Defending AMA/Prostar Funny Bike champion Travis Davis is primed to make the 2004 season as successful as last season, where he collected six event wins and appeared in eight final rounds.
“We want to do it again this season,” Davis said. “Last year was incredible. We had a lot of success because we put in a lot of hard work. I am proud of my crew; they made the hard work payoff.”
After such a dominant season Davis didn’t have much reason to change a thing on his impressive machine. Despite the lack of changes, for whatever reason, Davis says the bike is running better than ever during recent test sessions.
“We really haven’t changed much, but we actually picked up a little e.t.” Davis said. “I’ve got my eight-mile time down to low 4.30s at 178 mph. That’s six or seven hundredths better than last year.”
Davis continues to aggressively prepare and thinks the 2004 Funny bike season will be as competitive and spirited as ever.
“This year it’s going to take 6.60s to win, and as long as the traction is there, we feel like we can do that,” Davis said. “The bike showed a lot of promise at the last race. I was off the gas and still went a 6.74.”
Davis attributes his success to the mechanical combination that the team perfected during the ladder part of the season.
“We really had the tune-up this year,” Davis said. “There are a lot of great competitors in this class with fast bikes, they just missed the tune-up a little bit. I look for a lot of them to step-up this season.”
Davis initially struggled during his first few seasons with Prostar and points to the mechanical changes made at the end of the 2002 season as what really turned the team’s fortune around.
“Things really started to come together at the World Finals of 2002,” Davis said. “The two things that really helped us were the Low Boy chassis and our unique engine combination. I’ve always tried to be a little bit different than anyone else when it comes to tuning. I only run one stage of nitrous.”
Davis was very vocal throughout the season in expressing to fellow competitors that you don’t have to buy a $10,000 alcohol system to be competitive. However, despite his bike still capable of winning races, later this season Davis plans to trade in his carbureted nitrous machine for a Gary Clark alcohol injected ride.
“What I have now is plenty capable of consistent 6.70s, which can still win races,” Davis said. “I want to go to the next level and take a shot at the 6.40s and even the 6.45 record. The bike that we’re going to get will be very similar to what Gary Clark used to ride.”
The Prostar Funny Bike crown isn’t the only championship Davis won last season. He is also active in the SEMDRA series, where he earned the Top Gas number-one plate.
“Believe it or not, it was harder for me to win Top Gas than Funny Bike,” Davis said. “Even the Prostar boys will tell you they have some tough competition in SEMDRA.”
Davis has a true passion for motorcycle drag racing and has been competing ever since the age of 18, when his dad put him on a Pro ET bike.
“My dad has been at it since the early 70s. He won a lot of track championships,” Davis said. “He’s taught me everything I know. He’s very experienced and I wouldn’t have been able to win the championship without him. He knows what to look for when I leave the line and I know what to tell him about what the bike’s doing. That knowledge is what wins races for us.”
Davis has become so comfortable at high speeds he boldly admits that someday he would like to try Top Fuel “No teams have approached me or anything, but it is something I could see myself doing,” Davis said. “I would really like to be out there on a Top Fuel Harley.”
Davis is looking forward to another successful season and if all goes well, he will be at all the Prostar races.
“It’s hard not to go when you got a gold card,” laughed Davis of his free pass into all of the Prostar races that all class champions are given. “We’re just going to have to get off to a good start. I’m sure we will be at a lot of the SEMDRA races too.”
Davis expressed gratitude towards all of his dedicated sponsors and looks forward to representing them again in 2004. Davis thanked: Carl at C&W, Wiseman Transmissions, Schnitz Racing, Bronze Bunz, Turbonetics, World Wide Bearings, Cycle Masters, Tucker Rocky, VP racing Fuels, Jack’s Cycle Salvage, Web Cam, Franklin Automotive, NOS, and Nettles Cabinets.
Davis also thanked his family and crew for all their support: John, Tracy, Brandy, Stormy, and Trista.