NORWALK, Ohio (February 23, 2012) – He may not have won the championship in 2011, but Jay Turner has never felt better entering a season.
After finishing a close second to friend and longtime competitor Steve Dorn last season, Turner is determined to improve on his performance – and the performance of his entire Nitro Harley operation – and hopefully come away with the coveted Nitro Jam championship trophy using a few tricks up his sleeve.
"We had a great season last year, unfortunately it just wasn't enough," Turner said. "Steve had a great bike and pushed us really hard and while we had more wins last season, he was more consistent and that was the difference in the end. But we have a wild card that we plan on using this year that we can't wait to show the fans."
Jay Turner atop his 2011 steed
While Dorn may have taken the 2011 Nitro Harley championship in the class' first trip down the IHRA quarter-mile in several years, Turner holds the status as the veteran of the group with multiple wins dating back to the last time the IHRA hosted the nitromethane-fueled motorcycle class fulltime. And with another full year under his belt, Turner has high hopes that 2012 will be his year and looks forward to another spirited competition against Dorn and the rest of the Nitro Harley class beginning next month when he unveils his new ride that many are already labeling a game-changer in the class.
"We're pretty happy with it so far, but only time will tell what it can really do," Turner said. "This bike has all the right ingredients for greatness with Sam Wills of Racing Innovation as the designer, Red Harris of Rocket Management Systems as the developer and engineer, myself as the mechanic and most importantly Randal Andras of K&K Marine as the owner and backer of this whole project. This bike would have never come to life without Randal's trust in these guys and belief in this project."
Turner hit the track with the new bike, currently labeled "untamed and unnamed", at South Georgia Motorsports Park earlier this year and had two passes of 6.772, 214.96 and 6.683, 210.93 right out of the box. While there are still several bugs yet to be worked out, Turner is pleased with the new bike and looks forward to seeing it in action in less than a month.
Turner won six times in 2011, finishing second behind Steve Dorn
"We had a similar combination in a regular Top Fuel chassis, it just wasn't working. We were eating up rods and pistons every pass, so at one of our team meetings Randal said we should make it longer and wider – whatever it takes to make it go," Turner said. "So the very next day we were on the phone getting the project underway. We are all very excited to show this bike to the Nitro Jam fans and to see what they think after they get to watch it run down the track."
In addition to working on the new bike, Turner and his team have also been busy promoting the series. In early February Turner and the team traveled to Louisiana from their home in North Carolina to put the bike on display at the New Orleans Monster Jam during the Pit Party at the sellout Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Turner spent the weekend promoting the series and its return to Baton Rouge at the Mardi Gras Nitro Jam in May and also gave Monster Jam fans an up-close look at the world of nitro racing on two wheels.
"The weekend was a huge hit with the fans. We had a line as long as you could see with kids wanting to get their picture taken on the bikes," Turner said. "It was a lot of fun and there were a lot of people and they all seemed truly interested in Nitro Jam so hopefully that will translate into more fans throughout the year."
Turner and his team are looking ahead to big things in 2012 with a new bike and new attitude
After recording six wins last season, Turner hopes to up the ante in 2012 with his mysterious new bike which he will debut at the Arizona Nitro Jam March 23-24 in Tucson followed by a trip to Texas for the San Antonio Nitro Jam March 30-31. In addition to the big bike, Turner and the team will also be unveiling a miniature version for kids to enjoy during the FanFest Pit Party at all Nitro Jam events on the schedule.
Don't miss Turner and his state-of-the-art new Nitro Harley as the fastest machines on two wheels take to the track for the start of the 2012 Nitro Jam season next month. For more information on the 2012 Nitro Jam season, visit www.nitrojam.com.