If there’s one thing that EVERYONE at the American Motorcycle Racing Association’s (AMRA) June 25-26 race at Beech Bend Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky could agree on, it was that it was hot—VERY hot and humid.
“This was probably the hottest race I’ve ever been to,” said Top Fuel winner Ryan Peery. “Air temp 95+, track temp 140+, over 100 water grains, and an altitude close to 4000 feet.”
“It was very hot and humid, which makes it even more difficult to tune a nitro bike,” agreed Nitro Funnybike winner Jim Doyle.
And so on and so on. Suffice it to say that I spent at least as much time in the shade drinking beer as I did on track shooting photos, but isn’t that the Bowling Green way, after all?
“This makes for the exact opposite of perfect conditions,” said Peery, pictured carrying the wheel high and proud in the featured photo at the top of the page. “Just getting down the track is extremely hard enough, but to run .60s in qualifying and then .40s on elimination day is a miracle.” A miracle that Peery achieved.
“After some bad luck here recently (blowing my motor up at the last race), I finally had some new parts to work with,” continued Ryan. “Huge thanks to Jay Turner Racing for scrounging up what parts he could for me. I was able to run 6 consecutive 6-sec passes. I’ve always said, consistency will win races and that was proven again.”
Turner may have had second thoughts about providing Peery with the necessary tools when the two met in the final. Turner took the tree by a wide .048 to .114 margin, but Peery drove around with a 6.49 at 212 miles per hour to Jay’s 6.67 at 207 in a fitting Top Fuel final.
But back to the weather. “Water grains were 117,” said Doyle. “We usually have about 40 to 60. So every one was down on power plus the track was slick.”
Doyle’s big time opponent was Chris Smith on Peery’s rebuilt “Big Nasty.” But number one qualifier Doyle (with a 7.06) was the class of the field all weekend, including the final against Smith.
“My crew—including Doc Flynn, John Garvey, and Emily Kendall—sweated it to get the win,” said Doyle. “Our next race for AMRA is Bristol. The Bowling Green win put us back in first place in the points. I will be riding the blower bike of Dan Grinde Cycles at Bristol.”
Michigan racer Paul Anderson took the Pro Fuel win over Illini Jim Martin. Anderson gave up the tree by .017 against number one qualifier Martin (7.49), but kept it lit and stuck for the 7.90 to 8.24 win.
Kimberly DeShields won Pro Gas and Modified, easily outdistancing AHDRA Pro Open champ Kevin Campbell in Gas, then taking the tree and laying down a .41 better ET against Gary DeGrange in an all De-Named Mod final.
AHDRA Pro Modified champ Shane Pendergrast won that class in Bowling Green, beating Louisiana Harley-Davidson dealer Bill Doherty in the final. Pendergrast gave up .013 at the tree but laid down an 8.63 for the win against Doherty’s 9.50. “I just want to thank the AMRA and staff at Beech Bend for having a good race with the heat,” said Shane.
Charley Douglass continues to be a racer in search of competition, running solo in Outlaw Street. “After two years of not being able to race my Outlaw Street Harley, it’s good to be back riding this monster,” said Douglass.
“We are still dialing it in with the addition of a turbo, fuel injection, and a MaxxECU. Being the only competitor racing in Outlaw Street in Bowling Green, I used this time to test some things. I managed an 8.17 at 174.23 spinning most of the track.
“I hope to see all of my Outlaw competition very soon. I understand completely having to wait on parts.
“I want to thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to race and for keeping me safe. I want to thank my very understanding wife for all of her support, my dad for being my teammate and best friend, Energy One Clutches for making the best clutches available, my good friends Steve Allstaedt, Andy Simon Sr. and Chad Hart, xlxbhorsepower, Joe Perry at Joe’s Part,. CP-Carrillo, Lynchburg H-D, Vreelands H-D, Axtell Sales, Victory Gotay for tuning, Justin Collier, Mike Maurath, Advanced Sleeve, R&D Motorsports, Comp Turbos, and the Ken Browne family—Pete and Keith Browne—for showing all of us the Harleys will run on a turbo!
“We are just getting started, follow along as we fine tune the monster.”
