(8-4-2006) - Drawing on the excitement and spectacle of the former Screamin’ Eagle Nitro Harley-Davidson class the IHRA contested from 1998 – 2002, the sanctioning body announced the addition of the Nitro Cycles as an exhibition class during this year’s Skull Shine World Nationals presented by ACDelco at Norwalk Raceway Park, August 24 – 27.
The Nitro Cycle class will consist of six riders: Steve Stordeur, Jay Turner, Mike Romine, Mark Cox, Bill Furr and Mike Lehman. All accomplished competitors, the riders will make one pass Friday night and two passes Saturday.
“The Nitro Cycle class has always been a fan favorite and will be an exciting addition to one of IHRA’s biggest events,” said IHRA president Aaron Polburn. “By including Nitro Funny Cars to the eMax Drag Racing Series this year, and now the motorcycles to the World Nationals, the event will offer a unique mix of vehicles and one of the strongest nitro-burning fields anywhere.
“No matter how many times I see one of these motorcycles blaze down the track at 220 mph in just over 6-seconds, it never gets old,” added Polburn.
Each of the six riders have made major contributions to the motorcycle racing world. Many have held top-ten positions in the IHRA or other sanctioning bodies, including the AHDRA.
Jay Turner, Burlington , N.C. , is a two-time IHRA world champion with five top-ten finishes. Steve Stordeur, Goshen , Ohio , finished 2nd in the IHRA point standings three straight years, one of which came the last year IHRA ran motorcycles in 2002, and has two AHDRA championships. Mark Cox, Wilkesboro , N.C. , was the 1998 AHDRA Pro Drag champion and has one IHRA top-ten finish.
“When I competed with IHRA before, it provided a great showcase for the motorcycles,” said Cox. “It elevated the class in front of a very high profile audience, which helps us obtain sponsorship and creates a lot more awareness. Exposure is what we need, and IHRA offers the right demographic and audience.
“It seems like a real nature fit with IHRA,” added Cox. “I’m excited with what the show has to offer this year with their Top Fuel and Nitro Funny Car class. I’m just thrilled to be racing with IHRA again. We are treated like professionals, given a high-caliber track to race on, and it’s something we’ve really missed. I’ve seen the sport not really grow that much since the class came to an end in 2002. I’ve always been a believer that this is where we need to be.”
Mike Romine, Sturgis , Mich. , is the defending and current AHDRA Top Fuel points leader and has five IHRA top-ten finishes. Bill Furr, Orangeburg , S.C. , has 4 IHRA top-ten finishes, including a 2nd and 3rd. Mike Lehman, West Palm Beach, Fla. , is the current AHDRA Pro Fuel ET and Speed record holder at 6.583/208.67.
The Skull Shine World Nationals presented by ACDelco, the eighth event on the 2006 eMax Drag Racing Series, will be held at Norwalk Raceway Park , Norwalk , Ohio , August 24-27. For more information, log onto www.ihra.com.