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Archive for September 5th, 2011

Steve Dorn Burn-Out at N/W Nitro Nationals

I attended the AHDRA (All Harley Drag Racing Association) drag race about a week ago in Woodburn, Oregon.

Before we go any further, allow me to interject a disclaimer:  I’m not a big racing fan.  In fact, I attended NASCAR (Daytona 500) a few years ago – the so-called ‘superbowl’ of racing — on a work gig and for me watching guys make left-handed turns hour after hour ad nauseam was boring.  Fortunately watching the fans worship drivers with brightly colored advertising attire while discussing race strategy in that southern accent made the event.  Watching the tire changes in the pit were entertaining for awhile, but they can’t hold a person’s interest forever.

The Steve Dorn and Latus Nitro H-D

At any rate I walked through the AHDRA pits in Woodburn and got my fill of all the Nitro Methane action I could possibly handle. The rev/roar of engines created a race atmosphere and there was indeed some great racing competition on the track from the various fields.  As a “newbie” to the AHDRA, I had no clue who was on the 2011 qualifying and elimination sheets or did I understand the difference between Top Fuel, Pro Fuel and the Screaming Eagle backed classes other than the obvious noise level in the motor differences.  My observation was that after the too few Nitro Methane class motorcycles finished their runs everything else seemed in slow motion.  Yeah, the non-nitro motorcycles were fast, but there is a huge perceptual difference from 150MPH vs. 220MPH.

I love the smell of nitro in the morning...

When standing around the staging area/pits I did overhear some rumblings about how the entire AHDRA series is awaiting its demise.  Being a nu-bee at this motorcycle drag race gig I wouldn’t know about attendance figures.  I typically sit behind a desk and tap on a keyboard.  Clearly the economy has impacted most everyone so why wouldn’t race organizations be struggling (NHRA, NASCAR, ADRL, AHDRA) or see a drop in attendance and racers too?

I did leave feeling of bit hungry due to the fact there was no action in the new Draggin Bagger class.  A class that the H-D Motor Company backed and promoted heavily in December of last year for the 2011 racing season.  There was an amateur contestant who took his fully loaded cruiser, tour pak with dual antenna’s out there to run the strip.  I’ll give the dude a shout out for doing a burn out on that thousand pound behemoth.

On departure there seemed to be a number of people who had a secret fantasy of being an AHDRA driver.  The Steve Dorn wannabe’s came out as I was driving the bike 75MPH in a 65MPH zone, trying to shake the guys who were riding in my draft.  It seemed like the normal speed limit no longer existed and riders were looking for a side-bank to pass on the shoulder.  This went on for about 15 miles then the Wilsonville I-5 construction had brake lights flashing as an old lady (yes, older than me) shot a dirty look in the rearview mirror while she jockeyed for a pole position in a lane that was moving ever so faster.

Vroom, go granny, go.

The Northwest Nitro National race results are HERE.

Photos taken by author.

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