Travis Lummus Blitzes Rockingham and Vegas
Four time AHDRA Rivera/Primo Street Pro Champion Travis Lummus got back in the winner's circle and back in the record books in a big way at Rockingham Dragway. Through much of this season, the Street Pro king has had to look on while others tore through performance milestones and collected winnings. But at his home track in Rockingham, Travis not only joined the 8 Second Club, he jumped deep into the 8.80's with a new record 8.834. Travis and his Gene Lummus Harley-Davidson built and sponsored bike also set new 1/8th mile elapsed time and mile-per-hour records.
What accounted for the team's jump in performance? "Cubic inches," Travis said flatly. "My bike used to run 9 flat, and that's just not cutting it." So, Team Lummus engine builder Steve Allstadt put a whole new top end on the solid mounted EVO motor, boosting its cubes, and added a second S&S Super D carburetor. "It made a whole lot more power. We did a good job for a long time with one carburetor, though."
Travis credits his dad Gene and Allstadt for tuning the whole new twin carb setup as quickly as they did. "Between my dad and Steve, they're real slick on that. We get the tune to the track we're at real quick, then it's all about the clutch. And a little bit of ridin'."
Final round runner-up Joe Sternotti, with the championship already in his pocket, rode out one of his big signature wheelies in the final. In the other lane, Travis nailed an .013 bulb and ran a 9.0 for the win. "It was real exciting and made us want to come back to the race track," said Travis. "We've been really disappointed and had a lot of first round losses due to breakage. You can't always help that."
Two weeks after Rockingham, the Lummus team traveled out West to Las Vegas for the AHDRA finals. While Sternotti continued to wheelie like Evil Knievel, Travis' primary competition proved to be G-Squared rider Chip Ellis. The two battled closely throughout qualifying in the thin Vegas air, with Ellis edging Lummus in the final round.
Going into the finals of eliminations with Lummus, Ellis had lane choice and the performance advantage. The G-Squared bike was the only Street Pro machine at that point that had run a 9.0 at Vegas. "We were fighting the clutch setup all weekend," said Travis. "That track was really, really sticky and we just kept taking clutch out and taking it out 'til we couldn't take anymore out. We got a little bit of clutch management going, but it's not perfect yet."
The team's computer showed the bike was jumping out of gear, so Gene made the decision to change shift forks. "That's the reason the bike ran two 9.30's," said Travis. With the pressure on to make the call for the final, the whole team pitched in to change the forks in 10 minutes.
When the lights came down for the final in the dark of night, Travis got a visible jump on Ellis from the right lane. And when the win light came on in the right lane, it was obvious that Gene and Steve had done their jobs as well.
"That's the best win of my life," said Travis, glad to have proven himself against the rider that would win the NHRA Pro Stock Bike race at Vegas the very next Sunday. "That thing did a huge wheelie. I rode it for a long way and I thought that was it. Chip 60-footed me pretty good and had a wheel on me. But I rode right past him. The TV announcer (Brett Kepner) at the end of the track, he already had us beat, so it was good to talk to him about that."
New class champion Sternotti was responsible for the increased competitiveness in the class for much of the year. "Joe's done a helluva job this year," said Travis. "He spent some money and went to some races and won some races. Our hats off to his team."
Engine builder Steve Allstadt represented Team Lummus well at the AHDRA banquet, winning the prestigious Pro Wrench of the Year award.
Travis thanked S&S Cycle, Red Line Oil, Rinehart Racing, Works Shocks, Spyke, Pro Street Frameworks, Rivera Engineering and Screamin' Eagle, Steve Allstadt and everyone at the Gene Lummus Harley-Davidson shop.
The next stop for the AHDRA and Gene Lummus Harley-Davidson Racing is at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida, March 5-6, 2005. Until then, Travis and the team wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season.