Vickers Repeats as Pro Fuel Champion in Jim McClure Nitro Nationals
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – All the big guns went out early and Peter Geiss of Huntington, N.Y., beat Tii Tharpe of East Bend, N.C., to win the AMRA Ray Price Top Fuel championship Sunday in the 25th annual Jim McClure All-Harley Nitro Nationals at Rockingham Dragway.
Geiss just barely made the starting field in the No. 8 spot but then took out No. 1 qualifier Kevin Boyer of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in round one and veteran Ricky “Sharky” House of Humble, Texas in the semifinals. Both riders had trouble in the final but Geiss was just quick enough to get the win.
Other champions included Jack Romine of Centerville, Mich., in Nitro Funny Bike and Carolina legend and American Motorcycle Racing Association national record holder Johnny Vickers in Pro Fuel.
Vickers, making an infrequent start in the AMRA series, took out No. 1 qualifier Kirby Apathy of Deland, Fla., in a classic semifinal race and then took down Tyler Wilson of Walnut Cove, N.C., in the final to repeat as McClure Nitro Nationals champion.
Apathy, who qualified No. 1 at 7.228 seconds, put up a solid 7.245 but that wasn’t enough to hold off Vickers’ 7.223.
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ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – Results from Sunday’s 25th annual Jim McClure All-Harley Nitro Nationals at Rockingham Dragway:
RAY PRICE TOP FUEL
Semifinals – Tharpe, 7.815, 149.22 mph, def. Turner, 11.112, 87.59 mph; Geiss, 6.896, 183.27 mph, def. House, 7.023, 207.94 mph.
FINAL – Peter Geiss, Huntington, N.Y., 8.188, 146.91 mph, def. Tii Tharpe, East Bend, N.C., 7.977, 166.21 mph.
NITRO FUNNY BIKE
Semifinals – Romine, 6.777, 206.80 mph, def. Jackson, 6.897, 198.44 mph; Stordeur, 7.361, 163.87 mph, def. Beasley, 7.619, 178.54 mph.
FINAL – Jack Romine, Centerville, Mich., 6.856, 197.45 mph, def. Jake Stordeur, Goshen, Ohio, no time
Semifinals – Vickers, 7.223, 168.64 mph, def. Apathy, 7.245, 175.96 mph; Wilson, bye.
FINAL – Johnny Vickers, Millers Creek, N.C., 7.251, 167.49 mph, def. Tyler Wilson, Walnut Cove, N.C., 7.535, 164.97 mph.
Semifinals – Oehler, 8.426, 154.58 mph, def. Douglass, 9.366, 128.43 mph; Pendergrass, 9.017, 116.50 mph, def. Stanton, 8.663, 153.35 mph.
FINAL – Ryan Oehler, Bloomington, Ill., 8.356, 154.95 mph, def. Shane Pendergrass, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 9.096, 114.56 mph