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AHDRA Ohio Bikeweek Nationals Recap

Published on June 7, 2009 by   ·   No Comments

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In Loving Memory – Joshua Tharpe 1978-2006

The weather was forecasted to be perfect for the weekend at Summit Motorsports Park with only a slight chance of rain late on Sunday, if any at all.  This led to good air quality the whole weekend, enabling racers to break ET and MPH records in several categories.

The first record to fall was in the Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod Destroyer category by Nick Gonatas Jr. from Youngstown, OH, who was racing for Warren Harley-Davidson.  Gonatas once again broke the previous ET record of 9.337 in the quarter-mile, which he set during the previous race in Atlanta, with an ET of 9.242.

Mike Roberts of Clinton, OH, racing for Bandit Racing, broke all previous records set in the AHDRA 124 Challenge category.  Mike set a new eighth-mile ET and MPH of 5.677/121.58, as well as a new quarter-mile ET and MPH of 8.971/147.17, breaking the records he had set over the past several years.

One of the most exciting records broken, though, was in the Screamin’ Eagle Top Fuel category.  The #1 qualifier, Joey Sternotti from Blackwood, NJ, set the pace for everyone on his last run on Saturday with a 6.397/226.16.

During Sunday’s eliminations, the Ray Price Top Fuel Harley and Sternotti set a new MPH record.  In the second round of eliminations, Sternotti paired up with national champion Phil Schmidt, who ended up having bike troubles. Meanwhile, Sternotti roared on to a record- setting pass, 6.412/231.91, surpassing the previous record.  Sternotti then paired with Tak Shigematsu in the quarterfinals.  Not only did Sternotti have to back up his previous MPH to set a new record, but he was also now faced in the semifinals with racing the “Man from Japan” who held the previous record of 230.17.  Shigematsu scored a holeshot win over Sternotti with a .063/6.498/219.40. Even so,   it was a record-breaking run for Sternotti with a .103/6.468/ 231.99!

Tak Shigematsu and the Don Johnson Racing team headed to the finals against Tracy Kile and the Bad Apple Racing team.  Shigematsu got Kile at the light, but it was be Kile who took the win at the big end with a .136/6.648/214.72 against Shigematsu’s .068/6.872/213.27.

Tracy commented, “It was an awesome weekend.  Norwalk is both a sad and special event for me.  I lost a good buddy, Josh Tharpe, here at this track three years ago, and just last Thursday my team owner, Dave Lutz, lost his Uncle Carl.  I felt as though they were both watching over and helping me get through each round to make it to the finals for the win.”  Tracy wanted to dedicate his win to both Josh Tharpe and Uncle Carl.  He also thanked Mike Wells Motorworks, Autolite, Performance Tire, Lucas Oil, and The Still.

In Rush Pro Fuel, Randal Andras snagged the #1 qualifying spot with a 6.723/189.36.  He then paired in the finals with Rick Moore from Reading, PA, on the Mid-Continent’s Pro Fuel Harley.  Moore had two eight-second passes during qualifying and made his personal-best qualifying pass during his last run with a 6.765/206.54, giving him the second-best qualifying run for the weekend.

In the finals, Moore cut a 0.55 light to Andras’s 0.85.  However, things took a turn for the worse around the 330-ft. mark.  Moore and the Mid-Continent’s Pro Fuel Harley spun the tire, blew the front head off the cylinder and the rear pipe into his leg, and the chain popped off somewhere after the 1000-ft. mark.  Fortunately, Moore’s light went on, indicating victory against Andras.  Moore sustained minor injuries to his right leg, but he is ready for Kansas City!   He would like to thank his sponsors:  Mike Bahnmaier and Mid Continent Motorsports, Nevada Auto Mall, and Gates Belts.

In AHDRA Pro Stock, Shaun Reno of Hayes, VA, racing for Head Blade Racing, got the #1 qualifying spot with an 8.151/160.48 on Saturday.  He got lucky on Sunday with a broke competitor, Hollenbeck, in the first round and ran a .146/8.119/160.94, his best run of the weekend.  He then got a bye in the semifinals, which would automatically put him in the finals.  It was during his bye run, though, that Reno broke a valve train on the motorcycle going down the track. His luck held strong as Pee Wee from Ground Zero Racing, Charley from Douglass Racing, and many others stepped up and offered their help and parts to get the bike back together for the finals.

