycle drag racing series of the National Hot Rod Association.


After the NHRA TFH bikes thunder dies down in California, their next race will be February 21-23, for the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent Arizona Nationals in Phoenix. Following this, on March 14, the AMRA sanction will roll into Orlando Speed World. Then the Man Cup sanction will kick off its 10th anniversary season, also at Orlando Speed World on April 3-5.


Motorcycle drag racing in 2020 will be hitting drag strips across the USA with the NHRA, Man Cup, XDA, NHDRO, AMRA, AHDRA, SEDRA, PDRA and other assorted various sanctions that may crop up this year. The hard part for racers will be deciding which races to attend. This will also determine which sanctions last for how long. It’s the racers and sponsors of the sport who really decide who thrives or who does not survive every season.


In addressing that this is my last story and photos with Drag Racing Online magazine, which is closing up shop after over 40 years in the business, I offer the following: Jeff and Kay Burk you are extended family to me. Our years of working together have been nothing short of phenomenal. We have produced a lot of solid material together and I will miss you deeply and DRO too. It’s been a privilege and an honor to work with you and your family while serving the drag racing community at large.


Thank you for picking me as your motorcycle drag racing editor in 2016. We have accomplished much together over the years


Thank you for everything; I hope to see you in the pits.


- Tom McCarthy 



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