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Editor & Publisher
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ET DRAG RACING
NEWS & ANALYSIS
Man Cup at Cecil, Georgia
Larry McBride won over Sam Wills in this sequence shot. Thirteen images layered together make up this digital image of two Top Fuel motorcycles, with McBride (near lane) and Wills going 6.13 and 6.23, respectively. The reason Wills is out first was his -.001 reaction time, which landed him in the R/U spot for the day.
Professional class motorcycle drag racing took center stage at the Exoticycle/Roaring Toyz Man Cup event, April 7-9 at South Georgia Motorsports Park with three straight days of motorcycle drag racing featuring Top Fuel motorcycles. This was a great first race of the season for the Manufacturers Cup all-motorcycle sanction, now in its seventh season of racing.
The lack of down time and well run staging lanes really gave this race an excellent tempo, start to finish. Every day’s racing wrapped up on time, well ahead of curfew. On Sunday, the race was done before dinner time and Larry “Spiderman” McBride was a happy man after eliminating Sam Wills to win in Top Fuel.
In the Pingel Top Fuel motorcycle class, with ten-time European T/F bike champion Ian King of the UK here to race Top Fuel motorcycle for the entire 2017 Man Cup season, there was much anticipation in hopes of seeing King race Larry McBride. Yet such was not the case for this outing.
King qualified third and drew Dave Vantine in round one of eliminations. King had a solid launch from the start, but about a bike length out of gate his rear tire went up in smoke. Vantine stormed off on a 6.07-elapsed time at 232-MPH run that sent him on to round two. Sam Wills then matched up with Mitch Brown driving Dennis Bradley’s new T/F bike and their match up was brief. Brown’s bike developed a problem after the burnout and Wills ended up with a competition single that launched him into the semi-finals.
McBride, as low qualifier, had a bye run in E-1, yet he unleashed a 5.91 at 238 to let the rest of the T/F bike field know he was not playing this weekend.
During E-2 action, Wills had the bye run and he laid down a fine 6.02 at 225 MPH, putting on a great show for the fans in the process. McBride and Vantine then upped the showmanship quotient by running side by side 6.0’s for the fuel bike faithful. McBride’s .050 RT to Vantine’s .058 had them leaving the line together and they stayed wheel to wheel down the track with McBride winning the round 6.044 to Vantine’s 6.069: Now that’s a drag race!
In the final round of Top Fuel motorcycle it was Déjà Vu all over again. The 2016 Man Cup season began with McBride and Wills matching up, and Wills won that drag race putting him in the #1 spot for points and had Wills fighting all season to hold onto a points lead. But the outcome would be different exactly one year later. Wills went red by .001 of a second, which is damn near impossible to do with a Top Fuel motorcycle, yet he did, and that was it, game over. However, just to be showman, the two T/F motorcycle legends stayed side by side for 1320 feet of race track. McBride’s 6.23 was very close to Wills’ 6.13 elapsed time. It was all over on the starting line but you’d never know it by the way these two guys went at it.
Sam Wills and Larry McBride are two of the best ever to zip up leather suits and go Top Fuel bike racing, and they presented the fans with a first-class show, start to finish.
In the Hawaya Pro Fuel class of racing, with a three-bike entry into the field, Michael Ray lead things off with a solo pass of 7.061 @ 174.93 mph on Sunday. He has been running 7.0 numbers now since last November. Pro Fuel Nitro Harley is a class where 7.30’s are normal, 7.20’s are excellent and a teen is a wow. To be running consistent seven-oh’s is just unheard of and the class is clearly on the verge of seeing its first six-second elapsed time run.
Also looking great at this race in Pro Fuel is a relatively new team of Preston Bartlett with Walter Halonski turning the wrenches. At the Man Cup season opener, together they put on a great show running strong every round and it was Preston who matched up with Michael Ray for the final round of racing at this event. Bartlett got out on Ray first with a .125 RT to Ray’s .159. But then Johnny Vicker’s horsepower just came on like a freight train. Ray pulled away at half-track and just kept truck’n. The score boards showed a respectable 7.55 elapsed time for Preston Bartlett and a 7.011 for Michael ”7-0h” Ray, for the win.
