NHRA Nitro Harley: New England Nationals

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NHRA Mello Yellow drag racing series

NHRA New England Nationals
New England Dragway
July 6-8, 2018

Coverage by Tom McCarthy

Sunday Eliminations

On Sunday, July 8th, 2018, the elimination rounds began for the Mickey Thompson Tires, Top Fuel Harleys at 12:16 PM under bright blue sunny skies with a track temperature of 124 degrees/f.

The first pair out was, the Rickey House and Beau Layne match up. We had the classic cagey veteran and the rookie going at it. Coming into the Epping race, Rickey House on the Cat Spot racing Top Fuel Harley was 4th in championship points and Beau Layne was rated 6th. The first off the line was Beau Layne with a .049 reaction to the green light and he was off like a shot. Sharkey responded with a .082 reaction time and pulled away quickly. Storming across the finish line first was Rickey House with a 6.28 to Beau Layne’s 7.21, ending his day.

The next pair out were teammates Jay Turner and Tii Tharpe. They are the best of friends but on the starting line – someone has to go down. Jay jumped out first with a .049 RT to Tii’s, .058 that put him almost a tenth in the hole, right at the start. Down track, Jay’s 6.35 @ 225 was more than Tii’s 6.47 could cover.

Bob Malloy

In the Bobby Malloy Vs Tracy Kile pairing, it was two old veteran drag racers duking it out. Tracy had a best of 6.66 in qualifying and facing Bobby who posted a 6.31 right off the trailer – TK knew he had his hands full. Tracy got out first with an .054 RT and Bobby, knowing he had Tracy by a bunch, took it easy on the tree with a .101 RT. In the end, Tracy’s 6.62 was no match for Bobby’s 6.31 and that was all he wrote for Tracy.

Rickey House

In the final pairing, the Doug Vancil Vs Peter Geiss matchup was the #1 qualifier (Vancil 6.30) taking on the #8 qualifier (Geiss) in classic underdog match up. Peter Geiss was first off the starting line with a .112 reaction time to the tree. Doug Vancil responded with a .128 RT and the race was on. At the big end of the race track where it counts most, Doug Vancil got there first with a 6.31 to The Thug’s 7.01, which ended Peter’s race weekend.

Rickey House

When the semi-final round matchup unfolded, Rickey House and Doug Vancil went at it first. Sharkey was out for blood and he struck first getting off the line with a solid .056 light to Doug’s, .064 RT. His lead was short lived as Doug pulled steadily away with the quickest ET of the weekend so far, a stunning 6.26 @ 226 MPH, that just ran away from the Cat Spot Racing bike of Rickey House who slowed after mid-track.

Jay Turner

The Jay Turner, Bobby Malloy match-up next was vital for Jay Turner who was #3 in points coming into this race. His victory over Tii in E-1 helped him gain ground over Tii and brought him closer to Doug Vancil who is still out front. Knowing this was a vital round of racing, Bobby Malloy chopped the tree, but too close as he went red by .014, while Jay took off on his quickest pass of the weekend, clocking in at 6.263 @ 228.31 MPH, a new TFH track record for New England Dragway.

Mike Romine

In the final round, with all the marbles on the table, two of the best of the best faced off to settle this race. Doug Vancil fired first and they both did good smoky burnouts for the crowd. Jay got away first with an excellent .039 RT to Doug’s .046 light. As they thundered down track, Doug got the better of this matchup by hitting the win stripe first with a 6.283 elapsed time to Jay’s 6.48, to secure the win.

While there are two races remaining in the NHRA TFH series, Doug Vancil’s Vance & Hines Racing Top Fuel Harley, tuned by Mike Romine continues to distance itself from the pack.

 

