TURNER HEADS TOP FUEL FIELD AT 26th ALL-HARLEY FINALS
Nitro Funny Bikes, Pro Fuel Bikes Also Vie for Titles at Rockingham Dragway
A host of Top Fuel motorcycle racers including reigning NHRA Harley-Davidson Series champion Jay “Bulldog” Turner of Julian, N.C., and current AMRA point leader Jake Stordeur of Goshen, Ohio, are expected to compete next week (Oct. 13-15) in the 26th annual Jim McClure Memorial All-Harley World Finals at Rockingham Dragway.
Turner, who has won three straight major championships (including IHRA Nitro Harley titles in 2015 and 2016) and six overall, is the headliner in a Top Fuel lineup that also includes teammate Tii Tharpe of East Bend, N.C., Ricky House of Humble, Texas, Bill “Billy Jack” Jackson of Honeybrooke, Pa., and Randal Andras of Amelia, La.
While much of the attention will focus on those racing in the Ray Price Top Fuel Challenge, race champions also will be crowned in Nitro Funny Bike, Pro Fuel, Pro Gas, Pro Mod and a host of sportsman categories.
The three-day Harley festival will begin with a test-and-tune session from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. Friday although the track will be open Thursday for early parking. Pro qualifying begins Saturday at 10 a.m. with single elimination finals Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. Adult admission is $45 for all three days or $20 per day. Children six and under are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult and parking is free in Rockingham’s main lot.
The Rock’s reputation as a track that delivers record-breaking performance will be put to the test as riders zero in on AMRA records including Tommy Grimes’ marks of 6.197 seconds and 231.60 miles per hour in Top Fuel. Also in jeopardy will be the six-year old Nitro Funny Bike record of Doug Horne of Aberdeen, Md., and the Pro Fuel record set two years ago by Johnny Vickers of Millers Creek, N.C.
It is fitting that the race honors the memory of two members of the Harley-Davidson Hall-of-Fame: McClure, who is recognized as “The Father of the Top Fuel Motorcycle” and Price, who distinguished himself as a Top Fuel rider although he also is consider “The Father of the Nitro Funny Bike.”
Not unexpectedly, the event has attracted a record field of Top Fuel riders that also includes Tracy Kile of Ashville, N.C., Jason Pridemore of Garrettsville, Ohio, Jim Doyle of Chicopee, Mass., and Chris Smith of Murphreesboro, Tenn.
AMRA point standings entering this week’s 26th annual Jim McClure All-Harley Nitro Nationals at Rockingham Dragway featuring the Ray Price Top Fuel Showdown (Carolina riders in bold):
TOP FUEL – 1. Jake Stordeur, Goshen, Ohio, 600; 2. Bill “Billy Jack” Jackson, Honeybrooke, Pa., 540; 3. Randal Andras, Amelia, La., 400; 4. Jay Turner, Julian, N.C., 330; 5. Tracy Kile, Ashville, N.C., 285; 6. Jason Pridemore, Garrettsville, Ohio, 280; 7. Ricky “Sharkey” House, Humble, Texas, 150; 8. Jim Doyle, Chicopee, Mass., 135.
NITRO FUNNY BIKE – 1. Rich Vreeland, Bloomsburg, Pa., 1380; 2. Dennis Fisher, Dayton, Ohio, 1365; 3. Jim Doyle, Chicopee, Mass., 870; 4. Chris Smith, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 860; 5. Ryan Peery, Milford, Ohio, 800; 6. Rocky Jackson, Youngsville, La., 740; 7. Randal Andras, Amelia, La., 655; 8. Buddy Johnson, Blanchester, Ohio, 390.
PRO FUEL – 1. Janette Thornley, Statesville, N.C., 1760; 2. Jim Martin, Palestine, Ill., 1285; 3. Gary Stroud, Valparaiso, Ind., 745; 4. Rocky Jackson, Youngsville, La., 635; 5. Keith Kelly, Dickson, Tenn., 410; 6. Walter Halonski, High Springs, Fla., 405; 7. James Hoffman, Edwardsburg, Mich., 335; 8. Ben Ard, Baton Rouge, La., 275.
Current AMRA national records:
TOP FUEL – 6.197 seconds by Tommy Grimes, Winston-Salem, N.C., at Rockingham Dragway, October, 2013; 231.60 mph by Tommy Grimes, Winston-Salem, N.C., at Rockingham Dragway, October, 2015.
NITRO FUNNY BIKE – 6.561 seconds by Douglas Horne, Aberdeen, Md., September, 2011, Beech Bend Raceway Park (Bowling Green, Ky.); 213.95 mph by Jim Doyle, Chicopee, Mass., March, 2015 at State Capitol Dragway (Baton Rouge, La.).
PRO FUEL – 7.181 seconds by Johnny Vickers, Millers Creek, N.C., at Rockingham Dragway, October, 2015; 185.21 mph by Mark Blackmer, Longbeach, Miss., NA.
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