Nitro Harley makes big splash in Nitro Jam return
Nitro Jam Media
Nov 18, 2011
Four wheels are for chumps.
Real men race on one.
That is the sentiment felt by many atop the 1,000 horsepower steeds known as Nitro Harley. These incredible machines are known for 220 mile per hour passes down the quarter-mile on only the rear tire while the driver – mere passengers on this six second ride – lean from side to side and simply hold on trying to keep their bike in the groove.
Known as a real crowd favorite, the Nitro Jam series was very excited to bring this class back to regular competition in 2011 and are even more excited to keep the class around for years to come.
“We really enjoy racing with Nitro Jam. The fans are great and the IHRA treats us so well, it is really a neat deal,” said 2011 Nitro Harley champion Steve Dorn. “Fans go nuts when they see us out there, but that doesn’t even compare to what it is like on top of one of these things. It is the most exhilarating ride you can imagine. I love every second of it and I especially love putting on a show for the fans.”
And that, after all, is what it is all about. Nitro Jam is designed to conjure an overwhelming “I can’t believe I just saw that” feeling and these bikes are a big part of that.
In 2011half a dozen different riders took to the strip at races throughout the United States and Canada. Four of those riders recorded wins and two of them – Washington’s Dorn and North Carolina’s Jay Turner – took the show to new heights.
Dorn and Turner battled throughout the season, trading the lead multiple times culminating with a huge showdown at the season finale in Michigan. While Turner had the most wins on the year, it was actually Dorn that pulled away late to claim his first championship in the new class and set the standard for the class entering 2012.
“It was a great year with the IHRA. This is a huge win for us, especially when you go against and beat a guy like Jay Turner,” Dorn said. “It has been me and Jay everywhere the past few years. Every time I have to run him it is like a championship in itself. He is one of the best out there and a good friend and it couldn’t have worked out any better getting to race him with it all on the line.”
Dorn finished with five wins in 11 finals and had the fastest pass of the year – a blazing 220.01 miles per hour on only one wheel back in January. Turner finished the year with six wins in seven finals and had the quickest elapsed time of the year at 6.302.
The pair had their biggest moment at the Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam Nationals at Castrol Raceway in July when the two U.S. natives traveled to Edmonton to take on a field of over a dozen Canadian riders. But when all was said and done, the battlefield was strewn with fallen Canadians and at the top stood Dorn and Turner racing for the win.
It was a thrilling first year for all the drivers involved as these fire-breathing nitro bikes roared down the track at every event on tour. Their popularity has led them to become an integral part of the Nitro Jam lineup. Fans regularly stack up outside the pits of these two-wheel monsters waiting for an autograph or, even better, a whiff of nitro when they warm up.
That fact couldn’t have been more evident than in March when Turner had arguably the most spectacular accident of the year when the handlebars came off his bike at over 200 mph, hurdling him off his bike and into the wall at the Mardi Gras Nitro Jam in Baton Rouge.
While Turner was uninjured – actually returning to race again the next day – the fan support for him was overwhelming as fans lined up that night just to see if he was ok.
“It was heartwarming that there were so many people who were concerned about me and checking up on me,” Turner said. “It makes you even more motivated when you see just how much this means to some people.”
In 2012 both Turner and Dorn will return along with a handful of new and returning talent to tear up tracks across the country. Check back with NitroJam.com often for more details on this emerging class and the complete lineup for the 2012 season.