Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

AHDRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Georgia

Written by  June 30, 2005

WOW! And what a rush! Memorial Day weekend we went to the All Harley Drag Race at the
AHDRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Georgia, and my eardrums vibrated for
days afterward!

We contacted Lisa Cranfill who handles the press relations for the
AHDRA to request access to the race. We thought it would make a nice story
with some really cool pictures to share. Lisa couldn't have been more helpful. We
had media packets waiting for us when we got there that were filled with
a lot of useful information on the AHDRA.

We headed for Georgia early Saturday to stay at the Howard Johnson's
in Commerce, Georgia, a very nice, clean, roomy, and very biker-friendly place that allowed
us to have Harley Jane with us.

The AHDRA race is held at the Atlanta Dragway, which is not in Atlanta at all, but about 45 minutes away from Atlanta. There was camping set up for the racers and fans, both in front of the track and on the side. We met up with our friend Stewart from Riders Harley-Davidson in Trussville. He and his brother Mark Sparks with Killer Creek Harley-Davidson in Georgia were there to help their friend Alan Gregorie who was racing that weekend. Alan was the 2000 AHDRA E-class national champion. We also met Mark Cox, racer of the Bojangles Top Fuel Nitro Harley, and Eddie Lee, who was racing in the Pro Mod class. We got to see Alan and Eddie go through the semifinals--what there were of them. All of the racers we met were super friendly and very appreciative of each person who came out to watch them race. All of the racers’ 'pits' were right there with them at their campsites, so we got a close-up look at what it takes to do that. We had the opportunity to watch them work on the bikes, and all of them were more than willing to stop and talk
or pose for pictures and sign autographs.

There was a two-row vendor midway that was chocked full of all kinds of
goodies. There was a rumor that Kendall Johnson was there. I can say this--we
did see a race team that had his name on it! The weather threatened all weekend, but the track officials were very good about staying on top of the situation and getting things up and
rolling again as quickly as possible.

The burnouts were great and endless. It was a little like standing next to a rocket and looked a little like one going down the track, some at over 200 mph--on 2 wheels, now!! The racing fuel fumes burned your eyes and nose. Leigh loved it! It was awesome!

There were people camping in everything you could imagine, and several nice motor homes, most of which were owned by 'owners.' One was a Prevost with matching trailer. To say the Prevost is the Cadillac of motor homes is a vast understatement. We met the owner, Greg
Becker and his wife Lori. He owns Stone Mountain Harley-Davidson and Granite Mountain Harley-Davidson in Georgia. They are really nice people. I had to know! I got a tour!! (Sorry I didn't get pictures to share with you.) But it was so nice--luxury from the marble steps coming in, to the mirrored ceiling. Greg told Leigh that he was carrying his Jeep and golf cart in the trailer! Thanks for the tour Greg and Lori!

After everything was said and done, they ended up having to call the race. Even with all of the track’s efforts to dry the track, and even with their 'fire-breathing” tractor, it just wasn't going to happen; the rain had claimed the rest of the day, so they divided up the prize money amongst the top finishers at the time.

Even with the rain, it was a very exciting race weekend that we would definitely do again. We hope this article will help to get more people to attend these races. Go out and support those boys! You'll love it! In the 28 years the AHDRA has been around, they have grown from having around 60 racers and virtually no spectators, to around 350 racers and over 10,000 spectators per event. It's gaining more and more popularity each year, and with big sponsors such as Harley-Davidson Motor Company, they now have the largest payout in Harley Drag Racing history, with over 1 million in cash and prizes. ESPN2 will again be carrying the AHDRA's Screaming Eagle Performance Parts Championship. If they are anywhere near you, go check it out!

Write-On and Ride-On

Story and Photos by Lynn Reynolds and
Leigh Lilly of Birmingham, Alabama