After an impressive outing in Bristol, TN, Japan-based Nitro Harley-Davidson racer Takeshi Shigematsu just couldn’t resist making the long trek back over to the states to compete at the tour’s next race in Woodburn, OR.
“We decided to go to Oregon to maintain the points,” said Shigematsu, who rose to second in the championship standings after his win in Bristol. “I didn’t plan to go to Oregon so I had to fly back to Japan then fly to Portland a week later. Time differences made me sick. I couldn’t sleep well for three days.”
In qualifying Shigematsu picked up where he left off in Bristol, taking the pole position with a 6.41, ahead of point leader and No. 2 qualifier Doug Vancil’s 6.47.
“After qualifying that day the pressure became huge,” Shigematsu said. “The first qualifying pass was great, but I couldn’t stay in the groove during the second and third pass. Out of the groove means smoking tire.”
On race day Shigematsu performed brilliantly. He recorded a 6.43 to win in round No. 1 and posted an .065 light and 6.54 to get the holeshot victory over Phil Schmidt’s .256 and 6.49 in the second round.
“I couldn’t sleep on Saturday night also. I took so much caffeine it caused me nauseate all the time on Sunday,” Shigematsu said. “I knew Oregon was very important and I had to run good and win rounds. During the opening ceremony I was introduced and I was talking to myself, “Stay in the groove, stay in the groove.” During the second round my rear tire was slipping hard then the bike slid to the left then out of the groove. I screamed “No-stay in the groove!” Fortunately I got back in the groove to run 6.54.”
In the final Shigematsu was pitted against Top Fuel Rookie Joey Sternotti, who also had an impressive outing, advancing to the final in only his second race aboard the Ray Price machine, formerly ridden by Tommy Grimes.
Shigematsu perpetuated his string of consistency in the final with a rapid 6.45 at 214 mph to defeat Strenotti’s wounded 10.82 at 83 mph.
“In the final round, the bike ran quite smooth,” Shigematsu said. “I really thank my crew DJ and Frankie for the hard work and also for three days of long driving from New Jersey. Also a special thanks to Bill and Dana at H-D of Seaford. They loaned me a super quiet Polaris generator and Dean welded my cracked frame.”
With his second straight win Shigematsu continues to climb the ranks. Shigematsu entered the event second in points, just 21 behind leader Vancil, who was defeated in the semifinals. At the conclusion of the race Shigematsu, who missed the first event in Gainesville, sits atop the point standings with 628 over Vancil’s 588.
“Five years ago I smoked the tire and broke the chain and missed a good opportunity for championship,” Shigematsu said. “This year we are focused on keeping the consistency.”
Shigematsu T.P.P. VP Clutch, H-D Blue Panther, Super ZOIL, A.I.M. Corp. Energy One Clutches, EK Chain, SHOEI ,Lyndall Racing Brakes, Sundance, Woodeye Painting, FORZA Leather Suit, TM Works Plug wires, A.S.K. Carbon fiber,
Chili Pin Striping, American Cycle
2006 AHDRA Sportsman Rookie of the Year Douglas Horne is proving himself to be a very quick learner. Horne emerged as one of the dominate riders in his first season of racing in the Screamin Eagle Destroyer class last year. Now the young 19-year-old rider is finding the same success in the much more volatile Pro Fuel category.
Horne won his first Pro Fuel race just five races into the season at the AHDRA Southern Nationals back on May 27th. After the win Horne said winning was an like an addiction.
In Oregon he satisfied his craving for the winner’s circle once again. Horne qualified on the pole with a 6.81 at 211 mph. On Sunday he was met with little resistance from the rest of the field and took the final round victory over Steve Heidner.
“It was amazing,” Horne said. “Mike Romine built us an awesome motorcycle. It performed strong right out of the trailer.”
Horne thanked all of the 2007 sponsors Chesapeake Harley Davidson, Ramsey Ford, Cecil County Dragway, Maryland Portable Concrete, Mid-Atlantic Supply, Fred’s Welding and Steel, Romine Racing, and Horne Concrete and Construction.
In Oregon AHDRA Pro Stock icon Junior Pippin continued to do what he does best – dominate.
Pippin, 54, has won five championships in the last seven years and he has led the Pro Modified/Pro Stock points chase for a full three consecutive seasons.
In opening qualifying Pippin took the pole position with a blast of 8.16 ahead of the 8.22 of No. 2 qualifier Bruce Beltramini. On race day Pippin scored a bye in the opening round and ran an impressive 8.10 in round No. 2 to get by the game 8.15 of the “Desert Dawg” Greg Krenik.
In the final Pippin defeated James Surber with an 8.15 to Surber’s 8.20. Afterwards Pippin continued to take the high road and insisted that the help of his crew and a lot of luck are what leads him to victory race after race.
