NHRA Adjusts Pro Stock Motorcycle Weights Again, Penalizes Millican

Clay Millican's dragster had ballast issues in Texas - Anne Proffit photo

NHRA has a penchant for punishing racers and teams that do their homework and build better mousetraps. Many remember the “laid-back headers” era at the start of this decade, when Camping World Drag Racing Series Funny Cars had headers that were, in essence, burning up the bodies of the cars – but also making those missiles even quicker.

The NHRA’s tech department now has its fangs fixed, once again, on Pro Stock Motorcycle (PSM). Vance & Hines built a better mousetrap – actually a cylinder head – that showed just how good it was during the Stampede of Speed and Texas FallNationals at Texas Motorplex little more than a week ago.


It’s doubtful the weight change will disrupt Pro Stock Motorcycle standings. Gaige Herrera has too big a lead – Anne Proffit photo

Granted, Gaige Herrera rode like he stole the Suzuki Hayabusa3 in exceptional conditions, while teammate Eddie Krawiec couldn’t match his speeds. Vance & Hines client Kelly Clontz had the best – and fastest – weekend of her career on her Suzuki in Texas, joining the 200mph club that has space for only 10 members.

And what did NHRA do? The usual… it penalized the V&H head with a five-pound weight gain for anyone riding a Suzuki using that cylinder head. At the same time, Suzuki riders using Monster cylinder heads were able to reduce weight by five pounds, while the Buell riders are continuing on with their current weights and usage.

NHRA puts its rules changes on a particular website: www.nhraracer.com, but trying to find the adjustments requires the patience of Job. For once, this adjustment wasn’t too difficult to find:

“Based on Pro Stock Motorcycle performance data, the NHRA Technical Department has made the following parity changes. These rule changes will go into effect immediately. NHRA reserves the right in the future to make additional rule changes to control performance and maintain parity in the category.


Suzuki (must be NHRA-accepted)
(up to 113 cid, 4-valve V&H Head)– 640 645 pounds
(up to 113 cid, 4-valve Monster Head)- 630 625 pounds”

What this really means is some riders go on diets and others, like veteran Steve Johnson, who pledges allegiance to Monster cylinder heads, will not need to eat more broccoli, as Johnson often does to stay slim.

Clay Millican’s dragster had ballast issues in Texas – Anne Proffit photo

Rather than giving and taking away weights, NHRA might do well to consider how it mandates the safety of leathers so that the PSM class might avoid the issue experienced by Chase Van Sant when he had difficulties maneuvering his Suzuki away from the wall and used his knee to help slow the motorcycle, causing injury that’s taking the rookie out of competition for the balance of the season. Van Sant wasn’t the only rider having issues like this; he’s just the one that got hurt.

But that’s not all NHRA rolled out after the Texas FallNationals: the tech staff made note of Top Fuel racer Clay Millican’s dragster having loose ballast during the race weekend. While they didn’t state when this discovery was made, Millican was disqualified from the event, losing the points gained from the driver’s semifinal result and likely pushing him back in the points chase with two events remaining. No further explanation of this event was given.


About Anne Proffit 1264 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

1 Comment on NHRA Adjusts Pro Stock Motorcycle Weights Again, Penalizes Millican

  1. NHRA tech is a heavy handed POS. Disqualification of Millican team for such a minor infraction is a joke. The NHRA is a political body not a sanctioning body. They dole out fines and dq’s at will except for folks they favor. What happened to Force and the dodge boys when caught cheating ? What about Stewart and his Magnetos ? Millican team gets the book thrown at them for loose ballast ? Laughable indeed. Way uneven rules enforcement

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