The Jay Turner RACING Factor

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The Jay Turner RACING Factor

By Sandra Alberti

Jay Turner is a drag racer, through and through. His accomplishments in the sport of motorcycle drag racing are well documented and his numerous event wins and national championships speak for themselves. But as you walk through the doors of Straight Line Services of NC, home of Jay Turner Racing, you are struck not by the trophies and awards, but the commitment and sweat equity invested into the sport that has treated him so well.

The recent expansion of Straight Line Services has the future Hall of Famer poised to make an even more significant impact to the motorcycle drag racing industry through its full-service machine shop; with plans for a production facility in the near future. While the production end of things is still in its infancy, Turner has acquired the machinery for ground-up Top Fuel Harley builds, from CAD equipment, CNC machines, lathes, metalworking, welding, and fabrication equipment.

“We make horsepower, we go fast, and our performance is proven on Sundays,” says Turner.

Fielding up to four bikes in the competitive National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley Drag Racing series gives Turner first-hand knowledge of what it takes to be competitive on a national stage. With the ability to machine his own parts in-house, he also has the ability to help fellow competitors as well as newcomers to the sport, ensuring that the Top Fuel Harley class will continue to grow and expand beyond today’s competitive landscape.

A perfect example is the Triple J Clutch Hat, designed by Jeremy Hoy and produced in-house by Turner, Hoy and Justin Heinle; and now used by multiple competitors in the class. Building on that success is the next step in the evolution of Jay Turner Racing, but at a pace that doesn’t sacrifice quality. Design is one thing, but structural integrity is key for Turner who is a stickler for details. “We man-handle these machines every time we go down the drag strip, there’s no finesse involved, and much like riding a bull, we have to anticipate what the bike is going to do and react aggressively. Parts need to withstand that aggression and the combustive nature of nitro.”

Business partner and operations manager Dorothy Olson agrees. “Nothing leaves the shop until it’s Bulldog proof; if it can survive Jay Turner, it’s ready to be marketed to other racers.” Olson expanded by saying that while the shop can accommodate one-off production, they are focusing on the long game of providing competition tested parts, technology, and complete builds to welcome newcomers to the class, as well as support existing competitors.

Turner takes the responsibility in stride and explains that no sale ends with the financial transaction. Tuning and coaching are all part of the JTR package and it’s refreshing to learn how big a part that plays in the backbone of the business. When asked what was more satisfying, a Jay Turner win or a Jay Turner Racing win, he unequivocally stated, “A team win; happy customers keep the wheels moving and our teams energized.”

And JTR has teamwork in spades. The old adage that “teamwork makes the dream work” is no joke at the shop or on the road and Turner is the first to applaud the team he has assembled. The investment in equipment and machinery is incomplete without the knowledge base to actually produce parts and Turner has surrounded himself with the best.

Rex Harris created the modern day Top Fuel Harley fuel system and is the foundation of all CAD design for new production. Jeremy Hoy and Justin Heinle hail from very successful careers with the late multi-time Funny Bike and Top Fuel Harley Champion Ray Price. Add Bobby Buckley, Don Newlove, Benny Knott, Mark Revels and Mark Conner to the mix and you’ve got a dream team of lethal assassins wreaking havoc on the competition.

That competition always breeds innovation, and with such innovation, Turner will field a blower bike in 2019 competition for the first time in his storied career. The technology is not new, with Tak Shigematsu, Jason Pridemore, Mike Pelrine, Nate Gagnon and others have tested the supercharged V-Twin waters over several seasons. Not interested in discussing the politics of his build, Turner is focused on the performance possibilities of his new ProCharger combination, and putting on a show for fans and foes alike. Turner concludes, “We’re ready to get the 2019 race season started and excited to see our family, friends, and fans at the track.”

Jay Turner Racing would like to thank the following companies for their gracious support: Lucas Oil, ProCharger, Spevco, AB&H Excavating, Quickway Trucking, Brown & Miller, APE, Gates, Jimmy Cable’s Body Shop, Prime Companies, Island Pacific Equipment.

2019 Jay Turner Racing competitors include: Jay Turner, Tii Tharpe, Randal Andras, Mike Scott