Eliminations Round 1
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
WINRickey House0.0821.1052.7954.118185.665.2756.283220.91
Beau Layne0.0491.1052.8074.22160.145.7047.216139.6
12:16 p.m. - Weather conditions: air temperature 80 degrees, relative humidity 39 percent, barometer 30.34 inches, adjusted altitude 1,418 feet, track temperature 124 degrees. Layne was first off the starting line and led this race at 330 feet. Then, his motorcycle lost a cylinder and House rode by him to take the win.
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
WINJay Turner0.0491.1412.8834.222180.915.366.35225.03
Tii Tharpe0.0581.1522.9274.308166.095.4576.473219.33
Turner led this from start to finish. He took his motorcycle straight down the lane while Tharpe had to fight to keep his in the groove.
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
WINBob Malloy0.1011.1062.8144.132186.515.296.311214.04
Tracy Kile0.0541.1652.9694.379175.325.5876.629211.33
Kile was quicker out of the gate but Malloy passed him before they reached 60 feet, then went on to win the race. He'll have lane choice over Turner in the next round.
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
WINDoug Vancil0.1281.092.8044.148183.125.3116.311221.02
Peter Geiss0.1121.1883.054.501170.435.8077.014182.13
Geiss was quicker off the starting line but Vancil quickly passed him to take the lead. He'll face House in the next round and House will have lane choice.
Eliminations Round 2
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
WINDoug Vancil0.0641.092.7894.123184.225.2796.268226.7
Rickey House0.0561.1423.2294.723168.876.1437.621141.94
2:12 p.m. - Weather conditions: air temperature 82 degrees, relative humidity 39 percent, barometer 30.31 inches, adjusted altitude 1,530 feet, track temperature 132 degrees. House got off the starting line first but his motorcycle carried the front wheel in the air a couple of times and the ride looked bouncy. Vancil went straight down the groove to take the win. He'll be in the final round for the third time in his career.
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
WINJay Turner0.0491.1312.8524.162189.045.2926.263228.31
Bob Malloy-0.0141.092.7884.314143.495.9777.646126.64
Malloy lit the red light so Turner immediately got the win. Turner ran it out anyway and set a new track speed record. Turner will be in the final round for the 15th time in his career.
Eliminations Round 3
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
WINDoug Vancil0.0461.0882.7914.132187.135.2976.283222.44
Jay Turner0.0391.152.8964.228185.665.3946.487191.57
3:14 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 80 degrees, relative humidity 39 percent, barometer 30.30 inches, adjusted altitude 1,463 feet, track temperature 134 degrees. Turner was quicker at the tree but Vancil got by him before they reached 60 feet. Vancil continued to pull away on the track and crossed the finish line first to take his third win.

 

Doug Vancil

 

Final Qualifying: New England Nationals

With Chris Streeter out of the ladder before Q-3, it was apparent the shuffle of the deck was about to commence. The only real question was: who would get the good cards and a seat at the main table for Sunday? And the reshuffle of the deck with the first pass.

Tracy Kile, working with Frank Capone and Mark Godin on Saturday had the Bad Apple racing team, like the band; back together again. So Frank came out guns blazing as the first TFH in Q3 and laid down a 6.70 that put him into the #7 qualifying spot right away.

Unfortunately for Mike Scott, he suffered and I do mean suffered his third consecutive N/T pass in a row. The stout racer put his bike in the beams and right at the hit of the throttle, the rear tire lit-up-in-smoke and that was all on his Q-3 effort. Regrettably, for Mike, Q-4 was a repeat of Q-3, ending his weekend.

During the fourth and final session, With Chris Streeter out (broke), it was up to Billy Jack or Mike Scott to crack the field. During Q-4 Billy Jack ran a 7.33 at 209, which did not get him in the show, but it was a valiant effort for Billy Jack Racing.

As for the elite eight, Q-4 ended with Doug Vancil moving into the #1 qualifying spot with his 6.30 at 222 MPH, this being the best elapsed time of the four qualifying sessions. The eight qualifiers for the New England Nationals in descending order: Doug Vancil (6.30, Bob Malloy (6.31), Jay Turner (6.32), Rickey House (6.36), Beau Layne (6.39), Tii Tharpe (6.44), Tracy Kile (6.66), and Peter Geiss (6.89).

In E-1 on Sunday, Doug Vancil will race Peter Geiss, Rickey House will match up with Beau Layne, then we have Bobby Malloy Vs Tracy Kile and finally, Jay Turner will square off with teammate Tii Tharpe. On Sunday, the first round of professional eliminations will happen at close to 11:AM, EST. Watch for the Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harleys to begin their eliminations some time close to 12 Noon, EST.

