In preparation for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park the Ray Price Racing team changed the valve train on the Akea/Ray Price sponsored drag bike in the week leading up to the race. The team then planned to test at Norwalk on Wednesday, but rain put those plans on hold. The next chance the team had to test would be Friday’s qualifying session, but again rain won over.
The track and staff is arguebly one of the best in the NHRA when it comes to the way the staff prepare the ¼ mile dragstrip for racing. Friday was no exception, as the track staff worked feavorishly all day playing tag with the on-and-off rain. Their efforts paid off late Friday, as part of the field of TAD ran but then the rain returned preventing the TAF’s and Harley’s from getting their round in. Saturday saw the same forcast and the day was washed out. That lead to the decision that Sunday race teams would get one round of qualifying to set the field for eliminations.
For the Ray Price Racing team this meant they were going to have to test the new motor during the only qualifying session the NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing teams received. After a team meeting they elected to stay with the setup and run it in round one of qualifying. The team captured the number one spot with a 6.399 ET at 231.68 MPH run.
“Even without a test pass on the new valve train we were really pleased at the drag bikes performance”, commented Ray Price after the run. As normal after each run, the team went through preparing the drag bike for the next round. However something wasn't right. They found the motor had hurt itself during the qualifying pass and would need to be replaced.
The team went back to the tried-and-proven spare motor for eliminations. Tommy Grimes faced the number six qualifier Jason Pridemore. Grimes got out in front of Pridemore from the start with a 0.095 reaction time but the drag bike spun the tire because of the different power band. That forced Grimes to shut the Akea Express down and ending the team’s efforts for the weekend.
Even though the teams efforts for the weekend were cut short, they remain positive and will prepare for their next race which takes place at Rockingham Dragway May 31st – June 1st, 2014 as part of the AMRA sanctioned event. Then the team is off to Bristol Dragway for the NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series race on June 13-15, 2014.
The Ray Price Motorsports team sends sincere thanks to all their sponsors for their support. They include our Primary Sponsors: Akea, Ray Price Harley-Davidson, with special thanks to our Associate Sponsor Raleigh H.O.G. and our Support Sponsors: Vanson Leathers, PJ1 Products, RC Components, CP Pistons, Barnett Clutches & Cables, Autolite Sparkplugs, Mickey Thompson Tires, Gates Belts, Nationwide Insurance, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, JIMS USA, Industrial Machine Solutions, Wiley X, LAT Racing Oils and Nitrolube. Additional thanks: Bill Hayes, Hargis Consulting, Ultra Pro Machining and Freddie Robbins.