June 25, 1937 to December 16, 2015 – Ray Price
It is with a heavy heart that I report to you all that one of the greatest Top Fuel Nitro Harley pilots of all time, the Father of Funny Bikes, Mr. Ray Price passed away Wednesday evening, December 16, 2015. I have been informed that Ray was in the presence of loved ones and at peace when he passed.
Ray Price started motorcycle drag racing so many years ago, most the people who will read this story were not born when Ray started drag racing. He began burning nitromethane in his drag bikes during the 1960’s. It’s quite likely that Ray Price has burned more barrels of nitromethane than any other fuel bike racer, dead or alive.
What’s most important to think about at this time of great loss with the passing of Ray; is that Mr. Ray Price was a racer all the way. He raced all he could till he could race no more. Born in 1937, Ray was 78 years old when he passed. He’s been Nitro Harley racing since at LEAST 1966, this I know for a fact. When you do the math, you’ll see Ray’s been burning CH3NO2 in his race bikes for 49 years now and if he had another year in him, he’d do it again.
I’ve often thought that Ray is one of most magnificent men I’ve ever met. He had a purpose in life, a goal, to go nitro Harley racing and he did just that and he did it well. 2015 was another championship year in NHRA T/F bike racing for Ray Price Harley Davidson, just like it was in 2014 for the team. It will take competent researcher days-to-months to try and chronicle Ray’s decades of accomplishments. And no matter how hard someone dig’s, they’ll never find or see Ray’s greatest accomplishment in some list of numbers or a trophy case that needs its own floor of a museum to fit all the hardware in.
Ray’s biggest victory was in staying true to his course in life. He stayed true to the love of his life, his beloved wife Jean. Just as he did by staying true to his motorcycle of choice: Harley Fucking Davidson. For Ray Price, there was no other motorcycle worthy of his interest. Clearly Mr. Price was a devoted man of purpose and the success he earned was hard fought. With a smile.
While someone will unearth Ray’s accomplishments, few if any will ever know the true breadth of his impact on the sport of motorcycle drag racing, in terms of what he did for the sport. His generosity in helping keep the good ship AHDRA afloat is but one example of his behind the scenes efforts to not only further Nitro Harley racing, but motorcycle drag racing as well. Ray did a lot, just ask the people in the know.
So embedded a drag racer was Mr. Price, when he had his shop built, the famous Ray Price Harley Davidson, in Raleigh North Carolina, he had a museum included in the building just for motorcycle drag racing. He even had Nitro Harleys doing burin outs on the shop floor before it was refinished so as to embed the tire tracks into the floor…permanently.
This was Ray’s greatest accomplishment – he was a true man, true to his cause, true to his family, his motorcycles and to the sport of motorcycle drag racing. Do not mourn the loss and passing of this great man for too long, he would not want that. He’d rather you get off your back side and go do a burn out, or better yet, put some nitro in the tank when you do.
If you look up in the stars tonight, you’ll see one new one up there, one that maybe shines just a little bit brighter than the others. That’s because Ray and Jim McClure and Elmer are catching up a bit. And if the heavens should open up and it starts to rain, know that thunder will likely follow. There’s a bit of match racing going on up stairs. Don’t cry for Ray, thank him for all he gave. If you ask him for guidance, you’ll get it.
Information on Services – Rayprice.com/ray
Don Plesser and Ray Price
[content_block id=36582 slug=tom-mccarthy-footer]