Qualifying Order after four rounds

POSITION	DRIVER	ET	MPH
01	Doug Vancil	6.301	222.51
02	Bob Malloy	6.318	214.55
03	Jay Turner	6.32	219.36
04	Rickey House	6.362	218.51
05	Beau Layne	6.393	220.66
06	Tii Tharpe	6.44	222.11
07	Tracy Kile	6.666	213.2
08	Peter Geiss	6.892	191.08
09	Chris Streeter	7.014	189.44
10	Billy Jackson	7.338	209.43

Full Qualifying Details

 

Qualifying Round 1
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
Left------------------
RightPeter Geiss0.0771.1693.1345.165108.727.3829.73788.32
4:17 p.m. - Weather conditions: air temperature 85 degrees, relative humidity 44 percent, barometer 29.87 inches, adjusted altitude 2,416 feet, track temperature 115 degrees. Geiss launched and got out to about 330 feet when his motorcycle started to stumble and he backed off the throttle.
LeftChris Streeter0.1671.2333.114.575167.385.8657.014189.44
RightTracy Kile0.1631.2293.4465.29145.316.6677.789200.2
Both riders went down down the groove for their first qualifying runs.
LeftBilly Jackson0.0911.1662.9954.522147.76.0577.5147.81
RightBob Malloy0.1461.092.8034.133184.835.2966.318214.55
Malloy took his motorcycle down the groove to move into the top spot in the qualifying order for now.
LeftMike Scott0.1091.708------------
RightBeau Layne0.0481.2693.414.968164.176.2417.326206.01
Scott's motorcycle launched, then the engine cut out and he came to stop a couple of hundred feet down the track. Layne made it down the track to move into the third spot for now.
LeftRickey House0.311.142.8534.207182.285.3826.403218.23
RightJay Turner0.0641.6424.1386.57292.329.10611.53389.29
Turner's motorcycle stumbled as it came off the starting line, then started to pick up speed, then the engine cut out again. House had some tire smoke but went down the groove to move into the number two spot for now.
LeftTii Tharpe0.0481.1173.1275.45995.897.86610.13196.29
RightDoug Vancil0.0991.1443.1224.624167.665.8756.928213.98
Tharpe's bike came off the starting line okay but then started to lose power after a couple hundred feet. Vancil's bike was slow off the starting line, then picked up speed for the rest of the trip down the track.
Qualifying Round 2
LeftJay Turner0.0721.1122.8394.174184.935.3236.32219.36
RightMike Scott0.1081.641------------
7:13 p.m. - Weather conditions: air temperature 77 degrees, relative humidity 39 percent, barometer 29.95 inches, adjusted altitude 1,629 feet, track temperature 101 degrees. Scott launched and smoked the rear tire right away. He clicked it off and rolled about 200 feet before he came to a stop. Turner took his motorcycle down the groove to move up eight spots in the qualifying order.
LeftPeter Geiss0.2321.1683.014.446192.065.7086.896177.07
RightTii Tharpe0.0681.1272.8984.265182.435.5796.928156.68
Two good rides that let both riders move up in the qualifying order. Beau Layne is on the bump spot at 7.326.
LeftBeau Layne0.0981.1242.8974.277178.245.4756.51214.66
RightBilly Jackson0.1021.143.3135.897.538.04510.30294.41
Jackson got about a hundred feet out when his motorcycle made a slight move to the right. He got off the throttle and coasted the rest of the way. Layne had a good ride and moved up four spots in the order.
LeftDoug Vancil0.141.1592.9234.308177.655.5036.527213.37
RightChris Streeter0.1191.3216.3314.16425.4------
Streeter's motorcycle launched and shook the rear tire. He clicked it off right away and did not make it down the track. Vancil moved up one spot in the order.
LeftBob Malloy0.1311.0982.7964.153178.995.3556.404211.69
RightRickey House0.1351.1242.8554.2041835.3786.4217.95
Malloy was a little bit quicker off the starting line but House caught up to him quickly and they ran down the track side-by-side. House's motorcycle got the front wheel in the air at mid track. He had to do some fighting to stick with this run.
Qualifying Round 3
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
Left------------------
RightTracy Kile0.4271.1472.9664.404171.385.6436.701211.69
1:24 p.m. - Weather conditions: air temperature 75 degrees, relative humidity 34 percent, barometer 30.30 inches, adjusted altitude 1,027 feet, track temperature 126 degrees. Kile took his motorcycle down the track with a little bit of leaning to keep it straight and in the groove. He moved up four spots in the order with this ride.
Left------------------
RightPeter Geiss0.0961.1823.0414.537169.685.7686.939184.04
Geiss's ride looked okay but was not as quick as his first session ride yesterday. He stayed where he was in the qualifying order.
LeftMike Scott0.0931.2115.10811.5229.48------
RightDoug Vancil0.121.1032.8284.181182.165.3496.349221.74
Scott launched but his motorcycle shut down before he reached the end of the track. He got no time for this run.
LeftBilly Jackson----------------
RightBeau Layne0.1721.1122.8414.2180.845.386.393220.66
Jackson staged his motorcycle, then shut it down and pushed away from the starting line. Layne had his quickest run of the weekend and moved up one spot in the qualifying order.
LeftTii Tharpe0.0531.1372.9164.29179.735.4796.517214.96
RightBob Malloy0.0851.0923.7057.11862.9211.08415.3348.8
Malloy launched his motorcycle, got a couple hundred feet down the track and then clicked it off. He's still in the top spot in the order for now. Tharpe had a good ride and moved up two spots in the order.
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
LeftRickey House0.0941.1312.8394.183183.445.3496.362218.51
RightJay Turner0.0871.526------------
Turner's motorcycle starts trailing smoke and shut down as soon as he launched. House had a good-looking run and moved up one spot in the qualifying order.
Qualifying Round 4
LANEDRIVERRT60 FT330 FT660 FT660 FT MPH1000 FTETMPH
LeftPeter Geiss0.1341.1783.0354.481189.585.7276.892191.08
Right------------------
4:10 p.m. - Weather conditions: air temperature 75 degrees, relative humidity 34 percent, barometer 30.27 inches, adjusted altitude 1,061 feet, track temperature 130 degrees. Geiss had a good-looking run down the groove. He'll stay in the number eight spot in the order for now. He's on the bump spot at 6.892 seconds, with three riders behind him trying to make the field.
LeftTracy Kile0.2131.1312.9634.394172.925.6186.666213.2
RightMike Scott0.1751.64510.558----------
Scott's motorcycle launched and then shut down on the track before he reached the finish line. He won't make the field here this weekend. Kile had his quickest run of the four qualifying sessions but was not quick enough to move up in the order. Peter Geiss is on the bump spot at 6.892, with two riders waiting for their last chance to make the field.
LeftBeau Layne0.0441.1092.8644.247178.335.4396.458217.84
RightBilly Jackson0.0961.3663.4914.997171.426.2687.338209.43
Jackson spun the rear tire coming off the starting line. He was on and off the throttle the whole way down the track. Jackson was not quick enough to make the field. Layne had a good ride but it did nothing to change his place in the running order. Peter Geiss is still on the bump spot at 6.892, with only Chris Streeter not in the field and waiting to make his last qualifying attempt.
LeftDoug Vancil0.0721.1012.8074.145183.695.3036.301222.51
Right------------------
Vancil had his best ride of the weekend and took over the top spot in the order for now.
LeftJay Turner0.0721.133.0915.218108.737.3269.357105.02
RightTii Tharpe0.0471.1282.8874.244181.765.4236.44222.11
Turner had some problems and had a slow ride down the track. Tharpe had his best ride of the weekend. Neither rider changed positions in the qualifying order.
LeftBob Malloy0.1171.0812.7894.114185.615.2896.389197.13
RightRickey House0.191.3794.9468.56267.5711.97415.2765.43
Streeter is not making a fourth qualifying pass so Geiss is safely in the field and will start in the number eight position. House clicked his motorcycle off early and coasted down the track. Malloy had a good ride but did not move in the order. Qualifying is over, with Doug Vancil in the number one position.

