motorcycle memo's w/Tom McCarthy

Drag Racing Season is Under Way


Photos by Tom McCarthy

Frankie Stotz


Motorcycle drag racing is in full swing now that spring has sprung.  The Man Cup motorcycle drag racing sanction kicked off the season with its Exoticycle Spring Cup at South Georgia Motorsports Park on April 6-9, with a few hundred drag bikes ready to shake the winter dust off.


The quickest motorcycle on the property that weekend was Larry “Spiderman” McBride who uncorked an impressive 5.79 @ 251 MPH during pre-race testing.  His high horsepower was also his undoing on Sunday when his Pingle Top Fuel motorcycle overpowered the race track in the final round, handing the win to Dave Vantine who thundered down the 1320 with a 6.73 elapsed time to win his first of the season.


Orangeburg Cycle Racing has now replaced Hawaya Racing as the class sponsor of Man Cup Pro Fuel class. Armon Furr is excited about this and enthusiastic to get behind the class as a sponsor to help promote Harley fuel bike racing.  At the Man Cup Spring event, Kirby Apathy was the #1 Gunslinger in qualifying with a fine 7.19 ET, right off the trailer. But on race day, it was Preston Bartlett, the current Man Cup #1 P/F bike champion, who took the win during race #1 of 5, for the 2018 season with Man Cup.


On April 18-21, Tyler Crossnoe’s Outlaw Streetcar Reunion unleashed #5 in its series of annual events at Beech Bend Raceway, in Bowling Green, KY, including action with Pro Street Motorcycles for the second consecutive year in a row.  Twenty-seven of the quickest no-bars bikes in the world showed up to do battle and Frankie Stotz on his Honda powered P/St bike won the race over Jeremy Teasley. Frankie was as quick as 6.69 at the event, announcing he’s no joke and not to be taken lightly.

Also of interest at the OSCR-V event, Eddie Krawiec, NHRA PSM champion, was in the house driving an X-275 car. Eddie has been involved with a variety of drag cars over the years and this latest one had a best of 4.60 @ 161 MPH for the weekend, not enough to make the show. This car is a new build and is in the testing/tuning phase for the time being.


On April 28-29, the AMRA Spring Rally and Drags were held at Beech Bend Raceway  in Bowling Green KY. The AMRA (American Motorcycle Racing Association) is “Old School” fun drag racing. For the most part this is the last remaining “All Harley” drag racing sanction. Hundreds of V-Twin drag bikes showed up, raced all day and enjoyed a party every night.


Over 95% of the motorcycles at an AMRA drag race are Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Similar bikes like Indian motorcycles are also welcome. The Nitro Funny Bikes at the AMRA Spring Rally and Drags were the fastest and quickest machines on the property. AMRA does recognize and race the Top Fuel Harley class - but only at selected events. Ryan Perry of Milford, Ohio, was the number one qualifier with a stout 6.81 @ 203 MPH. He then ran the table and went on to win the race for the class and looked damn fine in doing so defeating Rich Vreeland of Pennyslvania in the final round, 6.66 to 6.76 in a close round of racing.


Capping off the month, on April 27-29, the long-awaited return of Jason Miller and the Miller Brothers Productions (MBP) XDA sanction began racing operations at MIR in Budds Creek, MD. The sanction originally known as the MIROCK drag bike series, (MIR + Rockingham Dragway), then evolved into IDBL (International Drag Bike League) and now in its latest form, the XDA, (Xtreme Dragbike Association), it’s off to the races once again for Jason Miller and his associates.


Their season opening event was a success with several hundred drag bikes attending. The stars of the show were the Pro Street motorcycles which put on a dazzling display of record smashing. Rodney Williford showed up and uncorked a personal best of 6.656 in round three of qualifying and he was NOT the quickest bike on the race track!


That distinction belonged to Jeremy Teasley when he ran 6.639 in the lane beside Rodney and this is the quickest side-by-side pass in motorcycle drag racing history by a pair of Pro Street motorcycles. The GOAT list for Pro Street M/C took a beating at this event.


But arguably the most impressive run of the weekend was not by a P/St motorcycle. Spencer Claycomb, who races in Real Street, laid down an astounding 7.666 pass that for a glorified street bike is just ludicrous.  I’ll be more than surprised if anyone can run near that number again before the October, November, time frame. That was just nuts. Spencer then went on to win the event and he’s now in the points lead of a very tough class at the season start.


In NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle drag racing, as of the second week of May, Eddie Krawiec leads in Mello Yello points, followed by teammate Andrew Hines (-25), Scotty Pollacheck (40), Jerry Savoie (-87) and Angelle Sampey (-109). The next NHRA PSM race will be May 31-June 3 at the Jegs Route 66 Nationals.


In NHRA Micky Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley racing, Doug Vancil is in the top spot, followed by Ricky House (-40), Tii Tharpe (-53), Jay Turner (-93) and Randal Andras (-126). The next race for the NHRA Top Fuel Harley motorcycles will be May 18-20 at Heartland Motorsports Park, Topeka, KS. 



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