Keri Jastrzemski passed along the following after witnessing the remarkable comeback of a drag bike legend nearing 80-years-old.
The Nitro Harley legend Mr. Motor Maniac himself, Clyde Rawlings has made a Nitro Harley comeback at age 78.
After racing for over 35 years throughout the 70’s – 90’s, holding national titles, speed records and more he retired from Nitro Harley racing 20 years ago. He continued to build bikes and remained aroundthe tracks as crew and consultant to many.
Recently he started testing for his NHRA Pro Fuel license at Auto Club Famoso in Bakersfield with the help of the Nitro Syndicate Race Team. Nitro Syndicate is a Nitro Harley Race team founded by Top Fuel Racer Tony Ruggiero. Scott Oakley and Steven Ruggiero also race with team as Pro fuel riders along with a great crew.
Tony Ruggiero shared what an outstanding time we had. It was a true honor to be part of getting Clyde back on the track. Scott Oakley and Garrett Oakley had the bike serviced every round, I got a quick handle on the clutch and fuel tune and the teamwork of everyone involved was flawless. Then there was Clyde Rawlings, what an amazing job he did. We had a plan for licensing, and he was spot on.
Started with a 60ft hit 1.54 second pass we wanted to go 150 ft we had a 1.34 60ft 4.44 330 on the third pass we wanted to go to the 300 ft and had another low 1.30 60ft and picked up the 330 to 3.51 on the 4th pass plan was to go 600ft with a slight clutch adjustment we went 1.27 60ft 3.31 at the 330 and 5.20 at 116 at 660 mark. Called it a day and went out to dinner to celebrate.
The plan for the first hit on Sunday was 800ft followed up with 1000ft pass and then finally a full 1320 pull. Unfortunately, we broke a pinion shaft on Sundays first pass. We will repair the bike and get Clyde out hopefully before the end of this year. As for what 2021 will bring us is yet to be determined but the opportunities are endless thanks everyone that supported his comeback. Congrats Clyde on your return to the sport. Thank you, Nitro Syndicate for helping bring back the legend. He rode that bike like he never stopped. He will forever be known as the Rawlings Motor Maniac, even at age 78.
Please join us in congratulating Clyde Rawlings and wishing him all the best moving forward.
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