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Tuesday 19 September 2023


Record Pass Among the AHDRA Highlights at Cecil County

by Tim Hailey, Eatmyink Motorsport Media

AHDRA/AMA Zipper's Performance Mid-Atlantic Nitro Showdown

Cecil County Dragway in Rising Sun, Maryland, September 9-10, 2023

On a day mostly plagued by intense heat and humidity, the AHDRA/AMA's Zipper's Performance Mid-Atlantic Nitro Showdown at Cecil County Dragway suddenly went from simply finishing before the lights went on, to surviving a cataclysmic storm. And along the way, one of the most watched records in the sport fell to the rider that built the previous record holder's motorcycle.

Gregg Dahl has held the unofficial no-bar, street tire, V-twin quarter mile record for three years with a 7.62. But his customer Mike Motto's 7.72 was run at a sanctioned event, and AHDRA champion Charley Douglass come tantalizingly close as well while Dahl devoted his time to his customers and business.

Gary Douglass

Douglass was the one who had it together in GMS Racing Engines Xtreme Outlaw qualifying at Cecil County, taking the number one spot but breaking his turbo bike in the process. 

That left the two GMS nitrous bikes of Dahl and Motto to battle it out in the final. There might have been a malfunction that left Dahl sitting at the tree for a full .541 while Motto streaked away with a .164 reaction and a 7.92 at 173 miles per hour for the win. But Dahl hardly cared when the scoreboard on his side lit up with a 7.672 at 183.12 mph - both ends of the record he lives to break. 

And he insists there will be more. "We hope to get enough runs by the end of the year to get this new engine running the short times that we ran with the smaller engine three years ago," said Dahl. "If that happens, look out!"

Motto said: "We have suffered the pain the past couple years trying to improve the longevity of our power plants. It looks like Gregg has developed an engine that we can really put the juice to, and we are excited for The Rock!" 

That would be October's AHDRA and AMRA finals, the Jim McClure All-Harley Nationals at Rockingham Dragway on October 27-29 that the American V-Twin drag racing calendar revolves around.

2021 AHDRA champion and NHRA U.S. Nationals winner Ryan Perry capitalized on his typically consistent performance to take the Top Fuel win over final round runner-up Tracy Kile.

Mary Dangrow

The 2021 winner and current AHDRA champion Kile smoked the tire every round, including his round one match with Ziggy Stewart. Both these riders engaged in a peddlefest that saw Kile advance despite giving up .226 at the tree.

Kile's reaction fortunes went the other way in the final, as he was .041 to Peery's .148. Peery was there for the taking down-track as well, as he slowed to a 7.16 at 183. Kile was not able to put up a fight this time around, though, and coasted across the line well behind Peery.

Kile's Bad Apple Racing teammate (and more) "Bad Apple Mary" Dangrow came through for the Hawaya Racing Pro Fuel win, though, handing champion and defending event winner Sam White his first AHDRA loss of the season. Both riders left the starting line within .005 of each other, but Dangrow legged it out for the 7.44 at 168 to 7.51 at 167 win. 

Bad Apple Racing's Frank Schaffroth also joined Dangrow in the winner's circle when he won the Pingel Modified final over Nate Carnahan. Nate's .067 light gapped Schaffroth's .314 pretty big at the start, but Frank's 9.478 at 139 drove around Carnahan's 9.81 at 129.

Nitro Funnybike champion Michael Balch didn't have to put up much of a race in his final when first year nitro rider - and number one qualifier - Cameron Gunter timed out at the tree.

Cecil County is the home race for event and Pro Modified sponsor Zipper's Performance Products. John Price won Pro Mod at Milan last time out, won this race last year, and won again this time around.

Gary Douglass won Axtell Cylinders Super Modified when Keith Carper was unable to make the call for the final. Season dominator Kimberly "K-Charm" Deshields had to borrow an index bike when her own mount was delayed after the team's truck broke down.

Geronimo Pratt won both Pro Bagger and Bagger Street at Cecil for the second straight year. Julius DeManns broke down track and was unable to challenge Pratt for the stripe in the Pro Bagger final.

Pratt handily took the tree .190 to Shawn Miller's .324 in the Bagger Street final and just as handily held on to the lead with a 10.17 at 132 to Miller's 12.64 at 106.

Ken Strauss also doubled up, winning 9.30 index and Vreeland's Harley-Davidson 9.90. Strauss wound out his ProCharged bike to erase Chris Hoppe's .013 starting line advantage and run 9.37 to Hoppe's 9.42 for the 9.30 win in that final.

Mike Motto

His 9.90 final round came at the expense of Kevin Laughman. Strauss put a full tenth on Laughman at the tree and ran a 9.97 to Kevin's 10.26 for the win.

Richard George backed up his Milan win with 10.30 Super Pro honors at Cecil County. Carnahan runner-upped for the second time in one day despite having a .010 starting line advantage against George, who ran only .027 over the index for the win.

Cody Hayworth won the Universal Fleet & Tire 10.90 final against Kevin Gaunt, who failed to run the number after a brilliant .006 light. Hayworth posted a 10.930.

The 11.50 win went to Gary Burkley. His .166 light was quicker than champion Chris Ussery's .212, giving him the win despite giving up .043 at the stripe in a good race. 

Mike Tewey's .077 light paved his way to the Eliminator win over final round runner-up Mike Carpentieri. Chris Vilardi's final round redlight handed the Trophy win to David Hebert.

Timmy Gaunt took the tree .065 to .140 against Jaden Hines in the Junior Dragbike final, but Hines stayed close to his dial-in for the win. Kylie Himmelreich took the Junior Senior Dragbike final against Bradley Croneberger Jr. despite giving up .028 at the tree.

AHDRA's Bill and Chrissy Rowe look forward to seeing everyone at the AHDRA and AMRA finals, the Jim McClure All-Harley Nationals at Rockingham Dragway on October 27-29.

AHDRA/AMA thanks Vreeland's Harley-Davidson, MTC Engineering, Hawaya Racing, Pingel Enterprise, GMS Racing Engines, Zippers Performance, Horsepower Inc., Vanson Leathers, Universal Fleet & Tire, Daryl Coffin Motorsports and Axtell Cylinders.