Furr Earns Win and Sets Record
Sunday, May 20th was a fun day at work for Nitro Harley racer Bill Furr. From
nine a.m. to five p.m., Furr ran six eighth-mile passes, qualifying first in
Top Fuel, setting a new national record, e.t. and m.p.h. records for a
motorcycle at Huntsville Dragway, and winning the AMRA Nationals.
The last time Bill Furr raced in Huntsville, Alabama was in 1991, the same
year he won the Top Fuel Harley Championship in PROSTAR. "Back then, it was
really nice. It was a new racetrack. The all-concrete track was only 1-year-old. It was a nice racetrack. This year, when we got to the track late
Friday night, they'd had a big party with the Marshall Tucker Band, so it was
packed with people. It was great to see such a strong gathering around an
all-Harley event. But as the racers rolled in their rigs and gathered to
talk, we'd realized that the racetrack had lost some of it's luster. When I
looked at the surface of the track early Saturday morning as the rain poured
down, I knew it wouldn't be the same. But we decided to race anyway." It
rained all day Saturday. Some bikes qualified between showers, but there was
never enough dry time to get in the nitro bikes.
The team finally had the opportunity to qualify Sunday morning at nine a.m.
"We put on a new chain to break in. It's been a while since I ran that chain
and I knew it would stretch, but apparently it stretched more in the burnout
that I thought it would. On the launch, it stretched the chain over the front
sprocket knocking the teeth off. It also ruined the sprocket on the rear
wheel. We decided with only one more qualifying pass to go, we weren't going
to take a chances trying to break in a new chain. We put on the big chain
that was race ready. In the second round, we ran a 4.39 at 165, which was the
lowest e.t. of qualifying and the highest m.p.h."
"On that racetrack, I thought that was as good as I was going to do. That
track has a lot of rubber built up all the way down the track. It's chewed up
and skipped over. I hate to say such things about a track, but it helps to
explain the conditions to understand the performance." Furr regularly match
races at 1/8 mile tracks in the south and knows what his numbers should be.
His best 1/8th mile time is a 4.18 from a ¼ mile run on a good racetrack. The
week before the AMRA event in Huntsville, Furr match raced Jay Turner at
Piedmont Dragway, on his customer Stan Verheijen's bike, and ran a 4.37. In
April, he match raced his own bike, Big Red, against Steve Moore in Mooresville and won with a 4.38. At the All-Harley reunion in Framington,
Furr won with a 4.33.
When eliminations began, as number one qualifier in a Quick 16 where only 15
bikes could show, Furr had a bye run. "We didn't make any changes from final
qualifying and we ran a 4.35. We were spinning the tire around the 150-200
foot mark. In the second round, we spun the tire even worse because it was at
the hottest time of the day. We ran a 4.49 at 161. After that pass we started
lowering the percentage of nitro and reducing the nozzle size, taking power
away to try to keep from spinning the tire. In the semi-final, we ran a 4.43
"Steve Moore, the number two qualifier, was climbing on the other side of the
ladder and doing real well. Still, we were about a tenth ahead of him. On the
last round, I took some more fuel away from the motorcycle. We had had a
better 330' time than any of the previous passes but I believe I took so much
power away that when the jet cans started working, it went lean and didn't
have enough to run. Steve had some problems and didn't get down the racetrack. We won with a 5.06. It's not a very pretty win, but it's a win."
"It's great to race at all-Harley events because everyone likes the same
thing - seeing exotic Harleys." Furr is committed to the IHRA Summit Racing
Series in Screamin' Eagle Nitro Harley first, AHDRA events second, match
races and AMRA events when he can. "I enjoy visiting with fans who've supported me through the last 16+ years. Most importantly, we come to events
like these to support our customers who buy our high performance Harley parts
from Orangeburg Cycle Racing. When I can help them at an event as opposed to
over the phone between events, we all perform better for the crowd."
Bill Furr begins a three-race series the first weekend of June. He'll compete
in the IHRA Mopar Parts Canadian Nationals in Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada
June 1-3. In 2000, Furr clocked his season best at the Canadian event at
6.55. Excited about at two-day all-Harley event at Norwalk Raceway Park, Furr
is pre-entered for the AHDRA Motorcycleworld.com Nationals presented by
Roeder Harley-Davidson June 9-10 at the home of IHRA in Norwalk, Ohio. The
third weekend of June, Furr will go to the IHRA Amalie Oil Summer Nationals
at Cordova Dragway Park June 14-16.
Keep up with Bill Furr and the Belt Drives Limited Nitro Harley by logging
Bill Furr is sponsored by Belt Drives Ltd., Paughco Inc., Performance Machine, Nology Hot Wires, Pingel Enterprise, Autolite, Rev Tech Oil by CCI,
Henry Tecklenburg's Travelmart and Orangeburg Cycle Racing.