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History of Ray Price Motorsports

Ray Pricing Motorsports Racing has a long history in the world of drag racing, including an elite designation as home to the world's fastest naturally aspirated motorcycle. This legacy began nearly 50 years ago.

Growing up on a tobacco farm, Ray Price bought his first motorcycle in 1963. After attending college, Ray enlisted in the Air Force and spent four years as a radar specialist involved with aircraft armament control. His interest in bikes dates back to riding with his wife’s two brothers. Or, should we say, racing with them, as they were always trying to outdo each other in speed and performance. Ray soon decided it was safer to take it off the streets and onto the drag strip.

His motorcycle drag racing career began in 1967 at the age of 30. It all started with a 1966 Harley-Davidson® Sportster® that Ray tinkered with in his basement. He turned lots of heads at his first professional race in Atco, N.J. After dusting the competition, Ray's performance-enhanced Harley drew criticism from his more experienced adversaries. They balked in disbelief that it had less cubic inches but more power-per-cubic inch. After officials tore down his engine and checked it three times, they found nothing to disqualify him. The win earned him the respect of his peers and the racing community. Thus it became the official formation of Ray Price Racing, and a racing legend was born.

Today, Ray Price is best known for his success in motorcycle drag racing and as "The Father of the Funnybike." Ray was instrumental in creating the current style of two-speed racing transmission. He also designed the first wheelie bar for motorcycles, allowing more power to the rear wheel without flipping the bike.

Ray's individual accolades include being inducted into the American Motorcycle Association Hall of Fame, the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the N.C. Drag Racing Hall of Fame, the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame and the National Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. The Ray Price Motorsports Racing Team has active or historical memberships in AMRA, IHRA, NHRA, MAMA, AMDRA, IDBA, ADBA, NMRA, Dragbike USA, AHDRA, AMA Dragbike, and Manufacturers Cup Racing. Ray was also instrumental in the creation of the Top Fuel Harley Racers Association (TFHRA) in 2014 to encourage racers competing in the NHRA Harley Drag Racing series to work together to take the sport of Top Fuel Harley Racing to the next level.

In his multiple years of racing, Ray won 46 national events and set 51 records, and was the National Points Champion in 1979-80. Throughout the mid-1980s and into the mid-1990s, Ray coached a stable of riders and even returned to the racing seat to dust the competition from 1995 until 2003. Prior to retiring from his on-bike racing career at the age of 66, Ray set the IHRA nitro-fuel record of 6.36 seconds at 224.21 MPH. For over a decade now, Ray coached a stable of outstanding riders who blister the competition on nitro-fueled Harleys. It takes a special breed with amazing reaction time and concentration to race at more than 200 miles per hour in just over six seconds.

The Ray Price Motorsports Racing Team, based in downtown Raleigh, N.C., officially retired from racing on January 5, 2016 following the unexpected death of Ray Price. Thanks to dominating performances by driver Tommy Grimes, the race team spent its final two years on top winning back-to-back NHRA TopFuel Drag Racing titles.