“This isn’t all about me. I have a great crew and great people around me that make it happen. It’s a total team effort,” Pippin said. “My old Pro Stock bike “Jezebel” has been such a reliable piece for me. What can I say? I’m a very lucky guy.”
Pippin also thanked Stone Mountain Harley-Davidson, and Bob Taft of Rat’s Hole Place.
One of the greatest stories in the AHDRA is that of 71-year-old Pro Drag competitor Sonny Burres. Long after the age where most racers decide to retire Burres opts to give nitro racing a try. And not only does he ride the bike, he rides it well.
In Oregon Burres qualified on the pole with a 7.49, ahead of No. 2 qualifier Will Simplot’s 7.52
Both Simplot and Burres advanced through the field on Sunday to meet up in the final. Simplot, who won the Arizona Bikeweek Nationals earlier this season, scored lane choice with a sizzling run of 7.47 in the semis.
Having his preferred lane proved to be beneficial for Simplot. In one of the best side-by-side races of the day Simplot took the win with a 7.43 to Burres’ 7.47.
Several of the AHDRA regulars were missing from the Pro Gas field in Oregon. This provided a great opportunity for one racer in particular to have a break-out performance, and that racer was Scott Pollacheck.
Pollacheck qualified on the pole with a run of 7.81, edging out the 7.85 of Stan Sheppard. While Junior Pippin may have been the man in Pro Stock, he was having troubles in Pro Gas and qualified in the No. 3 spot with an off-pace 8.39.
Sheppard went on to defeat Pippin in the semifinals with a 7.93 to Pippin’s 8.21, to advance to the final to take on Pollacheck.
In the final Pollacheck banked a huge .075 -.263 holeshot and held the lead the whole way down the track with a 7.72 to Sheppard’s 7.95.
“The Desert Dawg” Greg Krenik decided to take the long 25-hour drive to Woodburn to keep his AHDRA success streak intact. In opening qualifying Krenik made good on his goal by qualifying in the No. 1 spot with a run of 8.79. Amazingly, it would prove to be Krenik’s fifth straight pole position in Pro Mod.
However Krenik’s class rival Randy Borho only fell one-hundredth of second behind The Desert Dawg, snagging the No. 2 spot with an 8.80. This was a tell-tale sign that Borho was poised and ready to provide Krenik with some stiff competition throughout the weekend.
Both competitors advanced to the final for an epic showdown. However, throughout the day Krenik learned that his tire was not perfectly round and was having trouble keeping it from spinning off the line.
“I guess you can buy a bad one every once in a while. It took us a while to figure it out,” Krenik said.
Without a spare tire available Krenik knew he needed to cut a good light in the final. The result was a red light start and an 8.76 ET to Randy Borho’s impressive .015 and 8.70.
Fresh off his fourth win of the season in Bristol, Street Pro point leader Zach Johnson again found himself in the winner’s circle at the Salem Harley-Davidson Northwest Nationals.
Of the three entries that showed up to do battle Johnson led the way in qualifying with a run of 8.93 ahead of the 9.31 of Verl Smith, and the 9.63 of Nick Stute.
Johnson improved to an 8.91 during his first round bye run, and really knocked one out of the park with a blast of 8.82 to defeat Stute’s 9.50 in the final.
Johnson thanked Rush Exhaust, David Bost, Mac Tools, Barnett, and Kendall Johnson Customs.
V-Rod racer Terry “Vicious” Vaughan outlasted defending class champion and No. 1 qualifier Jamie McNaughton to score his first event victory of the season in Oregon. Vaughan qualified in the No. 2 spot with a 9.92 behind McNaughton’s stellar 9.62.
The duo met up in the final and Vaughan pulled-off the upset with a 9.96 to McNaughton’s 10.19.
“We had a great weekend in Woodburn and were extremely happy to get back in the winners circle. This is our first win this year and all I can say is it’s about time,” Vaughan said. “The only real adversity we had is the fact that our Chester’s Harley-Davidson Racing Team partner, Dan “Butt-Head” Klann was not able to attend. Dan had emergency surgery the week before and could not make the trip.”
Vaughan thanked all of his sponsors for making the win possible –
Chester’s Harley Davidson, Mesa AZ. Vaughan Architectural Products. Turbotecusa.com. CP Pistons. Hackenberg Racing Engines. HJC Helmets. Mickey Thompson Tires and Works Performance Shocks.
L.E. Tonglet is well on his way to assembling one of the greatest seasons in the history of the AHDRA. With another commanding performance, Tonglet earned his eighth win of the season in Oregon.
The only blemishes on the aspiring Pro Stock racer’s 2007 record is a first round red-light loss in Dallas and a hole-shot loss in Bristol.
In qualifying Tonglet took the pole with an impressive run 9.18. On race day Tonglet used a consistent string of runs, 9.16, 9.13 and 9.17, to advance to the final against Go Daddy.com-backed Valerie Thompson.
