The perfect end to a championship season! Ray Price Racing went into the final race of the NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway November 7 – 9, with a marginal lead over Damian Cownden for the points championship.
After capturing the teams fifth NHRA win at Mission Raceway Park back in September, the Akea/Ray Price Racing team was excited about their chances of winning the championship. The team prepared for the upcoming NHRA Las Vegas final by competing at two other sanctioned races, one in Norwalk, OH and the other in their own backyard at Rockingham Dragway, NC, finishing first at both races.
With the bike tuned and ready to go upon their arrival at The Strip, Ray Price Racing didn’t waist anytime in putting down some impressive numbers during test and qualifying sessions. During first test session on Thursday the team ran 6.257 ET at 226.43 MPH followed by 6.186 ET at 214.66 MPH. In round one of qualifying on Friday, the 1,000 horsepower Top Fuel Harley Akea Express ended up spinning the tire. Because of spinning the tire on Friday the team went into cautious mode for Saturday qualifying to ensure a good qualifying position. Grimes went out and then ran consistent passes with a 6.377 ET at 229.86 MPH in round two and 6.329 ET at 219.72 MPH in round three, to move into the number three qualifying spot.
Going into Sunday’s finals, the team just needed to win one round of eliminations to clinch the championship. Facing fellow NC top fuel Harley competitor Jay Turner in the first round of eliminations, Turner got the starting line advantage but Grimes made up the distance by the time he went by the Christmas tree and ran a 6.322 ET at 220.69 MPH pass to take the win. With this round win the Akea/Ray Price Racing team would secure the 2014 NHRA Harley-Davidson Top Fuel Championship.
In round two Grimes lead by the 400-foot mark and ran the quickest pass of the event for the win with a 6.246 ET at 220.40 MPH. This gave the team lane choice going into the finals against Damian Cownden. From the time Grimes left the tree, the Akea Express lead all the way to the finish line running 6.315 ET at 220.73 MPH for the sixth NHRA win.
With this win, Ray Price Racing was crowned the 2014 NHRA Harley-Davidson Top Fuel Champion.
“I am very proud of my team, they were with me when I was riding the bike and have been with me all the years since. Also I want to thank all of my sponsors for their help and support in winning this championship”, commented an excited Ray Price.
It has been an exciting season for the Akea/Ray Price Race team, capturing six wins in the NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series, three wins at other sanctioned races and setting several records along the way. A total of nine wins over 15 races that the team competed at in 2014. All in all it was an incredible year for Ray Price Racing. With the championship no one can argue that fact.
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.