"The Florida Gang"
First Published in Bikenights.com Magazine
June Issue 2003
By: Bill Hood
Perhaps you will recall, in the not to distant past, a group of men from the state of Alabama who made a significant impact on the NASCAR circuit. Borrowing from that example I have dubbed a similar group of motorcycle riders, from our state, as “The Florida Gang”. Though no comparison is implied, this group of riders is already making a name for themselves among national competitors in the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA).
Willie Herschberger, well known in central Florida’s Harley Davidson drag racing community for promoting the sport and his own racing talent, is at the forefront of the Manatee and Sarasota county representatives.
Larry Guy, Service Manager for Rossiter’s Harley-Davidson of Bradenton, holding down 1st place in SEP, is equally dedicated to the sport locally and nationally. Others include the very consistent Glenna Campana on her modified Sportster, ET class competitor Howard Pence, AHDRA record holder in the new “Hot Street” class David Atkins, Bradenton Motorsports Park Track Champion Troy Thein of Sarasota, Tony Mioni currently owning 3rd place in Screaming Eagle Performance (SEP), and yours truly who owns nothing and is chasing anything with a point attached to it in the ET or SEP class.
The Florida Gang includes the likes of Donny Huffman of Lakeland Harley-Davidson/Buell, a champion drag racer many times over, and Chuck Bothe who can ride anything on two wheels and sometimes on one. Vance Houdishell, an east coast racer, is always a force to be reckoned with on the drag strip.
These make up the group I will refer to as the “Florida Gang”. No these guys don’t always win, but they do an admirable job of representing the state of Florida in a nationally competitive organization.
The AHDRA is similar to NASCAR in that it is a national organization with competitors from all over the country. There is a west coast division and an east coast division. Point are awarded at each event. There is a national champion declared for each class of competition at a year end Banquet in Las Vegas, NV.
And, like the Alabama Gang of old in NASCAR, the Florida Gang is making its presence known in the AHDRA. You may know one of the folks mentioned here, but not know of their competitive edge in motorcycle drag racing. You can access information regarding their accomplishments at www.dragmasters.com or www.AHDRA.com
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