The AMA/AHDRA All-American motorcycle drag racing series crowned its third year of champions in the Bill and Crissy Rowe era, despite battling some serious weather set-backs.
The season started with a Gainesville opener that was shortened by shutdown weepers on a beautiful sunny day. A rare Rockingham rain cancellation initiated the first-ever AHDRA/AMRA combined McClure Nationals. And finally, a Florida State of Emergency brought on by Hurricane Nicole canceled the Gainesville Finals. Sometimes, that’s the luck.
But champions persevere, and AHDRA recognizes their best, twelfth in a series.
Charley Douglass, who started racing in 1999, has grown up to live every child’s dream life. He works as a maintenance supervisor for Little Debbie snack cakes during the week and drag races Harleys with his dad Gary on weekends. And he does it good enough to snag the championship in GMS Xtreme Outlaw, a nearly unlimited class for gas-burning, power-added, street tire V-Twins.
“This year has been a huge learning experience,” said Douglass. “I started the year off with new billet heads—a joint effort between Dan Daffner, Justin Collier, Chad Hart and myself. Also new the Maxx ECU that controls my new fuel injection set-up, with a mechanical fuel pump and two huge injectors. Add in a turbo and you’ve got one big headache. Somehow, while learning all of this stuff, I ran a personal best of 7.87 at 178.97 mph and won the AHDRA Xxtreme Outlaw class.
“Interesting fact: I paid for my outlaw street bike by refinancing my truck. I had just paid it off.
“I met two really great people that have helped me tune and learn the Maxx stuff—Victor Gotay and Jesse Brown. Thanks to both of you for all of your help.
“This was a sad year for Douglass Racing as we lost one of our great friends, Steve Alsteadt. We will honor him by continuing to run his SA Racing decals on all of our bikes as long as we race.
“I want to thank my loving wife Angel for all of her support. She is missed so much at the track, she is a full time caregiver to both of her parents in our home. Thanks to my Dad for being my teammate, best friend, and crew cheif. Thanks to my sister Jody, aunt Cindy, and nephew Jacob for all of your support at the track .
“Special thanks to Kent and Nancy Foltz, owners of Energy One Clutches, for making the best clutches available. Also thanks to CP-Carrillo pistons and rods, Advanced Sleeve, H-D of Lynchburg, Vreelands H-D, Joe’s Parts, Dan Daffner at Axtell Cylinders, Justin Collier, Chad Hart Xlxbhorsepower, Andy Simon, and the Ken Browne family.
“Thanks to everyone that encouraged me this year, I really needed it. We will be back next year. This turbo bike is going to do great things! Thank you Jesus for keeping me safe and saving my soul!”
story and photos by Tim Hailey