There are a lot of tough racers to keep an eye on in this season’s NHRA Mickey Thompson Top Fuel Harley field. One unsung pilot who should be on everyone’s radar is second-year racer Beau Layne, 43, of Redding, Calif. In his very first full season aboard a nitro bike, what is usually a steep learning curve, Layne finished No. 6 in the hotly contested NHRA point series, just one point outside of the top five.
Layne’s momentum has continued into 2019 after recording a career best 6.38 in pre-season testing at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix, Ariz.
“I was pleased with our performance,” said Layne, who recored a 6.39 on two occasions last season, in Seattle and Epping. “We only got to make a couple of runs because it got windy, but the ones that we made went well.”
Layne credits much of his success to crew chief, nitro veteran Jack Romine. Layne says the two were paired up by Jack’s brother, fellow Nitro Harley legend and current crew chief for Doug Vancil, Mike Romine, when Layne was picking up a chassis from him.
“I asked Mike what I could do to improve my program and he suggested his brother,” Layne said. “Jack has been my angel. If it wasn’t for him we could not have done what we did last season. He’s been at my house for a month helping me get ready for the season. He is the best.”
Layne is hoping to run the entire season and is working hard to find a sponsor to help make that happen. Layne knows it will take a lot of effort and financial resources to compete for a title.
“Its going to take consistency and luck,” Layne said. “Everybody out here is capable of winning a race. I’m hoping we can run the entire tour because I think we can compete.”
Layne’s first test comes at the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona, Calif, Feb 7-10.
MICKEY THOMPSON TIRES NHRA TOP FUEL HARLEY DRAG RACING SERIES SCHEDULE
Feb. 7-10, Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, Pomona, Calif.
Feb. 22-24, NHRA Arizona Nationals, Phoenix
March 14-17, Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.
April 12-14, NHRA SpringNationals, Houston
June 7-9, Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, Topeka, Kan.
June 14-16, Fitzgerald NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, Tenn.
July 5-7, NHRA New England Nationals, Epping, N.H.
Aug. 2-4, NHRA Northwest Nationals, Seattle
Aug. 15-18, Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Brainerd, Minn.
Aug. 28-Sept. 2, Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis