By Tom McCarthy
Remember life before the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 hit? Fun times, right? You betcha and the fun times will return too, so don’t sell off the tent and sleeping bag because the racing will return before the year is out, mark my words my friends. What we had a taste of in February of 2020 is but an omen of things to come, this I assure you and more. The past is but a prologue, my friend, history teaches us so, time and again.
For the racing fans out there who not only love Harley-Davidson motorcycles, but ride and race them, this story and photos are for you. There is a big wave coming your way and it’s called bagger racing, not a new term; but the sanctioning organization “Hog’s Gone Wild” is new and its lead man, Roger Edgerton has his heart in the right place with his head closely in tow. Roger is a truck driver from Charlotte, NC, who makes his living OTR on the highways of the USA; on weekends, he’s been climbing the ladder of being a motorcycle drag racing promoter, connecting the dots, bringing Harley Bagger drag racers together.
On February 29th, Roger held his first bagger race of 2020 at the Silver Dollar Motorsports Park in Reynolds, GA. That was to be the first race of a scheduled five-race season to be followed by four more, but the season has been tossed into a blender of rescheduling. Exactly when racing will resume is anyone’s guess right now. As of May, 2020, the next race should be at Thunder Valley Raceway Park, OK on June 19-20. But be sure to check the Hog’s Gone Wild website on the WWW or on Facebook, before you pack a bed-roll and hit the road.
Roger is not new to motorcycle drag racing or the promotions gig. Roger has been involved with motorcycle drag racing for fifteen years now, but truth be told, he’s been around race tracks all his life. Roger began motorcycle drag racing on a 750 GSX-R, but once he discovered Harley-Davidsons after a car accident that left him with a bad neck injury, that was it, he had to have one. Then it was buying one go-fast part after the next.
“My buddy Joe Gladden, a fellow racer, from Shady Side Dragway said to me, ‘We got to get you on a Harley, you need to do this.’ And the racing just followed. I was already down with the No Mercy Motorcycle Grudge Fest of 2012; I’ve helped put on many a race, so the progression was really building blocks for me to create this event series. We will be running some races and some classes 1/8 mile and other races will be quarter-mile. We are flexible about this; it depends on the racers and whichever track we are at,” commented Roger.
Classes for this new sanction during race #1 included; Hot Street, Pro Street, E.T. Street, Non-Bagger, and Street Class. Other classes are under consideration at this time, but keep in mind 2020 is the first season for Hog’s Gone Wild racing as a sanction.
On Saturday, February 29th, dawn broke beautiful for the inaugural event for Hog’s Gone Wild. The sunrise at about 7AM was spectacular, and the crew for Silver Dollar Dragway arrived just after dawn. By 7:20AM they were out on the racetrack attending to the grooming of the surface. A great breakfast was available right at 7AM at the Hot Rod Café, the chicken & biscuits was spot-on.
Racers were pouring through the pit gates just before 8 am and the pits filled up quickly. Traffic on the local interstate held up some frustrated racers who arrived late. They then had to rush to get through Tech Inspection to hit the lanes quickly for qualifying rounds, followed by eliminations.
The Hog’s Gone Wild staff, with help from the one & only “Tom-Bo”, held Tech at the top of the staging lanes. The newly assembled staff of HGW did their level best to get the racers through Tech in a quick and equitable fashion. There were a few glitches by racers not fully filling out their Tech paperwork correctly.
The morning test and tune was attended by the racers and the actual racing eliminations began after the morning’s two test & tune runs were completed. Thereafter a drivers’ meeting hosted by Roger Edgerton, followed by the invocation prayer, which was led by none other than Mr. George Bryce.
Event eliminations began with ET Street Class racers going at it, followed by Hot Street. Each round of racing was preceded by the drivers drawing chips and being paired up at random. This was a bit confusing for some at the outset, but as these events unfold, things will go more smoothly.
The run order for the day was ET Street, Hot Street, Open-test, Pro Street, Street Class, Non-bagger, True Street, and Open Test.
Pro Street: the biggest and baddest bagger in the land, “Kadafe”, driven by Assim Chaudhry, of PA, took on all comers and smashed them to bits. He defeated Eric Henderson, Mike Beland, and Jim Frederick with elapsed times of 9.35, 9.53 and 9.54, on his way to the winner’s circle.
Hot Street: Jason Broski of MI, took his due over Assim Chaudry on “Kadafe” with a hole shot victory. Broski dropped a .029 RT light onto Assim’s Chaudry’s .183 response, then went 9.42 Vs 9.49 to hand Kadafe its only round loss in competition all weekend.
Street Class: Bruce Emanuel, of NC, won against Geronimo Pratt, 10.31 to 10.72.
In True Street action: Dan Garcia defeated Brian Richardson and Randy Taylor on his way to victory. Dan out paced Randy Taylor 11.25 to 11.75 in heads-up competition.
Non Bagger: Joe Perry of Tennessee, the AMRA stand out, took the win with a fine 9.62 @ 135MPH over Larry Westerfield of Tulsa, Oklahoma, who posted a 10.09 @ 135 effort in his bid to win.
Check the Hog’s Gone Wild website on the web or on Facebook for the 2020 schedule and racing updates. www.hogsgonewild.info