Reno was paired against local favorite Mark Venia from Toledo, OH, and the Dyno Power Racing team.  Venia redlit with a -.266/9.006 /160.69 in the finals and gave the win to Reno, but Reno and the Head Blade Racing team still ran an impressive .027/8.177/159.46 for the win. Shaun thanks Head Blade Ultimate Head Care, Hampton Roads Harley-Davidson, Southside Harley-Davidson, S & S Cycle, MSD, and CP Pistons, with a special thanks to Steve Allstaedt.

In AHDRA Pro Drag, Gary Stroud of Valparaiso, IN, emerged from retirement and got the #1 qualifying spot with a 7.676/156.75.  He then paired up with the current points leader, Chuck Jones from St. Petersburg, FL, in the finals.  Jones, riding for Mike Bahnmaier and Mid Continent Motorsports, was the second bike in the finals for the team.  He got the win with a .150/7.457/172.43 against Stroud’s .102/7.448/169.93.  Chuck thanks Mid Continent Motorsports, Mike Bahnmaier, and his crew for all their support.

In Rush Pro Gas, Dale Raudenbush from Macungie, PA, nabbed the #1 qualifying spot with a 7.217/181.20 for the Thiels Wheels/Jon Miller Racing team. He paired with Rick Moore and the Banky Racing team in the finals.  Moore got the light on Raudenbush with a .077/7.888/159.10, but Raudenbush would get the win at the big end with a .238/7.182/183.27. He thanked Thiels Wheels, Jon Miller Racing, Miller Lite, Autolite, and McCullough Industries.

In K & K Pro Mod, Bob “Doc” Goodwin from Tupelo, MS, achieved the #1 qualifying spot with an 8.829/154.63 for the Goodwin Chiropractic Racing team.  Doc went up against some tough competitors, Thomson and Pendergrast, but he scored the wins, which put him into his second final this year.  Russ Johnson from South Bend, IN, and the Johnson Racing team paired up with Doc in the finals. Doc got a good light and a run of .060/8.790/152.21 to take the win against Johnson’s .115/8.800/147.36.  Doc thanked Steve Allstaedt of SA Racing and Stephen Foster of Foster Harley-Davidson for all their help.

In AHDRA Street Pro, Mike Roberts from Clinton, OH, and the Bandit Racing Team scored the #1 qualifying spot with an 8.936/146.18.  Charley Douglass from Staunton, VA, and the Douglass Racing team were paired with Roberts in the finals.  Douglass had a slight advantage at the tree with an .114/9.489/147.47, but Roberts got the win with a run of .148/9.132/145.53.  He thanked Joe’s Hawg Shop, Regina Chain, Barnett Clutches, and Brush Bandit Tree Service.

In Bison Racing/Vreeland’s Harley-Davidson Super Gas, Wendell Overcash Jr. of Sanford, NC, and the Four Season Club team got the #1 qualifying spot with a 9.704/129.87.

In the finals were Wanda Poff from York, PA, and the Pofformance Racing team up against Jeff Stevens from Bloomington, IN, and the D0-Rock Racing team.  Poff got Stevens at the tree with a .039/.069, but Stevens pushed Poff out the back door for the win with a 9.742/130.87 against a 9.679/120.39.

“Things went our way this weekend,” said Stevens.  “We consistently ran the number and the breaks went our way this time. Crew Chief Richard Hankins again did a fantastic job tuning our bikes and they performed really well all weekend. In Super Gas we qualified 7th and won, while in V-Rod Destroyer we qualified 3rd and made it to the semifinals before losing to eventual VRD winner Nick Gonatas Jr., so we were pretty happy with our results for the weekend and our first win.”  Jeff thanked Harley-Davidson/Buell of Bloomington, IN; Lucas Oil; and French Lick Harley-Davidson.

In Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod, Jim Sweet from Osceola, IN, and the Sweet Racing Team got the #1 qualifying spot two races in a row, with a 9.349/141.22.

Fellow Hoosier Lou Gerencer from Elkhart, IN, was paired with Sweet in the finals. Gerencer got a red light with a -.044/9.430/143.22 and gave the win to Sweet, who ran a .138/10.946/91.53.   Jim and wife Debbie appreciated all their friends and family who traveled to Norwalk for the race.  They consider Norwalk to be their home track, so a win there was very special.  They also commented how great it was to have his sister Roxane and Bob in the winner’s circle with them.  Jim thanked Coach Guard, Hoosier Harley-Davidson, and Simeri’s Tavern.

In AHDRA Super Sport, Michael Hauser from Davenport, IA, and the Motorcycle Specialties team snapped up the #1 qualifying spot with a 10.302/121.09.

