NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Top Fuel Harley midseason review: It's been all-Andras, all the time

The teams of the Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley Series are one race beyond their midpoint, having completed five of their eight races following the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals, but it’s been pretty much all Randal Andras, all the time.
23 Sep 2020
Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor
Randal Andras

The teams of the Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley Series are one race beyond their midpoint, having completed five of their eight races following the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals, but it’s been pretty much all Randal Andras all the time, with four wins and a runner-up in the five races and a huge points led with three races to go (Gainesville, Dallas, and Las Vegas)

Event winners

PomonaRandal Andras PhoenixJay Turner
Indy 2Randal Andras Indy 3Randal Andras
Indy 4      Randal Andras


Points leader

EventLeader2nd placeLead1st to 10th
PomonaRandal AndrasTii Tharpe2286
PhoenixRandal AndrasJay Turner2141
Indy 2Randal AndrasJay Turner4215
Indy 3Randal AndrasJay Turner99310
Indy 4Randal AndrasJay Turner142382


Ten Takeaways

  • Since his class breakthrough win at last year’s U.S. Nationals, Andras has been almost unstoppable in competition, especially when it comes to racing at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, where he owns a 12-round winning stream: the U.S. Nationals last year and all three Harley races at Indy this year.
  • Andras has led the points standings since his victory at the season opener in Pomona. His lead has been as small as just two points and as large as it is now, at 142 markers.
  • The only man to beat Andras in competition this season is Andras’ teammate, Jay Turner. Turner, the inaugural Harley champ in 2017, defeated Andras in the semifinals in Phoenix when Andras lost traction off the line.
  • Turner was hot on Andras’ heels after winning Phoenix, just two points back, and was just four back after losing to him at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals (Indy 2) but had to withdraw from the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals (Indy 3) after blowing his engine during warmup in the pits and dropped to 99 points back.
  • Andras, Turner, reigning season champ Tii Tharpe, and Tyler Wilson comprise Jay Turner Racing and they sit 1,2, 3, and 5 in the standings. Wilson has yet to go to a final round but was a semifinalist at Indy 2.
  • The only rider to get between them to break up a Top 4 monopoly is steady Rickey House, who was runner-up to Turner in Phoenix and sits in fourth place.
  • Tharpe, who won the championship the last two seasons with dominating performances, has been relatively quiet this season, reaching just two final rounds, the Winternationals and the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals (Indy 3), where he lost to Andras both times.
  • Ryan Peery, who skipped the season’s first two races, went to the semifinals of two of the three Indy events to grab sixth place. Semifinal berths outside the Turner camp have also gone, once each, to Tim Kerrigan and Tracy Kile.
  • Bob Malloy shocked the troops In the first round of the U.S. Nationals when he made the quickest pass in class history, a 6.096, to defeat Rickey House. The previous best pass was 6.101 by Japan's Takeshi Shigematsu at the 2019 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.
  • Sixteen riders have earned points in Top Fuel Harley competition this season.

Biggest surprise: A toss-up between Andras’ appearances and Tharpe disappearance. Before he won Indy last year and four of five since, he had only two final-round appearances (one in 2018 and the other in 2019) without looking anything like the dominator he is now. Tharpe, on the other hand, had scored 10 wins and two championships over the last three seasons but is winless this season.

Most likely to break into the top 10: OK, so he’s actually tied for 10th right now but if he keeps a steady schedule and runs like he did at the U.S. Nationals, expect Bob Malloy to make some news by year’s end. He’s less than 100 points out of the top five with three races remaining. Malloy, who won Funny Bike way back at the 1984 Summernationals in Englishtown, has six runner-ups in Top Fuel Harley competition.

Probable championship finish: 1. Randal Andras 2. Tii Tharpe 3. Jay Turner. You can’t keep Tharpe off the scoresheet forever but even when he does get hot it’ll be too late to catch Andras.    

Darkhorse contender: Rickey House, a two-time series winner, is always there lurking and waiting for a chance. In addition to his Phoenix runner-up, he also went to the semi’s at the third Indy event. He’s in fourth place, but those 234 points in arrears might as well be 2,340 the way Andras is running.