The thunder around Orlando this weekend will not be storms in the air, but instead the rolling nitro Harley thunder of American Motorcycle Racing Association (AMRA) drag racing. The nation’s premier all-American motorcycle drag racing organization is bringing their high-speed, two-wheeled, V-twin action to Orlando Speed World Nationals on May 18-19.
Headlining the event are the Top Fuel Harley bikes that have taken NHRA national events by storm, including former champ Jay Turner’s incredible ProCharged “Lagertha,” which ran 6.18 at nearly 236 mph last time out in Houston.
“I’m looking forward to going back to a Harley race and getting back to where we came from,” said Turner, whose most recent AMRA event was the Jim McClure Nationals last fall at Rockingham Dragway.
Turner will have to face the likes of teammate Randal Andras, Bad Apple Racing’s Tracy Kile, Jake Stordeur, Don Becker on one of Don “DJ” Johnson’s bikes, and more in round after round of ground-pounding action.
Top Fuel’s one gear, injected cousins are Nitro Funnybikes. Champion Rich Vreeland will be in Orlando trying to regroup from a disappointing performance at the season opener at Beech Bend, where “Houston” Hal Cort took home the win. They will have to deal with nitro heroes like Ryan Perry, Gary Stroud on Red Rhea’s bike, and more.
Carbureted nitro Pro Drag bikes will be at Orlando in droves, including national record holder Kirby Apathy, Walter Halonski, Janette Thornley, and more. Just because these bikes are smaller doesn’t mean they don’t pack a loud, exciting punch.
Ditto for AMRA’s gas burners, especially all the badass no-bar streetbikes. Energy One Dressers, Horsepower Inc. Hot Street, Zipper’s Super Street, and Brock’s Performance Outlaw Street all feature stretched, high compression, wheel-standing excitement.
Riders David Dennick, Illinois racer Brian Conley Jr., Dave “Paco” Cartwright, Virginia’s Charley Douglass, Joe Perry, Canadian Stephane Crete, Tim Grindle, Mike Motto, and more will all pilot their beasts down the Orlando quarter mile for AMRA glory.
Wheelie bar bikes get the job done in Pro Modified, Modified, Vreeland’s Harley-Davidson Top Eliminator 9.30 index, Super Comp, Pro Gas, Vreeland’s Harley-Davidson Super Gas 9.90, Super Pro 10.30, Pro Eliminator 10.90 index, Baker Drivetrain Street Eliminator 11.50, and Thundermax Eliminator.
AMRA studs racing for titles in these classes include Shane Pendergrast, Michigan’s Billy Doherty, Gary Douglass, Dan Leslie, Missouri’s Curt Stuckenschneider, Steve Matthews, 23-time national champion Donnie Huffman, Keith Richner, Greg Frost, Kimberly DeShields, Bill Anderson, Tennessean Terry Mason, Kevin Winters, Pensacola’s Rick Miller, Butch Lowe, Mississippi racer Charlie Walker, Matt Hawkins, Ohio racer Dave Doremus, Tennessee’s Scott Barkley, and more.
Local racers will compete for Street Trophy wins and shiny bike show glory.
So if you have American V-twin power between your legs, bring it to Orlando Speed World. You can race it, show it, or just park it and enjoy a day watching great AMRA racing action.
story and photos by Tim Hailey