Local Racers Rebound After Incidents

Ray Hickman of Corryton (129 Racing) had a great start to the July 26 Roebling Road WERA road racing round, and won the V7 Heavyweight race, before crashing and heavily damaging his bike when he encountered oil on the track in the V6 HW race. Ironically, the oil was from one of the modern bikes sharing the track with the vintage machines. "They start us behind the modern guys, but some of us old guys are quick and we catch 'em," he says.

Hickman wasn't hurt, but the bike went end over end. "Stuff was flying off; the tank was destroyed," he says.

With the help of David Hurst of Slide Effects Paintworks and a pink tank from his parts stash, Hickman had the bike back up and running for the next round at Talladega Gran Prix Raceway on Aug. 23, where he won both the V6 Heavyweight and V7 Heavyweight races. Then on Sept. 13, Hickman raced at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, and again won both races. "They had a big turnout at Barber. It was a national and a regional race," Hickman says.

Hickman leads the V7 Heavyweight class in both the South East and Mid-Central regions. In the V6 Heavyweight class, he's currently second in South East and third in Mid-Central. The next round for Hickman is at Nashville, Sept. 26-27, followed by the final at Road Atlanta, Oct. 7-11. Hickman's 1989 Suzuki 7/11 is sponsored by 129 Race Team, Mountain Motorsports, LP USA, Slide Effects Paintworks, Street & Competition, and TWVMC.

Meanwhile, two-time defending AHRMA 200GP champion Jack Parker of Knoxville, featured in March's Handlebar ("Speed Freak," Vol. 5, #2) also had a win and a get-off earlier in the summer. Parker crashed at Virginia International Raceway on Aug. 8 in the 250GP race, having won Saturday's 200GP race. Parker said he ended up outside another rider and had no place to go but the bumpy turf. "I woke up in the ambulance, and they had me strapped down. Apparently I didn't think I needed to be strapped down."

His 175cc Yamaha wasn't damaged too badly, but Parker didn't race on Sunday, giving up a valuable points opportunity, especially since the VIR round was a double-points-paying round. To make up the deficit, and to have races to give up in AHRMA's best-10-finishes format, Parker flew to Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah for the next round on Sept. 5 and 6. A friend was hauling out to Utah, so he agreed to carry Parker's bike along. Jack took two third-place finishes on Saturday and a third in the 200GP race on Sunday. In the 250GP race on Sunday, another racer hit Parker's machine and broke off the brake lever, ending his race.

After the Miller round, Parker led the 200GP class with 9,905 points over Dennis Poneleit's 8,918. Poneleit, of Sarasota, Fla., races a highly modified Honda CB175. "But Denny's going to Sandia." (AHRMA's September 12-13 round in New Mexico) "It's all going to come down to Barber," Parker predicts. In the 250GP class, Parker is also the points leader, with 6,845 to John Stephens' 6,423. Stephens, of Stockholm, New Jersey, campaigns a 1968 Ducati 250 single. The final and deciding race weekend of the AHRMA season will be at the Barber Vintage Festival, Oct. 10-11 in Birmingham.