G.W. Bass of Lynchburg, VA, and the Bass Racing team made it through the field to the finals to be paired with Donnie Huffman of Lakeland, FL.  Huffman faced off against some tough competitors throughout the day, but not even the national champion, Dean Druschel, could get by Huffman to make it to the finals.  Bass ran a .087/10.415/126.74, but Huffman scored the win with a .054/10.370/112.69.  He thanked Harley-Davidson/Buell of Lakeland, FL; Vanson Leathers; and VP Fuel.

In AHDRA 124 Challenge, Mike Roberts and the Bandit Racing team of Clinton, OH, achieved the #1 qualifying spot with an 8.971/146.45.  Roberts set all new records this weekend.  In the eighth-mile he set a new ET of 5.677and a new MPH of 121.58, and in the quarter-mile he set a new ET of 5.971 and a new MPH of 147.17.  He also got the win, as Everett Chichester Jr. of Cobleskill, NY, didn’t make the call for the final round.  Mike thanked Joe’s Hawg Shop, Regina Chain, Brush Bandit Tree Service, and Barnett Clutches.

In Rush Super Eliminator, Toni Blevins of West Point, VA, and the B & T Racing team found themselves in the #1 qualifying spot with a 10.901/121.62.  Local racer at Summit Motorsports Park, Rick McWaters, from Bucyrus, OH, and the Cycle Tech Racing team were paired with Brad Croneberger from Valley View, PA, and the Schaeffer’s Harley-Davidson racing team.  Both racers broke out, McWaters with a .096/10.757/124.79, but it was Croneberger with a .063/10.789/114.47 who scored the win.  He thanked Schaeffer’s Harley-Davidson/Buell and Regina Chain.

In AHDRA Hot Street, Bruce Croneberger III of Cressona, PA, and the Schaeffer’s Harley-Davidson Racing team scored the #1 qualifying spot with a 9.658/136.52.  In the finals, Croneberger paired with Tom Levak from nearby Cortland, OH, and the Levak Brothers Racing team.  Levak ran a .111/10.282/131.37, but Croneberger snagged the win with a .264/9.650/131.37.  He thanked Schaeffer’s Harley-Davidson / Buell and SA Racing.

In Screamin’ Eagle SEP, Donnie Huffman of Lakeland, FL, and Huffman Racing got the #1 qualifying spot with an 11.505/106.41.  With a tough field of competitors in this class, Greg Best from Raleigh, NC, and the Scalded Dawg Racing team paired with Nick Gonatas Jr. from Cortland, OH, and the Warren Harley-Davidson Racing team in the finals.  Best ran a .115/12.002/96.51 against Gonatas, who took the win with a run of .018/11.629/78.31.  He thanked Warren Harley-Davidson, Ralph C. Buss—The Motorcycle Attorney, and Gem-Young Insurance.

In Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod Destroyer, Nick Gonatas Jr. of Cortland, OH, and the Warren Harley-Davidson Racing team went into the #1 qualifying spot with a 9.242/145.36.  Gonatas dominated in two classes with the help of his crew chief, Tony.  Gonatas was paired with Wanda Poff from York, PA, and the Pofformance Racing team.  This would be the second time that Poff appeared in the Destroyer finals; she ran a .053/9.843/110.52, but it just wasn’t good enough against Gonatas, who ran a .048/9.357/141.21 and scored the win.  Nick thanks Warren Harley-Davidson, Ralph C. Buss—The Motorcycle Attorney, and Gem-Young Insurance.

In SYN 2 ET, Tom Levak of Cortland, OH, along with the Levak Brothers Racing team got the #1 qualifying spot with a reaction time of .011.  In the finals, Jason Phelps of Wellington, OH, on a Sportster owned by Russell Smith, was paired with veteran racer Donnie Huffman of Lakeland, FL, and the Huffman Racing team.  Donnie achieved his second win of the weekend with a dial-in of 11.30 and a run of .040/11.320/115.32 against Jason, who dialed in with a 9.70 but redlit with -.050/9.592/135.51, giving the win to Donnie.  He thanked Harley-Davidson/Buell of Lakeland, FL; Vanson Leathers; and VP Fuel.

In the Outlaw Fuel category, Top Fuel racer Rickey House from Humble, TX, and the Shark Racing/Fascoonass Racing team were the winners with a two-run combined average of 6.918.  Pro Fuel racer Jim Fagan of Phoenix and the Romine Racing team runnered-up with a two-run combined average of 7.03.

Next up for the AHDRA’s 2009 Screamin’ Eagle Performance Parts Championship Series is the Screamin’ Eagle Performance Parts Midwest Nationals Presented by Blue Springs Harley-Davidson, June 20-21.

For more information, please contact 336-924-2095 or visit us at www.ahdra.com.

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