ELECTRIFYING final day of the 21st Annual Nitro Motorcycle Nationals
With the 21st running of the Nitro Motorcycle Nationals completed, it’s true to form that this year was by far the greatest on record. Between the blistering 6.5* passes from the Top Fuel Harleys, to the 200+ mile per hour runs from the Nostalgia BB/Funny Cars, to the bracket bikes racing with no restraints, it was a weekend that nobody wanted to end. In the end, wins were secured by Mike Pelrine (Top Fuel Harley), Kim Parker (BB/Funny Car), Jeff Marsh (Pro Mod), Dani Grimes (Pro Gas), Kerry Drost (Pro Street), Rick Baldwin (Hot Street), Don DePeel (Sunoco ET Motorcycle/King of the Valley), Sue Bistline (Harley ET Motorcycle), and Rick Tedder (Quick 8).
The Top Fuel Harleys were a spectacle to behold, and fascinating to witness. It is also with the highest level of gratitude we say thank you to Steve Dorn, who coordinated the majority of the Top Fuel teams and their journey here to the Northwest. With that, the riders also wanted to say thank you to Steve. Jay Turner, Mike Scott, Randal Andras, Lyle Newton, and Mike Pelrine all donated their winnings from this weekend (totalling $12,500) to Steve Dorn to help with his recovery from injuries sustained during a crash in Bradenton Florida. With mid 6-second runs flying off the board, and 210, 220, and even a 224.55mph incineration by Jay Turner, it’s easy to see why! Through eliminations, it was Mike Pelrine and Jay Turner in the final round. After both bikes launched, the crowd erupted as they watched both bikes soar side-by-side to the finish line, with the win going to Pelrine. But it wasn’t by much! Pelrine touched the finish line first by running a 6.514 at 219.24mph to Turner’s 6.530 at 216.45mph, making for a margin of victory by just twelve thousandths of a second. Tracy Kile and Lyle Newton were the semi-finalist. A HUGE thank you goes to the support of sponsors for the Top Fuel Harley category. We strongly ask that you do these great sponsors a favor and consider them the next time you’re in need of their services: All Steel Builders, Canby Transmissions, Milwaukie Tire, Erectors Inc., Mike Patterson Plumbing, Brightwood Tavern, Drain Away Rooter, Oak Grove Choppers, Fast Bikes Inc., KBR Custom Cycle, and Eagle Rider Portland.
For the Nostalgia BB/Funny Cars, it was tight competition all day long. With a total of only two aborted runs through all of eliminations, the fans were in a fight to the 6.75 index! In the finals were Kim Parker (6.756) and ‘The Tiki Warrior’ Ron Huegli (6.753). Off the starting line both drivers were neck and neck, almost waltz-like as they swayed down the track. At the stripe it was Parker, running a 6.778 at 205.01 getting the win over Huegli, who ran a respective 6.793 at 204.03mph. A special thank you to all who were in attendance, leaving a trail of fans in their path. For more information about the group, visit www.nwbbfc.com.
Amongst the field of Northwest Drag Bike (NWDB) Pro Mod bikes, it was only fitting that number one and number two lined up in the final round. Woodburn’s own Jeff Marsh lined up in his 2010 Kawasaki to face the ’04 Ninja of Hope BC resident Gary Christopher. Off the starting line Christopher had the starting line advantage and Marsh smoked the rear tire. But, all was not lost! As they raced down the quarter mile, Christopher was all over the bike steering it from right to left, before an engine malfunction shut the bike off at the 1000’ mark, only 300 feet from the finish line. Now coasting and trying to stay in front, it was Marsh who flew around to nab the victory by a slim .01, running a 7.163 at 196.37mph. Larry Cook was the lone semi-finalist. Northwest Drag Bike wanted to say thank you to their sponsors as well, namely Canby Transmissions, J&S Golf Cars, Olympic Iron Works, One Source, Drost Racing, and Larry Cook Racing.
In the Harley Pro Gas category, Jeff Marsh had aims to score a double victory that were sidelined by a blown engine in the semi’s, meaning that Dani Grimes would have a single in the final round. Of course though, rather than just take the easy win, Grimes blows through the lights running 8.949 at 152.18mph. Kevin Benson was the lone semi-finalist.
The NWDB Pro Street category takes some of the fastest non-wheelie bar’d bikes on a heads-up showdown. The final two competitors lining up were Kerry Drost and Robbley Evans, with the win going to Drost, running a 7.423 at 190.43mph.
Hot Street is for stock framed Harley Davidson/Buell motorcycles with no wheelie bars. The final for this class also featured number one and number two qualifiers, with Rick Baldwin and Verl ‘Smitty’ Smith facing off in the finals. Smith left with the starting line advantage, but Baldwin chased him down and earned the win by running an 11.509 at 121.68mph.
