“Tii Owns Bristol”—Mark Conner

Just before round 1, Jay Turner Racing’s Dorothy Olson and I were talking about what a tight field it was here in Bristol.
“Anything can happen,” I noted.
“I just hope it doesn’t happen to us,” replied Dorothy.
It didn’t, but….
…it happened to #1 qualifier Bob Malloy, who saw a 6.44 coupled with an .071 light fall short against Beau Layne (far lane). Beau jumped from his 6.62 qualifying time all the way to a 6.479, which when paired with his .033 light gave him the winlight by .0028

Just because Tharpe didn’t get beat in round 1 didn’t mean that Olson and Turner didn’t give Tii a whipping after the pass. “Tii got out of his routine and I had to set him straight,” said Dorothy. “But he’s really good about constructive criticism.”
Rex Harris (at right talking to Mike Scott) delivered a smooth and strong tune-up for Tharpe’s bike in the final.
Mark Conner felt the pressure of finding just the right spot for Tharpe to line-up in against Doug Vancil. “I was gonna go to the left groove, but at the last minute I found the perfect spot in the right and waved him over.”

Tharpe’s bike stuck perfectly while Vancil suffered the double trouble of a redlight followed by some serious tire boiling. Tii executed a flawless routine this time around for his second straight Bristol win.
Tii with his son Marty, his dad Marty, Maddy Lehman, and their good friend Wally
It can’t be overstated that Jay Turner has put together a winning team against the toughest of competition. By Gainesville, Turner said the team’s championship effort was firmly behind Tharpe.
Turner had, of course, hoped to meet Tharpe in the final but blamed his own lack of aggressive tuning for losing to Vancil in the semi. “I’ll never race scared again,” said Jay.

story and photos by Tim Hailey

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