2023 Pre-Season Nitro News
While there is no specific Top Fuel motorcycle class competition schedule for the I-4 bikes as of February 2023 in the USA, but that can change at a moment’s notice with just a phone call or email. All a class sponsor has to do is step to the forefront with the right sanction, and suddenly the T/F bikes can appear. #1 Sam Wills, Mitch Brown, Larry McBride, Chris Hand, Dave Vantine, and Micah Fenwick, are all ready to race. The bike built for Terry Kizer is done and lurking in the darkness out there. Jimmy Brantley’s new bike was done over a year ago and can surface anytime. Dave Vantine’s new bike built by the McBride Brothers is close to completion and will fire up before summertime. This could free up their spectacular old-faithful yellow bike. If the will and the way was present, an eight bike field could literally appear overnight.
In drag racing: It’s all about the combination. If the money and class sponsorship was present: Just as in the movie “The Field of Dreams” – if they build it, they will come.
Nitro Harleys are IN THE HOUSE for the 2023 season with the AMRA, the AHDRA, the Western Canadian Top Fuel Bike Race Series, the Western Pro Extreme bike series. And there are nitro bikes racing in Australia, Sweden, the UK, and in the EU. There will be no shortage of CH3NO2-burning Top Fuel motorcycles making thunder this season.
The AHDRA will host the first race of the 2023 season with the 2nd Annual Don” DJ” Johnson, Spring Nationals, at the North Florida Motorplex on March 17-19, 2023. Their nitromethane-burning class champions, Tracy Kile (T/F), Michael Balch (NFB) and Sam White (P/F) are expected to defend their titles this season. AMA and AHDRA Announce 2023 Partnership, click here to read about it.
On March 31 through April 2, at Belle Rose, LA, the AMRA will kick off it’s new year at No Problem Raceway with the preeminent nitro classes making eyes water. The class champions from 2022, Ryan Peery (T/F), Jim Doyle (NFB) and Paul Anderson (P/F) will all be in leathers, race-ready, for first fire-up. Click here to learn more.
Iowa Hog Drags
Jay Rogers Iowa Hog Drags are taking place June 30th through July 2nd in Humboldt, Iowa at the historic Humboldt County Dragway. At last year’s event, fans saw Glen Kerr’s recreation of Boris Murray’s old Top Fuel bike and Sonny Routt’s original, fully restored Top Fuel bike was also on hand, as was Pete Hill’s bike and many, many more. This is a historic Nitro Feast for the faithful! Click here to learn more.
NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series
A nostalgic fuel bike view can be had during the 2023 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series, June 15 through the 17th, at Bowling Green KY. Veteran promoter and former nitro Harley pilot Frank Spittle has been working hard behind the scenes to bring vintage fuel bikes to display during the NHRA HRHRS for this year’s event being held at Beech Bend Park. Clem Johnson’s “Barn Job” Franks “Freight Train” and others, will be displayed. Nitro will be in the air! Click here to learn more.
Truett & Osborne Drags
The T&O drags will be happening again in 2023! Exactly where and when is TBD at this time. Scott Truett who has been attending the Truett & Osborne event for five decades now has assured me “It won’t be held this year at the same venue as last year, but we will secure one for 2023; we just haven’t inked a formal deal yet at this time.” Click here to learn more.
On February 18th, at the 20th annual Shriners Drag Racing and Hot Rod Expo, to be held at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex: Mr Jay Turner of Jay Turner Racing fame will be inducted into the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Click here to read more.
During the first week of January, 2023, Sam Wills was honoured as the point’s champion of the Mid-Western Drag Racing Series for their 2022 season. This is not Sam’s first Top Fuel motorcycle championship #1 plate, but his first since 1986. He’s built and piloted over TWO DOZEN Top Fuel motorcycles since he began burning nitro in the mid 1970’s and his legend lives on.
Sam will be back out in Top Fuel motorcycle competition during the 2023 season with close to half-a-dozen dates, some of which are pending as this is written. Larry McBride is working closely with the NHRA on securing exhibition dates during the 2023 calendar racing season and as spring approaches, specific dates and participants will come more sharply into focus.
Click here to view the 2023 Motorcycle Drag Racing Schedule.
*Please refer to actual sanction websites for specific dates and schedules, all subject to change due to prevailing conditions on race day.
|Until Next time…
– Tom McCarthy