AMRA Jim McClure Nationals at The Rock

Persistent rain showers washed out the 28th annual Jim McClure Memorial All-Harley Nitro World Finals Sunday at Rockingham Dragway, but not before Randal “Fast Coonass” Andras won the Top Fuel championship for himself and Jay Turner Racing, and definitely not before I got some good snaps and video on Saturday. Check out Mike Beland torching both heads in the GIF above.

The No. 3 qualifier behind teammate and two-time reigning NHRA Champion Tii Tharpe, Andras raced to quick time of the opening round at 6.549 seconds, 207.34 miles per hour to turn back Bill “Billy Jack” Jackson of Honeybrook, Pa. That clinched the title insomuch as Turner, who was second entering the event, suffered a DNQ testing his ProCharged bike.

Check out the huge nitro flame in this video of Turner’s Saturday night attempt:

Think that was wild? Check out Tracy Kile wheelieing out of control over the starting line:

Rookie Top Fuel rider Craig Fisher, shown here leaning the Bad Apple bike away from your’s truly beyond the 330.
Here’s Jay smoking the tire earlier in the day
Tii Tharpe

Only one round of Top Fuel and partial rounds of Pro Fuel and Nitro Funny Bike were completed between the rain showers, ultimately compelling organizers to pull the plug on the race for the second time in six years.

Peter Geiss
New Nitro Funnybike champ Ryan Peery, with Rocky Jackson in the background
Outgoing Funnybike champ Rich Vreeland

Japanese rider Tadashi Saito rode one of Don “DJ” Johnson’s Funnybikes
Janette Thornley

It was a particularly disappointing outcome for Statesville’s Janette Thornley, who had hoped to overtake Dennis Waldron of Ownings, Md., for the AMRA Pro Fuel championship especially when Waldron was upset in one of the two first round races completed before the washout.

Waldron was upset by Jim Martin of Carleton, Mich., in one of the two first round races completed in Pro Fuel. In the other, No. 1 qualifier Kirby Apathy of Deland, Fla., topped Rocky Jackson of Arnaudville, La., in the process earning AMRA world record certification of his qualifying time of 7.128 seconds.

Ever wonder what Assim Chaudhry’s eyes look like at 330 feet? Here you go
Stacey Bortz
Stephane Crete

ROCKINGHAM, N.C.  – Results from the 28th annual Jim McClure Memorial All-Harley Nitro World Finals at Rockingham Dragway at the time racing was suspended by rain on Sunday.  Hometowns are North Carolina unless otherwise indicated.  Results include reaction time, track time, target time where applicable and finish line speed:


Qualifying – 1. Tii Tharpe, East Bend, 6.325, 223.91 mph; 2. Jim Fagan, Valley City, Ohio, 6.748, 195.31 mph; 3. Randal Andras, Amelia, La., 6.926, 188.65 mph; 4. Chris Streeter, Cleveland, Ohio, 7.079, 170.06 mph; 5. Peter Geiss, Huntington, N.Y., 7.541, 159.48 mph; 6. Tyler Wilson, Walnut Cove, 7.702, 127.86 mph; 7. Tim Kerrigan, Novato, Calif., 7.744, 163.10 mph; 8. Don Becker, Palm Coast, Fla., 8.407, 122.97 mph.  Did not qualify: Jay Turner, Julian, 8.412, 107.68 mph; Robert Stewart, Grovester, Va., 9.274, 100.88 mph; Bill “Billy Jack” Jackson, Honeybrook, Pa., 12.440, 67.04 mph; Tracy Kile, Ashville, 12.680, 59.23 mph; Craig Fisher, Wilmington, Del., 16.462, 49.69 mph; Mike Beland, Maiden, 16.122, 16.04 mph.

Round one of eliminations – Tyler Wilson, Walnut Cove, .141, 6.913, 160.00 mph, def. Chris Streeter, Cleveland, Ohio, .115, 10.932, 76.80 mph; Don Becker, Palm Coast, Fla., .813, 8.906, 145.61 mph, def. Jim Fagan, Valley City, Ohio, broke; Randal Andras, Amelia, La., .041, 6.549, 207.34 mph, def. Bill “Billy Jack” Jackson, Honeybrook, Pa., .112, 13.513, 57.87 mph; Tim Kerrigan, Novato, Calif., .043, 6.929, 194.41 mph, def. Tii Tharpe, East Bend, .055, 10.465, 81.23 mph.


Qualifying – 1. Ryan Perry, Milford, Ohio, 6.553, 209.14 mph; 2. Rich Vreeland, Bloomburg, Pa., 6.802, 206.83 mph; 3. Jim Doyle, Chicopee, Mass., 6.900, 195.65 mph; 4. Tadashi Saito, Tokyo, Japan, 7.042, 171.55 mph; 5. Rocky Jackson, Arnaudville, La., 7.945, 166.99 mph.

Round one of eliminations– Jim Doyle, Chicopee, Mass., .114, 7.025, 198.76 mph, def. Tadashi Saito, Tokyo, Japan, .336, 8.940, 99.36 mph; Ryan Peery, Milford, Ohio, 6.620, 208.88 mph, bye; Rich Vreeland, Bloomburg, Pa., versus Rocky Jackson, Arnaudville, La., undecided.


Qualifying – 1. Kirby Apathy, Deland, Fla., 7.128, 181.98 mph; 2. Chaz Kennedy, Kiln, Miss., 7.355, 174.12 mph; 3. Jim Martin, Carleton, Mich., 7.442, 169.40 mph; 4. Sam White, Chapin, S.C., 7.538, 173.21 mph; 5. Tyler Wilson, Walnut Cove, 7.569, 169.96 mph.

Round one of eliminations – Kirby Apathy, Deland, Fla., .262, 7.153, 179.30 mph, def. Rocky Jackson, Arnaudville, La., .148, 7.920, 164.21 mph; Jim Martin, Carleton, Mich., .099, 7.568, 166.03 mph, def. Dennis Waldron, Ownings, Md., .117, 7.664, 159.04 mph; six first round races undecided.


Qualifying – 1. Billy Doherty, Lake Charles, La., 8.395, 156.44 mph; 2. John Price, Emmitsburg, Md., 8.595, 153.86 mph; 3. Richard Boone, Mint Hill, 8.672, 151.94 mph; 4. Gary Douglass, Staunton, Va., 8.688, 153.04 mph; 5. Keith Cooper, Laurel, Md., 9.110, 142.00 mph.


Qualifying – 1. Tim Grindle, Uniontown, Pa., 7.921, 166.42 mph; 2. Stephane Crete, Victoriaville, B.C., Canada, 8.267, 168.03 mph; 3. Mike Motto, Jacksonville, 8.495, 155.97 mph; 4. Stacey Bortz, Uniontown, Pa., 8.550, 161.05 mph; 5. Dan Dennis, Barrow, Wis., 8.636, 153.72  mph.

Here’s a gallery of AMRA photos from this season. Don’t see yourself? E-mail Tim Hailey

photos and video by Tim Hailey, story by Steve Earwood with additions by Hailey

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