The Sunoco Race Fuels ET Motorcycle series ran its final event for points today. In the final round was Don DePeel and Gary Tokos. DePeel, who was the big winner yesterday, defeated Steve Salmon, Bob Osborne, and James Johnson to reach the final round, while Tokos eliminated Joseph Lind, Shane White, and Mark Adams. In the money round, drivers were separated by only .005 off the starting line, but it was DePeel running closer to his number and taking the win. Jim Werre was the number one qualifier.
Then, in the Olympic Iron Works Harley Eliminator category, it was Sue Bistline and Tim Johnson competing in the final round. Sue had been knocking the boys down all day, racking up wins against Tyler Baker, Jeff Smeltzer, and John Plaster to earn the semi-final round single. Against her in the finals was Johnson, who had earlier defeated Debbie Ramage, Tony Morgan, Bob Osborne, and Angie Clausen. In the finals, reaction times were separated by only .012. Neck and neck down the quarter mile, the win was to Bistline after Johnson’s break out 9.603 at 130.30mph on the 9.65 dial-in. Osborne was the number one qualifier with a .002 reaction time.
The NWDB Quick 8 class features the fastest of the dialed-in bracket racers. Rick Tedder and Mike O’Leary lined up in the finals to compete with 7.50 dial-ins a pair. Off the starting line it was O’Leary with the advantage, but Tedder had the closer run, putting the win light on in his lane with a 7.696 at 169.68mph. Maycee Blehm was the semi-final round finisher.
The next major event at Woodburn Dragstrip will be the Fall Classic, featuring Top Alcohol Dragsters and Funny Cars, Pro Nostalgia, the Jet Cars, and the exciting 10.5 Outlaw cars. For more information, visit www.woodburndragstrip.com, or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/woodburndragstrip.
Listed are final round results, in order of driver name, town, (vehicle year/model), [reaction time], elapsed time, miles per hour, and (dial-in).
Top Fuel Harley
W: Mike Pelrine, Bruderheim AB (’10 Weekend) [.052] 6.514, 219.24.
R/U: Jay Turner, Julian NC (’14 Harley) [.048] 6.530, 216.45.
Semi’s: Tracy Kile, Asheville NC; Lyle Newton, Nanaimo BC.
Nostalgia Funny Car
W: Kim Parker, Graham WA (’70 Mustang) [.103] 6.77, 205.01.
R/U: Ron Huegli, Wilsonville OR (’76 Monza) [.072] 6.79, 204.03.
Semi’s: Todd Swinford, Keizer OR; Shane Harter, Wenatchee WA.
W: Jeff Marsh, Woodburn OR (’10 Kawasaki) [.122] 7.163, 196.37.
R/U: Gary Christopher, Hope BC (’04 Ninja) [.085] 7.220, 167.25.
Semi’s: Larry Cook, West Linn OR.
W: Bob Grimes, Reading CA (’95 Harley) [.253] 8.496, 158.87.
R/U: Jeff Marsh, Woodburn OR (’07 Harley) – broke.
Semi’s: Kevin Benson, Concord CA.
W: Kerry Drost, Sherwood OR (’99 Hayabusa) [.123] 7.423, 190.43.
R/U: Robbley Evans, Kent WA (’05 Hayabusa) [.231] 8.264, 176.36.
Semi’s: Jeremy Wanders, Meridian ID; Joe Lind, Maple Valley WA.
W: Rick Baldwin, Oregon City OR (’74 Shovelhead) [.260] 11.509, 121.68.
R/U: Verl Smith, Portland OR (’05 Harley) [.142] 11.901, 110.19.
Semi’s: Henry Robinson. Tualatin OR.
W: Don DePeel, Gladstone OR (’74 Kawasaki) [.083] 8.534, 139.72 (8.46 dial).
R/U: Gary Tokos, East Olympia WA (’06 Harley) [.078] 9.833, 135.56 (9.65 dial).
Semi’s: James Johnson, Portland OR; Mark Adams, Portland OR.
W: Sue Bistline, Boise ID (’99 Sportster) [.372] 10.798, 122.69 (10.69 dial).
R/U: Tim Johnson, Concord CA (’98 Harley) [.360] 9.603, 130.30 (9.65 dial).
Semi’s: Angie Clausen, Graham WA.
King of the Valley
W: Don Depeel, Gladstone OR (’74 Kawasaki) [.035] 8.451, 153.68 (8.46 dial).
R/U: Sue Bistline, Boise ID (’99 Sportster) – foul.
W: Rick Tedder, Portland OR (’06 Suzuki) [.093] 7.696, 169.68 (7.50 dial).
R/U: Mike O’Leary, Ridgefield WA (’04 Suzuki) [.057] 7.771, 166.60 (7.50 dial).
Semi’s: Maycee Blehm, Monmouth OR.