R & D Racing

R&D Racing takes the Win at Rockingham, N.C during the AMRA Jim McClure/Ray Price NITRO National.

The largest all-Harley Race of the year.

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Story by Bob Spina

Photos by Michael Davis, Moto Lenz Photos, Barb Castello

Peter G, owner of Hell Bent Choppers in Deer Park, LI hasn’t been racing top fuel Harleys all that long, but one would never know that by looking at his impressive track record. Read Bob Spina’s recap of how Peter took the win at the largest all-Harley race of the year:

After starting the 2016 season with hopes of qualifying at a national event, the “Thug” was plagued with drivetrain issues. These issues were due to stepping up the power of the “Thug” and then chasing the wear points and beefing them up to stand up to the added horsepower.

A trip to New Hampshire to try and qualify was one of those weekends in June at a NHRA event where we went through those drivetrain issues. We fixed the breakage at the track and only got down the track one time, resulting in a 7.0 that was only good enough for 1st alternate (#9). This was our 3rd national event. The other two tries also resulting in 1st alternate positions.

We realized after New Hampshire that we needed to unload and run well into the ‘6’s” at over 200 mph, if we were going to go through the expense, work and traveling; we’ll have to test, tune and sort out the issues to get consistent and fast. It all paid off in Rockingham, N.C at the AMRA Jim McClure/Ray Price NITRO National, the largest all-Harley Race of the year. We tested on Friday and turned (2) 6.80’s at 199 + MPH. On Saturday 1st round qualifying we ran our quickest run ever, 6.74 at 196 MPH. Second qualifying round we didn’t improve, but we ran another 6.80. The good news was we qualified #8 and we were locked in and racing on Sunday. The bad news was we had to run #1 qualifier, Kevin Boyer, out of Canada. He was running consistent 6.30’s. We had our work cut out for us.

Sunday we were 1st pair out, Pete was riding perfect, Boyer smoked the tire and we held on for the win running 6.88,  good enough for lane choice in the semi-finals. Second round we were against a friend of ours, Ricky “Sharkey House”, we ran 6.89 at 197 MPH to his 7.04 at 208 MPH, and were in the finals against another 6.2 bike owned by Jay Turner and ridden by Tii Tharpe. Pete put a big hole shot on Tharpe, but for the first time after six straight 6 second runs, the bike was pulling hard to the center line while Tharpe was hazing the tire, both bikes on and off the throttle. We couldn’t tell who won and neither could the racers. The margin of victory .004 of a second and WE WON! The first race we ever qualified…And WE WON! And nothing was broken! Let the party begin…

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