AMRA ProMod’s Season Opener from the 5th Annual Cajun BlowOut
By: Flying Ryan
Wow, did you see that Harley scream by, it was a total blur! What kind of Harley was it? If you’re just tuning in and trying to find out what all the hype is about with the AMRA ProMod class, let’s catch you up to date. The AMRA Harley ProMod class is a weight per cubic inch, heads up, 7" tire, motor only pro class limited to 122 cubic inch. These bikes make well over 200 horsepower at the tire and really have to work the clutch to get them down the track. This class has been growing in popularity and becoming extremely competitive.
Now you might ask yourself, why is this class growing and where’s the next race is so I can check these mean machines out. The next race is coming up very soon, April 23-24 at Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green Kentucky. The growth of the class is coming from several places. Former ProMod racer, Frank Capone has been showing his support by sponsoring the class ever since he has stepped out and strapped himself to a Top Fuel bike. Another Top Fuel Rider, Randal Andras and his company K&K Marine have also been putting up some serious cash for this class. Randal has sponsored the ProMod class for many years when it was ran under the AHDRA organization and continues to show is support when racers head into Cajun country. Moto Lenz photo’s has not only been taking great photos of these bikes and preparing awesome calendars, but is also on board as a class sponsor for the 2016 season. Ryan Oehler along with B&K Cylinder Heads has taken the role of the class spokesmen, lead promoter, and full season sponsor. Each race will feature a large novelty check to show the class sponsors as well as its huge payout. Ryan also built a new class scale which has been donated to the class to provide accurate weighing of each bike during the event. This class will continue to grow throughout the season and hopes to see its first 16 bike field in Rockingham this fall.
Now on to the good stuff, this past weekend from State Capitol Raceway was nothing other than pure excitement. Great competition, wild wall scraping passes, along with great sportsmanship was the standard for this past weekend. Several racers showed up for the season opener with new motors that were set on nothing other than kill. Ryan Oehler came to State Capitol Raceway in November for early testing and ran some sub record numbers. Shane Pendergrast spent all winter preparing his bike with a new motor, computer system, and everything and anything necessary to win. Jerry Lee Cloyd also had some tricks up his sleeve. A new one off carburetor from Lectron and a fresh motor amongst some other secret plans were on the table for this veteran racer. Henry Stanton made the 24 hour journey from upstate New York and brought what he thought was a killing machine. Justin Collier from Orlando Florida has returned to the class to show his support as he is in the process of building a ProMod monster. Last but not least was our Cajun local, Kyle Lablanc. Kyle has put together a fresh ProMod and plans to battle with the top players of this field of true drag racers.
The weekend started out with high winds on Saturday during the qualifying session. Ryan Oehler over powered the track all day on Saturday, nearly hitting the wall in the second round of qualifying. His last past put him on top for just a few seconds at an ET of 8.54. The next pass from Shane Pendergrast showed his consistency and took the number one spot at 8.51. Jerry Lee Cloyd secured the number three spot with an ET of 8.59. Hank Stanton had issues with a new motor setup that plagued him most of the weekend and took the number four spot with an ET of 9.39. The number five qualifier was Justin Collier at an ET of 9.63 at 136 mph. Justin is running a much smaller 98 cubic in motor currently and hopes to shave the ET’s of this small motor, and small tire setup into the low 9’s possibly high 8 second range. Kyle Leblanc only had to drive down the street for this AMRA season opener, but had electrical problems all weekend and rounded out the qualifying ladder with an ET of 9.39.
First round Shane matched up with Kyle, and laid down a great pass of 8.59 at 152.77 mph. Kyle had a great reaction time of .028 but had an ignition failure shortly after leaving the line. Ryan Oehler met up with former rival Justin Collier. Ryan and Justin faced off this past year at the Star Racing Riders Challenge finals. They obviously have some unfinished business and were looking to sort it out on the track here today. Ryan popped the clutch and headed straight for the wall, was able to get out of the throttle and reel Justin back in, winning the second round with an ET of 8.89. Justin had a hole shot with a reaction time of .041 but spun the tire hard. Jerry Lee faced off with Henry Stanton in round number one. Henry showed remarkable sportsmanship as he killed his motor and rolled back out of the water to allow Jerry Lee more time to get his machine started. Both riders restarted and approached the line, both riders stage quickly and unfortunately Henry left too early and went red, but also had his best pass of the weekend, with an ET of 8.82 at 145 mph. But it wouldn’t have mattered as Jerry Lee laid down another blazing pass with an ET of 8.64 moving him into round number two.
In round number two, Jerry Lee faced off with Ryan Oehler. Jerry laid down another solid pass with an ET of 8.60 with a reaction time of .093, but it wasn’t enough to catch Ryan’s 8.54 with a reaction time of .015. Shane Pendergrast had a bye run in round two and it’s a good thing he did. Shane smoked the clutch during the burnout and had to limp the bike down the track. Both Shane and Ryan returned to the pits after round two and had some serious work to do. Shane swapped out clutches as Ryan tried to figure out a tune up that would hopefully give him the straight passes he is used to seeing.
The stage was set for this ProMod final round. Shane and Ryan rolled to the line, both bikes fired up and smoked the tire as they blazed out of the water box. The two bikes creeped to the line, Ryan lit up his pre stage blub first. Shane took his time getting to the line and then bumped in for his pre stage. Ryan wasn’t messing around and rushed right into his final stage blub and accidently deep staged. Shane moved right in after seeing Ryan’s top blub go out. Bam! The tree dropped and the bikes were off, Ryan was just too quick on the light and went .014 red. Shane was green with a reaction time of .082 and laid down a very solid 8.54 pass at 154 mph. Ryan was right there and would have made one hell of a drag if he could have stayed green on the tree, running just a little slower with an ET of 8.56 at 154 mph. Shane and his crew chief John Arnold had done everything right all weekend long and took home the win.
The riders of the AMRA say there’s nothing like Cajun country in the Spring. State Capitol Raceway is the home of hospitality, fast drag bikes, and everyone in Baton Rouge is talking about it, especially with the ProMod Harley’s in town. The radical sound and pure power of these high compression, odd fire v-twins is nothing other than amazing. Come check out the AMRA ProMods when them come to a track near you!