With qualifying concluded after Q-2, Tommy Grimes driving for Ray Price Harley Davidson sat in the #1 spot with a 6.30 at 228.5mph. This earned him a by run in the opening round of eliminations.
Before E-1 commenced, Ray asked Tommy, “Do you want to go out first or last this round?” Because they were low qualifier they had the option to lead the round or be last out. Tommy replied, “The Funny Cars and dragsters were just out there before us, so we won’t get a better race track. Let’s go out first.” Ray smiled and nodded his head, he know what to do with the tune-up. He put the boots to it.
Tommy quipped after the run, “I knew it would be a good run, I just didn’t know how good. So I just drove it hard as I could. I knew it would be a good number, I didn’t expect it to be a teen. An elapsed time of 6.171 @ 224.32 was the result and the team of Ray Price Harley Davidson announced they are more than ready to take on all comers.
The next pair out was Len Darnell vs. Jason Pridemore. Darnell got out by half a bike length at the launch and stayed ahead of Jason all the way down the track, his .073 reaction time to Jason’s .179 RT was the culprit. At the stripe, Jason’s quicker 6.32 to Len Darnell’s 6.35 was not enough to overcome the starting line deficit.
Len commented after the run “That pass was about what we expected, we knew we would run a good number. Now we have a bye run into the final round.”
Jason Pridemore was very pleased at his return to racing after his last trip to a race track resulted in a crash. “I’m so very pleased and blessed we had a good outing this race. Now I’ve only had two runs on the bike since our mishap, so to come out here, qualify and run our personal best elapsed time, wow. Let me tell you, it’s been so much work, so frustrating learning what this blower bike likes and don’t like, you just wouldn’t believe how much work this thing is. But suddenly when this thing comes to life and it runs the number and starts to show us what it can do – that makes it all worth it.”
His numbers reflect exactly what Jason is implying by his statement. His 1.083 sixty foot says he’s getting a handle on the clutch and his 4.02 @ 193mph at half track indicates clearly the bike was on a low six second run and is quite capable of running the first ever five second pass by a Top Fuel Harley. Mr. Pridemore and his team of ladies have every reason to be elated even though they went out first round.
In the final pair of Top Fuel Harleys, Chris Streeter and Joey Sternotti went at it and Joey jumped out first with a .099 RT, to Streeter’s .143 reaction to the tree. Joey was on a good run and thought he had it, then came transmission problems. “I knew we could win it, but once I felt that tranny problem come it, that was it. The motor was not happy either, after the burn out and my wife Rose looked at me like – are you sure you want to do this – and of course I went for it. My out look is, if your not ready to blow the heads off the bike, why are you out here? If you’re not ready to go for it, then don’t even take the bike out of the trailer.”
Speaking of going for it, Chris Streeter driving for DJ had his own nitro-nightmares in progress. After working till 2AM the night before attending a torched head, they managed to beat Joey 6.52 @ 212 to Joey’s 7.20 @ 148, but once again DJ’s motor suffered piston ring issues and his front cylinder was mauled by piston damage. The number two ring land on the front cylinder was hammered down almost to the wrist pin, so that was all for that combination.
Right after E-1, Chris Streeter was off to a local machine shop to make repairs and he didn’t get back to the track till close to 4AM last night. Both DJ and Chris are hoping for enough time to get the bike back together for E-2 today.
After Chris beat Joey to the finish line, he had his hands full after a 212 mph run complete with an injured motor that was spewing oil everywhere from the trashed front cylinder. It took him a bit longer than normal to stop the bike, and like Len Darnell the day before, he too ended up in the sand trap. When asked later why he was going dirt bike racing with a Harley T/F bike he replied, “I got bored with the regular runs down the track and I figured I just make things interesting.” In reality, Chris did a hell of a job driving, kept the bike upright, and didn’t panic which saved the bike and made the best of a bad situation.
Len Darnell, Vancover, Wash., ’01 Harley, 6.366, 217.46 def. Chris Streeter, Cleveland, Ohio, ’10 Harley, 7.024, 201.82.
ARTICLE REPOSTED FROM DRAGBIKE.com
The Ray Price Motorsports team sends sincere thanks to all their sponsors for their support. They include our Primary Sponsors: Akea, Ray Price Harley-Davidson, with special thanks to our Associate Sponsor Raleigh H.O.G. and our Support Sponsors: Vanson Leathers, PJ1 Products, RC Components, CP Pistons, Barnett Clutches & Cables, Autolite Sparkplugs, Mickey Thompson Tires, Gates Belts, Nationwide Insurance, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, JIMS USA, Industrial Machine Solutions, Wiley X, LAT Racing Oils and Nitrolube. Additional thanks: Bill Hayes, Hargis Consulting, Ultra Pro Machining and Freddie Robbins.