This is an old post I wrote back in March of 2003 on a private forum I belong to that I was reminded of today. Since I know it has never been posted here before I thought would offer it up for your reading. As most of you know my friend Frog is no longer with us and is enjoying that great drag strip in the sky where the track is always perfect and the sun always shines. I’ve got more stories I need to write about racing with my friend Frog an the Buffalo’s. Enjoy.
After raining out Saturdays qualifying Sunday woke all bright and sunny. Frog, Buffalo and I got the bike ready for the first of two qualifying runs. The last time we ran "Strip Tease" it ran ok at a 6.17 seconds. Frog had did some work to the carburetor to allow it to pass more fuel since than. We hoped for better this time out.
His first pass was a blistering 5.276 seconds at 140.71mph, Frog’s carb work was indeed paying off in a big way. We ready the bike for the last pass of the day and hoped for even more improvements. After the second round of qualifying Frog said he didn't feel the clutch worked like it should. He was right cause it slowed to a 5.596 at 133.61 mph. So Buffalo worked on it installing some more plates and resetting the "clutch pack” height. He sure knows his clutch and what it takes to make it work and it would show on the next pass.
We push up to the line for the first round of eliminations up against the same guy who we lost to last time out (Frog red lighted… another story for another time). Frog yanks the throttle late at the line giving the other guy a slight lead. He is already about 3 or so tenths behind before he finally gets it moving. Buffalo's clutch is right on the money allowing Frog to run him down from behind. We hold our breath as we watch Frog slowly pull up from behind and then the score board flashes our side first with an amazing 5.059 @ 140.99mph. The other sides lights up a split second later at 5.114 @ 134.00 mph. The racers are asking each other who won cause it was so close they couldn't tell. Buffalo and I look at each other with that same “who won” look on our faces. No win light on our side of the scoreboard. What the?
Back to the pits and we ready the bike for the finals to see if we can win the event. We are all set to go when we ask the starter how much longer before we run?
He looks at us and says with a puzzled look on his face, "You are in the finals?"
It is at this point we feel like something is for sure not right. We dig out the time slip to add up the numbers and see who won. The whole crew stands there in disbelieve. We was so excited at the performance of Strip Tease no one bothered to look to see who had won on the time slip. The ticket clearly states, "left lane 1st", we were in the right lane.
Are happy kick butt mode was all lost by a mere .052 of a second. We had nothing to be ashamed of, after all Frog did set low E.T. of the event for his class as well as top speed. Not to shabby for a 60 years young guy and a 13 year old Harley!
It will be awhile before we can go racing again. Frog is getting is knee worked on June 17th so it will be a good while before he can get back on the bike. If ever you get a chance to go to an AMRA Harley Drag Race by all means go. They are so much fun and exciting. Just
remember to park in the proper place!
Epilogue: To this day we still don’t really know how we lost that round. On paper everything says we won but the timing system says another. Such is racing. Some days it’s a cruel sport.