The All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA) regretfully announced on Sunday, August 28, that a fatality occurred during competition at Woodburn Dragstrip in Woodburn, Oregon.

Elmo Tbone Rockefeller, also know as E.T. (Mo) Rockefeller, 49, of Sacramento, California, died following an accident on his Pro Dragster motorcycle.

Rockefeller clocked the eighth-mile mark at 140 mph, and made contact with the retaining wall before coming off the bike and going over the wall. The bike continued upright down the track and recorded a 105-mph speed at the quarter-mile mark before coming to a stop off the end of the track.

Emergency medical personnel on the scene responded immediately and reported Rockefeller to be in cardiac arrest. Multiple attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead on the scene at 3:59 p.m.

“We have been fortunate for a very long time,” said AHDRA President Craig Tharpe. “There have been no fatalities for the sanction in at least 10 years or longer.”

Tharpe, speaking for his staff and the staff of Woodburn Dragstrip, said, “Our deepest sympathies go out to the many family and friends of “Mo” Rockefeller. We would like to extend our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

Many of Rockefeller’s friends rallied together just moments after his death, raising several thousand dollars in donations to assist in getting him and his team home. Kristine Becker of Everett, WA, headed up the collection and said there was an instant outpouring of support in the pits for the fallen fellow competitor.

Rockefeller, who had been racing for nearly 20 years, was competing in the Nitro Outlaw category, a class for nonqualified or first-round eliminated riders from other nitro categories.

Rockefeller made a first-round pass in the Outlaw field with an 8.048 at 166.88 mph on Sunday before coming back for the second pass that ended fatally.
As standard procedure, a full sheriff’s department investigation followed, and the local medical examiner was on site to further investigate. AHDRA will not speculate on the exact cause of death, but once reports are finalized, more information will be provided.

After medical and law enforcement personnel left the scene, track officials made early attempts to resume racing, before subsequently determining that the proper track preparation could not be completed before nightfall. Woodburn Dragstrip does not have track lighting for racing after hours.

AHDRA President Craig Tharpe announced to racers and fans that there was no choice but to call the race off.

“This is not a good situation for anyone involved,” Tharpe commented. “We were full of mixed emotions about continuing the race, as were a number of the racers, but we were prepared to give it a try if time and circumstances would allow.”

Rockefeller’s crew insisted that the race be finished, believing it would be what their friend and crewmate would want.

Tharpe said he was profoundly appreciative of the Rockefeller team support in the face of the tragedy they had encountered.

Plans for a memorial and services are incomplete at this time and will be posted when the information is confirmed.

For more information on the AHDRA Screamin’ Eagle Performance Parts national points series, please contact 336-924-2095 or visit

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