NHRA’s fledgling Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley Drag Racing Series is extending its reach by two races for the 2018 season, which starts Feb 8-11 at the sanctioning body’s ancestral home, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
It’s also picking up some strong competition for the expanded 10-race series as Vance & Hines, the reigning NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Motorcycle team, returns to Top Fuel racing with rider Doug Vancil and tuner Mike Romine.
The nitro-burning Harleys will run alongside Pro Stock Motorcycle at two of its most popular venues this year, the Amalie Oil Gatornationals in March and the category’s season finale during the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend.
Vance & Hines’ 2018 Top Fuel Harley (TFH) team reunites the squad with longtime rider Doug Vancil, who helped the team amass a dominating six championships in the TFH category. “I can’t wait until we start running!” Vance exclaimed. “We have a fast bike and with Mike Romine tuning, I think we are really going to be a top runner in the class.”
Romine has four decades of experience building, racing and winning on nitro Harley-Davidson motorcycles. “I’m very excited to see the Vance & Hines name on the bike,” Romine stated. “I’m really looking forward to working with Terry Vance and Doug in this upcoming season.”
Roman and Vancil will have their hands full dealing with 2017 champion Jay Turner, who earned three wins in five final round appearances last year. Turner snagged his title with one race remaining on the calendar last year.
This program has been put together under the auspices of Vance & Hines’ Terry Vance, who lauded NHRA for their work in bringing this category to professional status under their umbrella. “NHRA has done a great job of developing the Harley class to create a new, two-wheeled championship category in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series,” Vance said, “and in bringing together two of the biggest names in Top Fuel in Doug and Mike, I couldn’t be more enthused about getting the season started.”
2018 Top Fuel Harley Schedule
Winternationals, Feb 8-11, Pomona, CA
Arizona Nationals, Feb 23-25, Phoenix, AZ
Gatornationals, Mar 15-18, Gainesville, FL
Four-Wide Nationals, Apr 6-8, Las Vegas, NV
Spring Nationals, Apr 20-22, Baytown, TX
Southern Nationals, May 18-20, Topeka, KS
Thunder Valley Nationals, Jun 15-17, Bristol, TN
New England Nationals, July 6-8, Epping, NH
Northwest Nationals, Aug 3-5, Kent, WA
US Nationals, Aug 29 – Sep 3, Indianapolis, IN
The move to FS1 has been so good, I just wish they could find a little more TV time for the Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley Series.