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U.S. 131 Next Stop for Spectacular AMRA Nitro Harleys

Tim Hailey photo

Michigan, get ready! The ground-pounding, flame-throwing Nitro Harley-Davidson motorcycles of the PennGrade1 American Motorcycle Racing Association (AMRA) are coming to beautiful U.S. 131 Motorsports Park on June 14-16. Centrally located between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, this jewel of a race track is set to host the quickest and fastest Harley-Davidson drag racers from all parts of the globe.

But Cecil County runner-up and 2023 Rockingham Finals winner Jordan Peterson is riding for the home team — Sturgis, Michigan legends Mike and Jack Romine. The Romines will have the big Iowa rider tuned up to defend their home state from nitro invaders in the marquee Circle M Ranch/Dove Fuels Top Fuel class.

They’ll have to fend off AMRA champ and recent Norwalk winner Ryan Peery, North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Famer Jay “Bulldog” Turner, AMRA’s own John “JT” Toth, two-time NHRA champ Tii Tharpe on his Spevco mount, Ohio hero Jason Pridemore and his beautiful blown bike, and more.

Nitro Funnybikes make all the noise of Top Fuel with fewer cubes and no transmission. Champion Jim Doyle, Bad Apple Racing’s Cameron Gunter, 2X-for-2024 runner-up Jason Leeper, and more will fling their Nitro Funnybikes down the Martin 1320 for your thrills and grins.

Hawaya Racing Pro Fuel are smaller still and carbureted, but fill the air with nitro power, smell and noise. Champion Sam White started his title defense with a win in Louisiana but has stumbled the last two races. He’ll face Cecil County winner “Bad Apple Mary” Dangrow, Norwalk winner Curt Sexton, Funnybike racer Leeper, Jim “Bad Influence” Martin, Hot Rod Carlisle and more.

For most of us, nitro is for watching but gasoline is something we can all relate to. Well, maybe not at the level of AMRA’s pro bikes and riders.

Outlaw Street bikes take gas to its most extreme limits, mixing it with nitrous or compressing it with massive turbos. Charley Douglass, Tim Grindle, Ken Miller and more are expected to launch their no-bar bikes to mind-blowing performances.

Add saddlebags and you’ve got Zipper’s Performance Pro Bagger—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 Martin to the test of adhesion and nerve.

The slightly milder Thundermax Street Baggers will see riders Jimmy Maikranz, 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 racer 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 finishline games begin, 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!

PennGrade1 AMRA’s Greg and Julia Baugh, and John “JT” Toth and Marianne Miller look forward to welcoming the whole Harley-Davidson drag racing family to beautiful U.S. 131 Motorsports Park.

Event Details
$20 per day
Friday: Test & Tune – 3 pm to 8 pm
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.

This story was originally published on June 11, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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