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The MANCUP race held on April 8-10 at South Georgia Motorsports Park started off the year right for the sanction with 539 racers in attending the event over the three days. It was everything a season opening race should be.
“I believe this was our best attended season opener to date” said Jay Regan of MANCUP. In addressing the changes from last year’s season ending race, Jay stated, “I believe we showed right off the bat that our improvements we implemented over the off-season have helped to produce a more efficient running event.”
The overall conduct of the race was well delivered with $48,250 paid out to the racers. SGMP track staff had the track prepped on time every day of the event. There were unforeseen issues with the timing equipment and for a while the timing system was malfunctioning, but just as issues crop up with race bikes, so too the unforeseen happens with all racing equipment.
The pre-race buzz about this race producing a full eight-bike field in Pingle Top Fuel was well placed as indeed for Sunday there were eight T/F bikes that qualified on Saturday night at the end of Q-3. Chris Hand and his team had to hustle to make it to the track on Saturday, then set up and throw everything they had at one qualifying shot to make the field on Saturday night. They succeeded, but mortally wounded the Red Neck Express in the process.
Chris’s 6.75 @ 201 MPH run put him in the number 6 qualifying spot out of eight bikes entered in T/F competition for this race, but the bike coughed up a transmission in the process. It was something the team could not overcome, so they were a heartbreaking no-show on Sunday. A similar fate came to the Alwine Racing team unexpectedly. While they qualified well (a 6.31 @ 236 MPH in the number four spot) on Sunday they were packing before the race started. Problems with the braking system for the bike were more than the team could overcome, so they had to park it.