“It was hot,” echoed Pro Dresser winner Jason Broski. “Track was hard to get a handle on. Jeremy (number one qualifier Jeremy Williamson) gave me lane choice in the finals when it was his to choose. Proved to be a bad decision.”
Broski thanked his sponsors Ward Performance, Kibblewhite Precision Machining Inc, and GRC.
Number one qualifier Brian Conley Jr. gave up .034 to Casey Smith at the start of the Hot Street final, but drove around 9.59 to 9.95 for the win.
“It was a good weekend, number one qualifier and taking home first place,” said Conley. “We were fighting the heat and still working out some bugs in the new bike but we got it done. It was the first time we had the bike on the track since we finished it. Very happy with how things went. We are looking forward to the rest of the season and improving from here.
“Thank you to the AMRA and Beech Bend for a great event, and JT’s Auto and Cycle racing, Valley Racing, and everyone supporting us!”
Conley also runner-upped to Stephen Lacy in Super Street. Conley took the tree .044 to .118, but Lacy drove around 10.23 to 10.52.
“First thing I’d like to say is a huge thank you to Backwoods Performance and David Leopke,” said Lacy. “His support is the very backbone of my racing success.
“Second, I’d like to invite all the participants at Bowling Green to take a look at the Super Street class. We need more participants! It’s a great heads-up class with a rule set that keeps a lot of bikes included! I’m very excited about what I’m hearing from the staff of the AMRA and look forward to many years of competition with them!”
Jay Dekerlegand had Charles Baker beat at the tree and out-ran him on track for the Street Dresser win. “Unlike our first AMRA race this year in Belle Rose, Louisiana, at No Problem Raceway, where we had lots of problems, laughed Dekerlegand. “This last race at Bowling Green was a huge success for our team. Everything worked flawlessly. Won best reaction time in Street Dresser with a .000 on a pro tree, set multiple records, number 1 qualifier, won the class with a best and new 1/4 mile record with a 10.305 ET.
“This class is a 117 cubic inch limit, stock wheelbase, stock swingarm, footshift, no lock-up clutch. We are running a twin cam Road King.
“Would like to thank the AMRA staff along with Beech Bend Raceway and staff—very professional and great people; Wolf Grasser “Mutant Motors by Wolf” shop owner, bike owner/builder, for all his hard work and long hours getting this bike ready and of course, for giving me the opportunity to pilot it; Winter Grasser photographer & videographer Jimmy Maikranc, Tony DeKerlegand, Al and Jackie Dula, Randy, Jeff Boudreaux, Rocky, Chris and Mel Mann with VP Racing fuels, Patrick Gates, special thanks to Westside Chevrolet and everyone else in making this happen. Hope to continue winning and setting new records. Good Luck to all!
“It was my first race of the year, and it was very hot,” said Terry Mason, who beat Donnie Huffman in Eliminator and runner-upped to Charlie Walker in Street Eliminator. “I thought I gonna have a heat stroke.
“Lots of great racers starting off with Casey Smith, multi-race winner this year. Then running YD Smith, former national E class champion, and ending the day against the legend—multiple time national champion and reigning #1 Donnie Huffman. It was tough. I feel fortunate to pull off the win.
“My bike was pretty consistent all day, even though running three classes. I qualified number one in Street Eliminator class (11.50 index) and ended up runner-up against another long time legend, Charlie Walker.
“Again I’m honored to race such great racers and be able to call them friends and racing family. I want to thank my biggest fan, my wife Patty, and the preacher Randy Hammons. Thanks again.”
Dave Doremus beat John Shotts in Top Eliminator, and Curt Stuckenschneider beat Crosby Blair in Super Gas. Blair also runner-upped to Cody Hayworth in Pro Eliminator, and Matt Hauser beat Heather Jendruch in Super Pro.
AMRA’s Bristol race is August 19-20, but you can race before that at Milan Dragway with AHDRA on July 29-31.
CLICK ON THE SUMMARY SHEET BELOW FOR THE FULL RESULTS
CLICK ON THE SUMMARY SHEET ABOVE FOR THE FULL RESULTS
story and photos by Tim Hailey