We’ve covered nitro and now move on to gasoline classes at Rockingham Dragway’s 31st annual Jim McClure Memorial All-Harley Nationals AMRA and AHDRA event. Today we focus on the wheelie-bar, out-the-backdoor pro classes.
Zipper’s Performance Pro Modified
Lake Charles Harley-Davidson dealer and multi-time H-D drag racing champion Billy Doherty (featured photo above) took the Zipper’s Performance Pro Modified win, just as he did in 2020. Doherty won Pro Gas at this event last year and also claimed this year’s AMRA Pro Mod championship.
Doherty gave up the tree but took the stripe against North Florida winner John Price in the final.
“The 2022 race season in Pro Mod for Larry Pratt has been a year and a half of perseverance and determination, and showed what Larry and I can do as a team,” said Doherty.
“To give you a little background on Larry Pratt and my team. We were friends. In 2016, three days after the finals in Rockingham, my crew chief for my Pro Gas bike was found dead in his home. 2016 Christmas Eve, my father had a stroke. New Years Day of 2017, my dad had a bleed in the brain and never regained himself or came home.
“Larry called me and offered to help on my Pro Gas bike for 2017. I didn’t know my plans for that year. I still raced in 2017. Larry lost his rider for his Pro Mod bike and went through several riders that year. I got a call from Larry to ride his bike at the finals. We won, but lost his championship and were runner-up in the championship.
“I have since rode his bike till last year at Bowling Green when the motor was almost destroyed. We didn’t have much choices to continue in the points chase in 2021. I bought a 113 Pro Mod motor that was for sale and I drove to Michigan with my Pro Gas bike and we converted my Pro Gas bike to Pro Mod. We struggled with that set up the rest of 2021. AHDRA finals last year I bought the motor in my Pro Mod now.
“This race season we started with a unknown motor to us, and everything seemed to be fighting us with this converted Pro Gas bike to Pro Mod. We were doing good but were always struggling on everything.
“Things started coming around in the Bowling Green fall race when I got a new RacePak and we were getting correct and useful data. We came into the finals with a lead in points in Pro Mod. What we were most proud of was that each pass during the weekend, we got faster and faster. In the finals we made the fastest pass from a Pro Mod in 3 years in ET on a quarter mile.
“We were so excited that all of our hard work had paid off on with a win and clinching the AMRA 2022 Pro Mod national championship. What a task that we took on just a year and a half ago. God had a plan and we did it.”
Zipper’s Performance PRO MOD results
Semifinals – Billy Doherty, Lake Charles, La., .053, 8.382, 159.01 mph, def. Loreto Pesce, Newark, Del., .112, 8.993, 149.00 mph; John Price, Emmitsburg, Md., .098, 8.552, 153.16 mph, def. Shane Pendergrast, Murfreesboro, Tenn., .091, 11.087, 86.02 mph.
FINAL – Billy Doherty, Lake Charles, La., .040, 8.338, 159.48 mph, def. John Price, Emmitsburg, Md., .027, 8.631, 153.09 mph.
“It was definitely a killer weekend all around,” said Schaffroth. “This was my first race on this bike and I was happy just to get some seat time, much less climbing through eliminations.
“Everyone in the class was tough competition and showed a ton of camaraderie towards me.
“Most of all, I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for the support of my family and Bad Apple Racing. I cannot thank Tracy Kile, Mary Dangrow, Jimmy McMillian and all the Bad Apples enough for all the wisdom and support.”
DeShields secured the AMRA Modified championship.
Semifinals – Frank Schaffroth, Elberon, Va., .124, 9.349, 141.43 mph, def. Gary Douglass, Staunton, Va., .093, 9.427, 142.69 mph; Kimberly DeShields, Smyrna, Tenn., bye.
FINAL – Frank Schaffroth, Elberon, Va., .108, 9.258, 140.96 mph, def. Kimberly DeShields, Smyrna, Tenn., .055, 9.484, 139.35 mph.
Maryland racer Keith Carper cut a wicked .009 light on the all-time H-D drag racing champ Donnie Huffman (.036) in the Pro Gas final, then ran a better lap to secure the class win.
“After two and a half years of breaking parts, it’s starting to come around,” said Carper. “Starting at Cecil County, Maryland. Got to set personal records, getting into the 8.70s with some killer 60 foots all weekend.
“Pulled all the weight off and took it to Rockingham and qualified number one with 8.96 and 8.97 on a slippery track. Little bit of tuning on Sunday got me in to the finals with Donnie Huffman. A good light and smooth launch got me the win for my first Pro Gas win, seeing more personal records in ET, MPH.
“What a weekend, and nothing broke. Thanks to John Price and crew for all the support to keep the black bike going, and Gregg Dahl at GMS, and Zippers Performance.
AHDRA 2021 Pro Open champ Kevin Campbell won the 2022 AMRA Pro Gas championship. “It’s an honor to be Pro Gas champion, and I am looking forward to the next step in our teams plans,” said Campbell. “I thank you for your support in covering of the greatest family sport I’ve been blessed to be involved in. Thank you and Ride level!”
Semifinals – Keith Carper, Laurel, Md., .533, 9.115, 147.02 mph, def. Kevin Campbell, Southern Pines, .177, 12.276, 110.88 mph; Donnie Huffman, Lakeland, Fla., .099, 9.013, 144.09 mph, def. Chris Lanktree, Mayo, Yukon, Canada, .012, 9.285, 145.69 mph.
FINAL – Keith Carper, Laurel, Md., .009, 8.695, 150.08 mph, def. Donnie Huffman, Lakeland, Fla., .036, 9.045, 144.09 mph.
story and photos by Tim Hailey