or breaking bones - All in a day's work for Johnny Mancuso
More accustomed to
breaking speed records on his Nitro Harley, Johnny Mancuso broke
something else entirely during his final qualifying run at the
AHDRA Arizona Bike Week Nationals Phoenix Arizona last weekend.
"After three qualifying runs, each better than the one before,
I was running Tracy Kile when we collided in the shutdown area,"
Johnny says from his racing shop in Houston, Texas.
A race official was
directing Mancuso off the track, putting him into the path of
Kile who, experiencing handling problems, could not stop his
bike in time. "Tracy was coming up on me fast so I tried to
pull the bike back to the right, but it was too late, "adds
Johnny. "I was struck on the left side and both bikes went down.
Luckily, Tracy was not hurt, but I ended up with a broken left
fibula and two broken ribs."
The good news - Team
Mancuso is still ranked in the Top 14 and is looking forward
to the big show, the inaugural Screamin' Eagle Nitro Harley
NHRA event in Bristol. "Even though I went down and Steve Storduer
experienced clutch trouble, spinning his tire most of the weekend,
we still managed to make things happen as a team!" said Johnny.
"In fact, my last run before the crash turned 208 mph at 6.68,
still qualifying me fifth out of 32 bikes." The bad news - "Along
with the leg and ribs, I screwed up a great new paint job!"
Racing Nitro Harleys
at this level is as dangerous as it is exciting, and Johnny
Mancuso is a walking, talking testament to this dynamic. "I
have raced before with broken ribs after a major engine explosion
in October 1998, and I plan to race again in Bristol," Johnny
said. "My prognosis this time is complete recovery, but Pros
have to be prepared to ride with pain. However, I will not attempt
a run if I don't feel safe."
"My thanks to everyone
for their calls and support this past week, especially Anne
Paluso of Screamin' Eagle who helped me from the track to the
hospital. And thanks to my team, who are rebuilding my bike
while re-working Steve's so we can both be ready to ride at
The Mancuso Racing
Team of Steve Stordeur and Johnny Mancuso is sponsored by Arias
Pistons, Autolite, Ballistic Bikewear, Barnett, Diamond Cut
Jeans, Dynatek, The Gates Rubber Company, Greg Good Race Heads,
JIMS, Lincoln Electric, Mickey Thompson Race Tires, The Minute
Maid Company, Motion Pro, RC Components, Red Line Oil, Vanson
Leathers, Victory Valves, VP Fuels, Weekend Frame Co., YUASA
Batteries and Mancuso Harley-Davidson.