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IHRA: John Mancuso Hammers Out First 6.4 Second Nitro Harley Run

28 November 1999

Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
BAYTOWN, TX. - John Mancuso might have finished second in the final IHRA Nitro Harley points standings, but during a recent test session at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Tx., the veteran Harley rider gave notice that he doesn't intend to stay there. The former World Champion from Houston became the first rider of this ferocious two-wheeled, nitromethane-burning beat to score a pass in the 6.4-second zone. The test lap was a personal victory for Mancuso, who had just returned from an African safari and was now preparing for a battle against the best riders from select countries.

"We had the first pass in the sixties," explained a jubilant Mancuso. "Jay (Turner) beat us to the fifties, so we wanted that forty."

It was very much evident that the trip did Mancuso some good. While he was out of the country, the bike that he campaigned during the 1999 season had been torn down and the frame was painted while he was gone. That must have been some potent paint as the first pass out of the box yielded the quickest run in Nitro Harley history with a 6.471/214 mph. His progressives on the run included a 1.10-sixty foot, 4.21/178-eighth mile and a 5.427-1000 foot. His backed up the lap as he carded a 6.51/215 on the ensuing lap.

Mancuso just wasn't out at Baytown making runs for the fun of it. According to the successful Harley-Davidson dealer, he was out there testing some new products.

"We came to test tires and belts," he added. "Gates had sent us some belts made from a new material. I think it's the same material as those used on the rear of the Y2K production Harley. They seem awesome. We also tried a Goodyear slick and it just didn't work for our application. The old Mickey Thompson was much better than the new Goodyear was. Frank Papp and the engineers of Mickey Thompson tires are developing a slick strictly for the Harleys. It should be ready in a couple weeks and we will be testing it before we go to Australia in January."

Mancuso is one of the top four ADBA riders (Mark Conner, Bill Furr and Steve Moore) who will be representing the United States in a three-race World Championship series in Australia, that begins in mid-January and ends in February. There will also be four riders each from Europe and Canada plus the Australians.

Mancuso wants to acknowledge and thank his friends and sponsors for their continuing support. His sponsors include Mancuso Harley-Davidson, Autolite, Ballistic Bikewear, Gates, Greg Good Race Heads, Jim's, Lincoln Electric, Monaco Coach, Red Line Oil, Show & Go Plating, S&S Cycle, Tsubaki Chain, Vanson Leathers, Vantage Trailers, VP Fuels, RC Components, Sullivans and Weekend Frame Co.

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