 

Friday Qualifying

The rains came early to New England Dragway on day one of the New England Nationals. They were forecast to arrive just after 8AM, and indeed they did. On the daily run schedule, racing was slated to begin by 9:15 AM, EST, but Mother Nature had plans of her own that trumped this game of chance. As with all racing schedules, the actual run times are subject to change due to prevailing conditions. And with the rain washing out the entire morning of racing action, the schedule was shifted to a 2PM start of racing.

The sun was out by just after 1PM, EST, and the track drying efforts with all-hands-on-deck, began just around 12 noon. The first cars went down New England Dragway’s storied 1320 at about 2:05PM, with Super Street class leading the way.

The initial run times for the Friday Q-1 and Q-2 passes for the Mickey Thompson Tires, Top Fuel Harley were set for close to 4 and 6PM, but the shifted race schedule moved the qualifying times to 4:15 and 7:12, which is phenomenal, all things considered. The Q-1 qualifying session began, with Peter Giess leading off with a solo effort. With 11 teams entered, vying for an eight bike qualified field, every team out there today was giving it all they have.

The quickest run of the day was a 6.318 coupled with a 214.95 MPH pass by Bobby Malloy of Glen Mills, PA. His number, on day one of qualifying, was good for the #1 qualifying position, with two more qualifying runs set for Saturday. High MPH for the day belonged to Rickey House of Humble, TX with his thundering 218.23 run during Q-1.

