THARPE GETS EMOTIONAL WITH TFH DOMINATION
NHRA Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley-Davidson rider Tii Tharpe wasn’t at a loss for words on Sunday after winning the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. He was; however, having a tough time getting them out.
Sunday’s triumph marked the third consecutive Father’s Day victory and second win in a row for the seasoned rider. It’s also a day which has deep personal memories.
“It’s truly unbelievable,” Tharpe said. “(Racing on) Father’s Day is a fantastic thing, and bittersweet. I also lost my cousin on this day when I was racing in Norwalk back in ’06. There’s a lot on my mind, but I do feel I have the best angel in the world looking over me. Maybe that’s what helps me so much.
“That, and the fans, and the employees from (sponsor) Spevco. (Bristol) It’s a great place, great crowd. We have lots of support, and it feels really good.”
Sunday’s victory now gives Tharpe, nine consecutive round winds at the historic drag strip built into the mountains of Tennessee.
“It’s a big deal, and I recognize that,” Tharpe confirmed.
Additionally, Tharpe, who rides a bike as part of Jay Turner Racing, inked an associate sponsorship with iconic Harley-Davidson exhaust manufacturer Samson.
Tharpe put the cap on the prosperous weekend by presenting the NHRA Wally trophy to Samson president Mike Baverstock.
Baverstock, just like Tharpe, found the words challenging to deliver on such an emotional weekend for team and sponsor alike.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Baverstock said. “I’ve been racing all my life, and that was really a treasured moment.”
And for Tharpe, he understands the feeling all too well.
The next for the Mickey Thompson Top Fuel Harley series is the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire on July 5-7.