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AMRA Nitro Harleys Thundering Into Fabulous Norwalk

Tim Hailey photo

Those fan-favorite, thundering, flame-throwing Nitro Harley-Davidson motorcycles are returning to Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, May 17-19. The PennGrade1 AMRA series rolls into the Disney World of Dragstrips for the Ohio Nitro Nationals—their first visit since last summer’s Night Under Fire.

“Top Fuel Harley is one of the most exciting classes drag racing offers,” said Summit Motorsports Park owner and world-renowned race promoter Bill Bader Jr. “They belch header flames, they’re hanging the front wheel of the motorcycle down the track, the guys are wearing ballistic vests and risking their lives—it’s an amazing visceral experience!”

Jay “Bulldog” Turner added a Night Under Fire win last year to his extensive résumé, which includes NHRA and IHRA championships, a U.S. Nationals win, the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame, and the last AMRA win three weeks ago at Cecil County Dragway.

To get a Circle M Ranch/Dove Fuels Top Fuel win at Norwalk this week, Turner will have to vanquish some extremely tough competition. AMRA champ and Ohio hero Ryan Peery tops a list that includes Cecil County runner-up Jordan Peterson, AMRA’s own John “JT” Toth, two-time NHRA champ Tii Tharpe on his Spevco mount, and more.

Take away a gear and some cubic inches and you’ve got Nitro Funnybikes—every bit as loud and awesome as their big Top Fuel brothers. Champion Jim Doyle, Bad Apple Racing’s Cameron Gunter, No Problem Raceway winner Tadashi “Reggie” Saitou, second-generation star Armon Furr, 2X-for-2024 runner-up Jason Leeper, and more will fling their Nitro Funnybikes down Norwalk’s 1320 for your enjoyment.

Hawaya Racing Pro Fuel are smaller and carbureted, but still fill the air with nitro power, smell and noise. Champion Sam White started his title defense with a win in Louisiana but settled for runner-up last time out. He’ll face Cecil County winner “Bad Apple Mary” Dangrow, Leeper, Jim “Bad Influence” Martin, Curt Sexton, Hot Rod Carlisle and more.

Gasoline is cool too, and AMRA will fill the lanes with gas-burners of all kinds.

Baggers are the rage and Zipper’s Performance Pro Bagger are the angriest of all—turbo and nitrous behemoths throwing everything available in the mechanical and technological world to make all-out quarter mile assaults. Jeremy Williamson, Rick Hunnicutt, Jeremy Justice, Matt Hillen and more are all expected to put Norwalk to the test.

Thundermax Street Bagger riders Keith Evans, Jason Crisp, Dave “Paco” Cartwright, Jeff Boudreaux and more are all expected to fight wheelies the whole 1320.

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Outlaw Street bikes are like Pro Baggers without the bags. Charley Douglass, Tim Grindle and more are expected to launch their no-bar bikes to mind-blowing performances. Douglass also fields an Axtell Cylinders Hot Street bike, along with Joe Petersen and more.

Ditch the stock frame and strap on wheelie bars and you’ve got Pro Modified and Zippers Performance Modified. Kimberly “K-Charm” Deshields, Gary Douglass, Billy Doherty, Dave Doremus, Keith Carper, John Price, and more favor this type of racing.

Index classes are where the brass knuckles come out, and AMRA has them. Top Eliminator 9.30 index, Super Gas 9.90, Thundermax Street Eliminator 11.50, BK Electric Super Pro 10.30, and Pro Eliminator 10.90 feature studs like Donnie Huffman, Cody Hayworth, Chris Hoppe, Crank Lanktree, Monty Garrelts, John Shotts, Robert Alther, Josh Maikranz, Kenny Satterlee, Rick Miller, Heather Jendruch, Chris Phipps, Crosby Blair, Bill Grove, Charlie Ange, Bob Willis, William Quinn and more.

Many of these same riders will also enter Eliminator Dial-in bracket racing, and so can you. Want to try your own American-made V-Twin out on the quarter mile? Bring it along with your safety gear and send it!

AMRA’s Greg Baugh and John “JT” Toth look forward to welcoming the whole Harley-Davidson drag racing family to America’s Race Track, the Bader family’s fabulous Summit Motorsports Park.

Event Details

$25 per day, kids 12 and under are free

HOG and ABATE, $5 off with card

Racer only early track access on Thursday May 16, 2pm to 8pm

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Friday: Test & Tune – 3pm to 8pm

Saturday: Qualifying begins at Noon

Sunday: Opening Ceremonies at Noon; Eliminations immediately following.

AMRA thanks PennGrade1 OilZipper’s PerformanceHawaya RacingAxtell Cylinders, BK Electric, Johnny Mancuso’s Circle M Ranch, Dove Fuels and Thunder Max.

Track details available at summitmotorsportspark.

This story was originally published on May 14, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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