Innovative Frameworks Shifting Gears

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Innovative Frameworks Shifting Gears

Story and photos by Tom McCarthy

Armon Furr enjoys racing with Sam Wills creations

Top Fuel Rider Armon Furr

Veteran Top Fuel motorcycle racer Sam Wills, the head of the Nitro Conspiracy drag racing team is announcing a new direction for the team in 2018, they are shifting gears and headed into the future. “It’s been great but it’s time to move on.” That’s the message from Sam Wills and the Nitro Conspiracy team, yes they are now officially retired from competition. The Sam Wills and Mike Dryden collaboration, will not be competing for championship points in 2018 and everything from the racing operation is for sale.

“It’s been great and I don’t regret it for a minute coming back into competition for the last five years, but it’s over for us,” stated Sam Wills in a recent interview. “Our transporter, our entire Top Fuel motorcycle racing operation is up for grabs.”

Sam has been building and racing fuel bikes on and off since 1974. He’s been a Top Fuel motorcycle competition stand out since the 1970s and has built dozens of Top Fuel motorcycle chassis that in one form or another, still exist. Today they are to be found all around the globe from Australia to the UK. “I will still be making chassis for Top Fuel motorcycles, heck motorcycles for any class really, but my competition days in drag racing are over” say’s the Top Fuel pilot from Oklahoma City.

Mitch Brown driving Dennis Bradley’s T/F motorcycle

Sam has been in and out of the driving aspect of Top Fuel motorcycle racing for decades. During one of his breaks from driving duties, around 2012, Sam decided he really wanted a 5-second time slip to add to his resume and Sam built a bike from the ground up and debuted it during the Battle of Bradenton in November of 2013. With much help from Mike Dryden and friends, they picked away at the bikes performance and on November 14th, 2015, they ran their first 5-second pass in competition at the Man Cup World Finals that year, clocking in with a fine 5.88 @ 243.93 MPH.

Here’s a brand new T/F Harley set up, in progress.

I remember interviewing Sam briefly after the run and asking him, “Sam what does it take to build a 5 second Top Fuel motorcycle?” He replied, “about forty years of experience and close to a million dollars.”

Chassis builders the world over would agree, this is one awesome chassis jig!

Sam and his team were really all set and ready to move on at that point but the following season, they came out guns blazing and found themselves in the points championship lead. So they raced the whole season and came in #2 in national points competition with the Man Cup sanction. Then the next year, it was Dejavu all over again. So the team has raced longer and harder than they ever intended to. They had a great run, but the time is up.

Top Fuel Puma, I-4 motors, one fresh, one ready to rebuild.

“This is a great Top Fuel motorcycle we have for sale. It’s a proven 5-second bike and all our spares and tuning information comes with it.”

The shop at Innovative Frame Works has several CNC machines.

Sam’s shop, Innovative Frame Works, located in Oklahoma City, was originally “Racing Innovations” and has evolved into the aforementioned entity. Sam has several CNC machines in house, a full fabrication shop and over four decades of experience in building Top Fuel motorcycles, both Top Fuel Harley and I-4 configurations. From custom choppers to Land Speed Racing machines: this is what Sam does for a living.

Interested parties can contact Sam Wills at 405-749-0009, and to the many fans and racers who’ve supported the Nitro Conspiracy team,  thanks for the memories!!!

Special Thanks to Sam Wills and Mitch Brown for their contributions to this story.

This “Spare” T/F motorcycle chassis sits quietly at Sam’s shop, but not for long.

 

This is an injected nitro I-4 project from the back room.

 

Nitromethane is spoken here.

 

Bench racing can be almost as important as 1320 racing. Note the bending profiles behind Sam.

 

Sam Wills of Oklahoma City, a chassis master of the highest order.

 

This is how a drag racing shop should greet it’s customers.