The motorcycle drag strip dominated by the Ray Price Motorsports Racing Team will go quiet with today’s official announcement of the team’s retirement. In recent years, Ray Price Racing won back-to-back championships in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Harley-Davidson Top Fuel Drag Racing Series for 2014 and 2015.
“The Ray Price name has been synonymous with motorcycle drag racing in the NHRA and IHRA (International Hot Rod Association) for nearly half a century. The team has a long history of remarkable racing accomplishments, which enables us to feel a great sense of pride with today’s announcement of the retirement of the Ray Price Motorsports Racing Team from competitive drag racing,” said Mark Hendrix, general manager of Ray Price, Inc.
The recent passing of drag racing legend Ray Price played a part in the decision to retire the team. Price passed away last month at age 78. Up to that point, he had been very active with his Harley-Davidson and Triumph dealerships, as well as the motorcycle drag racing team.
Price was best known for his success on the drag racing track as well as his innovation in the garage. He designed the first wheelie bar for motorcycles, allowing more power to the rear wheel while decreasing incidences of flipping a bike. He was also instrumental in creating the current style of two-speed racing transmission and helped to fuel the popularity of motorcycle drag racing with the IHRA and NHRA.
Thanks to dominating performances by racer Tommy Grimes and the team, Ray Price Racing clinched back-to-back NHRA Harley-Davidson Top Fuel Drag Racing Championships in 2014 and 2015. Grimes drove the 1,000-horsepower, Akea/Ray Price nitro Harley and won the coveted Wally Trophy, named for NHRA founder Wally Parks.
“Over the years, everyone worked extremely hard and built many great friendships with sponsors, fans and competitor teams,” said Hendrix. “Winning championships is not possible without the commitment from a great team of sponsors and the finest technicians in the business, including racer Tommy Grimes, engine builder Justin Heinle, crew chief Jeremy Hoy, and team manager Mark Morgan. Everyone deserves recognition for the team accomplishments over the years, and yet the friendships and camaraderie across the sport, with all the memories, is what we celebrate the most.”
The Ray Price Motorsports Racing Team has competed in MAMA, AMDRA, IDBA, NMRA, Dragbike USA, AHDRA, AMRA, IHRA, NHRA, AMA Dragbike, and Manufacturers Cup Racing.
The NHRA Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Drag Racing Series competes at tracks across the country and holds at least one race in each of the seven NHRA divisions. Most events take place in conjunction with the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and four NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tracks.
The Top Fuel Harley-Davidson is a highly modified motorcycle that can run the quarter-mile in under 6.8 seconds at well over 200 mph. Bikes feature a purpose-built tube chassis and a lightweight, aerodynamically enhanced replica of original motorcycle bodywork.
The National Hot Rod Association is the world’s largest auto racing organization, founded in 1951 with the goal to move racing off the city streets and highways, and into safer, organized venues by hosting national racing events. There are more than 40,000 licensed NHRA drivers that compete at 130 NHRA member tracks around the U.S.