In the final Tonglet recorded a 9.15 to hold off the 9.21 of Thompson.
“It’s been an amazing season,” Tonglet said. “I give all the credit to my dad. He’s the one that makes the calls on the bike and keeps it running so consistent.”
Dan “The Man” Norlin, a two-time runner-up in AHDRA’s Las Vegas High Stakes Shootout bracket race, is making a name for himself in the heads-up categories as well.
Norlin took the win in Hot Street in the eighth-mile race in Sturgis earlier this season. In Oregon Norlin proved he’s got the power to win Hot Street in the quarter as well.
He qualified atop the four-bike field with a run of 10.34. On race day he stepped up to a 10.12 in the opening round to defeat the 11.66 of David Young. The rapid run also granted him lane choice in the final.
In the final Norlin slowed from his previous run, but still reached the finish line first with a 10.31 to the 10.42 of Cooper Stubbs.
124 Challenge rider Grover Inks captured the first win of his career in Oregon and he didn’t even have to beat anyone to accomplish the feat. That is of course because he was the only competitor in the class for the weekend.
However, sometimes just making it to the race track and getting the bike successfully down the track is worth a win all in itself. Inks qualified with a 9.94 and recorded a 10.47 in his final round bye run.
“This is my second full West Coast season,” Inks said. “I would like to thank my crew, especially Chris because she keeps things in order. I would also like to thank Ron at RC cycles in Hayward, Ca, Robbie McRae of RPM enterprises, Mike Lozano of Lozano Bros Porting, Red Line Oil, Daytona Twin Tec, Pingel, EK Chain, Mickey Thompson tires, Outlaw Fuel, Vanson Leathers, World Wide Bearings, and class sponsor S&S.”
Bracket racer Scott Martin overcame health problems throughout the weekend to ride his 106 cubic-inch machine to his first ever Super Gas win.
“I started out the weekend feeling very sick and nauseous from food poisoning a few days before. Gatorade and fluids kept me going,” Martin said. “Saturday I held the No. 1 qualifying spot after the second round but I knew a 9.722 probably wouldn’t hold.”
Martin was right and began eliminations from the No. 3 spot.
“I took out my dear friend Terry Brown in the morning round, and managed to push out the Destroyers with good lights and running right on the index,” Martin said. “I was happy to see all pushrod engines in the final three bikes left. I again took out a fiend, California Joe, in the semis.”
In the final Martin ran 9.90 on the 9.70-index to hold off Keith Riddell’s wounded 13.70
“I looked over at the 1000′ mark and Keith was nowhere in sight so I chopped a bit for the win,” Martin said. “I dedicate this win to my crew chief Jerry Odom. He has put countless time into our Fast Bikes Inc. race project and this is his win. John Derrick my engine builder couldn’t have provided me with anything better and my Speed Consultant Lyman Spencer was dead on with his input. My office manager Janice and Christy kept everyone fed this weekend too.”
Overall it was Martin’s fifth career final and second win.
In Super Eliminator AHDRA-regular K.W. Seneca was on his game all weekend long. At the outset of the weekend Seneca nearly hit the 10.30 index, qualifying in the No. 2 spot with an impressive run of 10.31.
Seneca scored a big win over Larry Maynhart in the quarterfinals to secure a semifinal bye run. During the solo pass Seneca ran the bike all-out to a 9.79.
The data from the bye run was able to help Seneca slow the bike down enought to come close to the 10.30-index in the final. He broke out with a 10.23, but his opponent Glen Welchko, went further under the index with a 10.21, granting Seneca the victory.
In Super Eliminator point leader Dean Druschel came one step closer to locking up the No. 1 plate.
In qualifying Druschel landed the No. 6 spot with a 10.98. On race day he was downright unstoppable.
Druschel continued to cut razor-sharp lights and run very close to the 10.90-index all-day-long. In the final Druschel banked over two-tenths of a second of advantage off the starting line and took the win with an 11.12 ET to the 10.89 of Doc Shelton.
Just as he had done in Sturgis, AHDRA standout Dan Norlin doubled-up in Oregon, winning one heads-up class and one sportsman class.
In Sturgis Norlin won Hot Street and Syn 3 ET. In Oregon Norlin came away with the win in Hot Street and SEP.
Norlin just missed the Hot Street pole with an 11.517, just two-thousandths of a second behind No. 1 qualifier Sergio Zenobi.
In the final Norlin was pitted against Super Sport winner K.W. Seneca. Norlin took the win on the strength of an .029 holeshot and an 11.54 to Seneca’s .053 and 11.59.
In the Syn 3 ET category over 50 competitors showed up to do battle.
In the end it was Terry Wright who earned his first win of the season, and he did so by beating one of AHDRA’s most talented bracket racers Jack Wagner.
Wagner fouled at the starting line and Wright took the win with a run of 11.86 on an 11.80 dial in.