So far, at the conclusion of qualifying for day one, the line up looks like this: Bobby Malloy 6.31, Jay Turner, 6.32, Rickey House, 6.40 (ran two of em back to back), Beau Layne, 6.51, Doug Vancil, 6.52, Peter Geiss, 6.89, Tii Tharpe, 6.92, and in the #8 bump spot, Chris Streeter, 7.01.

This comprises the top 8 qualifiers thus far. The remaining three qualifiers, Billy Jack (7.50), Tracy Kile (7.78) and Mike Scott, with no time on two attempts – will all be looking to step up their game for Saturday’s qualifying sessions. Tomorrows, qualifying sessions for the Mickey Thompson Tires, Top Fuel Harleys are set to begin at 1PM and 3:30 PM.

Qualifying Order after two rounds

POSITION	DRIVER	ET	MPH
01	Bob Malloy	6.318	214.55
02	Jay Turner	6.32	219.36
03	Rickey House	6.4	217.95
04	Beau Layne	6.51	214.66
05	Doug Vancil	6.527	213.37
06	Tii Tharpe	6.928	156.68
07	Chris Streeter	7.014	189.44
08	Billy Jackson	7.5	147.81
09	Peter Geiss	9.737	88.32

New England Nationals: Race Preview

On Thursday, July 5th, 2018, all of the pre-entries into the New England Nationals we in the pits, set up, ready to race. Jay Turner, Rickey House, Doug Vancil, Beau Layne, Peter Geiss, Chris Streeter, Mike Scott, Billy Jack, Tii Tharpe, Tracy Kile and Bobby Malloy. Eleven of the best Top Fuel Harley racers in the USA are ready to go into battle for the Mickey Thompson Tires, Top Fuel Harley series race #8 of a 10 race series.

After this race, only Sonoma and Indy remain for the NHRA TF Harleys. Going into this event, the current points leader is Doug Vancil followed by Tii Tharpe (-15), Jay Turner (-72), Rickey House (-113), and Randal Andras (-176), Beau Layne (-187), Mike Scott (-257), Kevin Boyer (-328), Bob Malloy (-335), and Chris Smith (-364) to round out the Top ten in the Mickey Thompson Tires, Top Fuel Harley series. At this junction in the season, the series is currently a tight horse race between the top four.

In 2016 at the New England Nationals, Tii Tharpe popped his parachute on the launch and still ran a mid six second elapsed time. NHRA announcer Brian Lhones had a great time with the happenstance, live as it unfolded.

Current points leader Doug Vancil of the Vance & Hines Top Fuel Harley team will have to be mistake free to stay ahead of the Jay Turner Racing machines of Tii Tharpe, Randal Andras and of course the Bull Dog: Jay Turner. Now with Mike Scott leaving his connection with Beau Layne and suddenly returning to racing with Jay Turner, this is one more bike tuned by JTR that is competition proven and capable of winning. Mike Scott is a former IHRA T/F Harley champion, as is Doug Vancil, so expect close racing every round.

Rickey House, currently #4 in points can NOT be counted out of the championship points race. With this race and two more to follow, Rickey House and his Cat Spot Racing entry can run the number and win on any race track.  Luck has not been kind to Rickey in 2018, but he’s he’s fought hard as he always does and he’s in it, to win it.  Rickey lost an axel on his trailer on the way to the New England Nationals, but he limped in, made the repairs and he is race ready.

There are some new Top Fuel Harley motorcycles in the works that are worthy of mention here.  The all-new Vance & Hines TFH is ready for full final assembly and will see testing in the not too distant future. This is a 196 CID state of the art injected TFH, with a new John Storace “Weekend Frame” chassis. Mike Romine in creating the build with Doug Vancil and let there be no doubt, they will build a very competitive drag bike.

From Jay Turner Racing: The much anticipated, supercharged Top Fuel Harley created by JTR is close to completion. Jay commented, “We will have it out soon and begin testing – soon.” Jay’s focus of course is the current NHRA, Mickey Thompson Tires, Top Fuel Harley series, but this series ends in early September. There is still a lot of racing season left by Mid-September and this is the time of year when the bikes produce their quickest and fastest times.

Watch for records to fall in the Fall. The Mickey Thompson Tires, Top Fuel Harley series ends September 3rd at the conclusion of the 58th running of the NHRA US Nationals at Indy.


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