Travis Davis was the number-one qualifier in both Pro Mod and Pro Open, and he won the class in Pro Mod, and achieved R/U in Pro Open. Both his drag bikes are Walt Timblin creations.
In the Falicon Pro Mod racing class it was the Travis Davis show, featuring Jeff House. Together they tore through a 12-bike field to meet up in the final round. Davis, who qualified #1 in Pro Mod AND Pro Open, eliminated Charlie Prophit, Paul Gast, then soloed into the final round. Meanwhile Jeff House eliminated Rick Perry, Brad McCoy and Brunson Grothus to earn his first final round match-up of 2017.
Together they put on a hell of a drag race for the final round. Davis was out first with a .038 RT, and House was not far off with his .041 light. They tore through the eighth-mile course with elapsed times of 4.11 for House and 4.05 for Davis, who won his first Falicon Pro Mod event of the year.
VOLUME XIX, NUMBER 4 - April 2017
Mark Redeluk, aka Mr. Paint, is still the man in Man Cup Pro Open racing.
In Nitrous Express Pro Open class action, Mark Rendeluk continued his winning ways by once again laying low the entire field with Chris Wedman horsepower. Mark has been wearing the #1 plate in Pro Open now for three consecutive seasons. Travis Davis met up with Rendeluk in the finals but there were no bones about who won this drag racing class. Rendeluk posted a fine 6.70 elapsed time in the final round for the win, after Davis suffered mechanical problems and coasted through the traps with a 9.75 to end his day.
APE Pro Street class racing featured 15 entries that led to low qualifier Rodney Williford leading things off with a bye run, producing a 6.74 elapsed time at 211 MPH. He was low qualifier for the event and looked like a win waiting to happen till he got a little too close to the razor’s edge in round E-3. There he was matched up with Jeremy Teasley, who’s now the top gun for DME racing since Joey Gladstone’s departure. However, Williford went red by .003, sending J.T. to the final round. And while the red light was painful for Williford, his monster 226 MPH run during that 6.80 red light pass was just WOW!
Ehren Litten went through the field of Pro Street bikes just as his teammate Williford did. Then in E-3, Litten was also eliminated, but by Justin Doucet, 6.80 to 6.81 – it was the .063 reaction time of Doucet to Litten’s .066 (MOV .009), that earned Doucet his shot at the big time…and he made good on it!
Doucet was ready for his match up with Jeremy Teasley in the Pro Street final round with everything he had ready to go. At the flicker of the green, Teasley was away first with a .043 reaction to the tree, but gremlins set in and he coasted the rest of the run while Doucet charged on to his first Pro Street bike win of 2017. Just two weeks prior to this race, Doucet had a great outing at the Outlaw Street Car Reunion IV event, in Memphis Tennessee. This could be his year to shine; he’s off to a great start.
BACK TO TOP
In a major upset, Johnny Dobrin (far lane) defeated Joey Gladstone in Real Street.
In Shinko/WPS Real Street racing, with eight bikes entered for competition on Sunday, the class was led by Joey Gladstone who qualified #1 with a 7.76 elapsed time. He was matched up with Troy Jackson for E-1, but Jackson broke and could not make the call. In E-2, Gladstone faced off with Louis Hornedo. Gladstone’s 7.79 was too much for Hornedo, who posted an 8.0 number on the scoreboard that sent Joey on to the finals. There he met Johnny Dobrin who gave Gladstone a driving lesson he won’t soon forget. Johnny’s .031 RT to Joey’s .089 was way too big a margin of error to give up that early in the race. As a result, Dobrin then stormed on to a 7.75 win over Gladstone’s 7.84, getting his first win of the season in Real Street racing class.
The next race for the Man Cup Series will be June 3-4 in Memphis, TN, at Memphis International Raceway for race number two of the five-race series. For more information on the Man Cup motorcycle drag racing series visit here.