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Andras, Peery, Turner Battle Tharpe at The Rock: AMRA, AHDRA combined McClure Memorial event is South’s biggest all-Harley race

Tii Tharpe repeated as winner of the featured Ray Price Top Fuel Challenge in Sunday’s 30th annual Jim McClure Memorial AMRA Nitro World Finals at Rockingham Dragway.
Tii Tharpe repeated as winner of the featured Ray Price Top Fuel Challenge in 2021 in the 30th annual Jim McClure Memorial AMRA Nitro World Finals at Rockingham Dragway. Photo by Rockingham Dragway

ROCKINGHAM — Reigning AMRA and AHDRA Champion Ryan Peery of Milford, Ohio, reigning and three-time NHRA U.S. Nationals Champ Randal Andras of Amelia, Louisiana., and two-time former NHRA and IHRA series champion Jay Turner of Julian will be among the challengers this week when Pfafftown’s Tii Tharpe pursues another Ray Price Top Fuel Challenge trophy at the 31st Jim McClure Memorial Nitro World Finals at Rockingham Dragway.

Tharpe, himself a two-time NHRA series champion and 2018 U.S. Nationals winner, this year is trying to become the first three-time winner of the Top Fuel trophy that honors the memory of the late Hall of Fame rider and team owner.

The Carolinas’ biggest all-Harley event takes on even more significance as a result of the postponement of last month’s AHDRA Fall Nitro Shootout. With no viable make-up dates available, that event is being run in conjunction with the McClure event with points and trophies awarded for both the AMRA series and the AHDRA series.

The joint effort between the two all-Harley sanctioning bodies will bring together all the elements of Harley nation for one gigantic weekend of racing during which Sam White of Chapin, South Carolina, will try to repeat as Pro Fuel champion and, in the process, annex the AHDRA Pro Fuel championship on a bike prepared by many-time Rockingham winner Johnny Vickers.

Champions also will be crowned in Nitro Funny Bike, where Armon Furr of Orangeburg, South Carolina, will duel with AHDRA point leader Michael Balch of Slatington, Pennsylvania, and AMRA pacesetter and defending Rockingham champ Jim Doyle of Chicopee, Massachusetts, Pro Modified and a host of sportsman categories.

In addition to Tharpe, Turner, Andras and Peery, the Top Fuel challenge likely will include current AHDRA point leader Jimmy MacMillan of Deland, Florida, former AHDRA champ Rich Vreeland of Danville, Pennsylvania., 2022 U.S. Nationals runner-up Bill Jackson of Honey Brook, Pennsylvania, John Toth, Charleroi, Pennsylvania, David Larson of Topeka, Kansas, and Asheville’s Tracy Kile, winner earlier this year of the AHDRA event at Milan, Michigan.

The track will be open for early parking on Thursday with an open test-and-tune from noon until 6 p.m. Friday. Qualifying, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, will conclude with an on-site concert featuring the music of Straightwire. Sunday eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

Tickets are $55 for three days, $45 for two days or $25 daily. There’s $5 off on every ticket or ticket package purchased in advance. Children under six are free with a ticketed adult.

AMRA and AHDRA point standings entering the 31st annual Jim McClure Memorial Nitro World Finals at Rockingham Dragway:

AMRA POINTS

TOP FUEL – 1. Ryan Peery, Milford, Ohio, 1200; 2. Jay Turner, Julian, 990; 3. Tii Tharpe, Pfafftown, 950; 4. Randal Andras, Amelia, La., 715; 5. John Toth, Charleroi, Pa., 595.

FUNNY BIKE – 1. Jim Doyle, Chicopee, Mass., 1235; 2. Chris Smith, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 965; 3. Jim Martin, Palatine, Ill., 375

PRO FUEL – 1. Paul Anderson, Clarkston, Mich., 1280; 2. Jim Martin, Palatine, Ill., 1150; 3. Phil Lower, Vicksburg, Mich., 700.

AHDRA POINTS

TOP FUEL – 1. Jimmy McMillan, Deland, Fla., 340; 2. Tracy Kile, Ashville, 306; 3. Bill “Billy Jack” Jackson, Honey Brook, Pa., 182; 4. Ryan Peery, Milford,

Ohio, 173; 5. Rich Vreeland, Danville, Pa., 163.

FUNNY BIKE – 1. Michael Balch, Slatington, Pa., 292; 2. Armon Furr, Orangeburg, S.C., 175; 3. Jim Martin, Palatine, Ill., 118.

PRO FUEL – 1. Sam White, Chapin, S.C., 419; 2. Rocky Jackson, Youngsville, La., 284; 3. Jim Martin, Palatine, Ill., 155.

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2021 Results

Top Fuel – Tii Tharpe, Pfafftown, def. Ryan Peery, Milford, Ohio

Pro Fuel – Sam White, Chapin, S.C., def. Jim Martin, Palestine, Ill.

Nitro Funny Bike – Jim Doyle, Chicopee, Mass., def. Armon Furr, Orangeburg, S.C.

Pro Modified – Shane Pendegrast, Murfreesboro, Tenn., def. John Price, Emmitsburg, Md.

Pro Gas – Billy Doherty, Lake Charles, La., def. Donnie Huffman, Lakeland, Fla.

2020 Results

Top Fuel – Tii Tharpe, Pfafftown, def. Ryan Peery, Milford, Ohio

Nitro Funny Bike – Chris Smith, Nashville, Tenn., def. Tadashi Saito, Tokyo, Japan

Pro Fuel – Preston Bartlett, Palatka, Fla., def. Sam White, Chapin, S.C

Pro Modified – Billy Doherty, Lake Charles, La., def. John Price, Emmitsburg, Md.

Dial-In Eliminator – Ardie Rawlings, Lakeland, Fla., def. Kevin Laughman, Spring Grove, Pa.

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