Sports

BRIEF: Meeks closes out Harley racing series

Enumclaw’s Dana Meeks finished up the All Harley Drag Racing Association season at Rockingham, N.C., Oct. 9-11.

About 220 race drivers participated, which included 44 nitro Harleys. Meeks raced in the pro fuel class, where machines burn nitromethane, have no transmission and develop about 800 horsepower.

During the first day’s “test and tune” session, Meeks had a wild ride. On his second pass, after crossing the finish line, he rolled off the throttle and applied the brakes, but the bike did not slow. Still moving at 170 mph, Meeks said he hit the brakes again and the front tire skidded and washed out.

“I released the brakes, got the bike straightened out, let go of the right handlebar grip, and shut off the ignition and fuel switches,” Meeks said. “That was a first for me, steering with one hand at high speed.”

Meeks said the motor died. He pulled hard on the brakes and stopped about 100 yards past the finish area turn-out. The throttle body, which controls the airflow into the motor, had broken off from the intake manifold and was hanging by its cables.

Meeks said crew chief Joey Sternotti got the bike back to the pits and repaired the problem.

During qualifying, Meeks ran his best time during his first of three passes – an elapsed time of 6.977 seconds at 198.55 mph for eighth place among the 15-bike field.

On Oct. 11, in the first round of elimination, Meeks topped Joe Timmons from Salt Lake City, Utah. Meeks ran a 6.922 seconds at 200.71 mph to Timmons’ 7.130 seconds. The down side, his bike suffered some damage.

In the second round, Meeks was paired with 2008 National Champion Douglas Horne.

Horne led off the starting line by eight one-hundredths of a second. Meeks kept it close until about 800 feet when the damage from the previous round took its toll and the front cylinder shut down. Horne won the round and went on to win the event.

The 2010 season begins in February in Orlando, Fla.

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