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Friday, December 17, 2004 - 08:20:10 AM PST

Team Report: Bill Furr

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 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 and won."

"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 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 onto

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. 

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