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The Mickey Thompson Performance Tires International Drag Bike League’s (IDBL) WPGC Bike Fest is always known for its good times and stirring performances in the summer heat at Maryland International Raceway (MDIR). With everything from DC’s hottest live music, custom bikes, motorcycle clubs, the East Coast Stunt Jam, International Bikini Team, bikini bartenders, and the best motorcycle drag racers in America and beyond—the nation’s biggest motorcycle drag racing and culture event is always about speed, fun, and beauty.
Hey, it’s a motorcycle event, OK?
This year’s Bike Fest on July 29-31 also featured the heat of Nitro in the Top Fuel Shootout dedicated to the late legend Elmer Trett. Once again, David Vantine and his screaming yellow Vantine Nitrosports bike reigned supreme. The Hamilton, NY, racer made three 5-second passes, took two wins, and set a new track speed record.
Vantine’s opponent, Larry “Spiderman” McBride, struggled with trick electronics on his Trim-Tex/Pingel bike. The McBride team switched back to their old tried and true stuff for the last pass, successfully going A to B but, without a previous full pass to tune to, came up short competitively.
“Hats off to the McBride bothers,” said Vantine. “Steve and Larry worked from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on my two motors that we hurt in Memphis so that we could be here this weekend. They never even took their bike off the truck.”
East Coast Nitro Harley legend Bob Spina was there tuning rider Peter Geiss down the track. The Korry Hogan-ridden Top Fuel ‘Busa of John Alwine was involved in a highway pile-up on the way to MDIR and was unable to compete.
Three-time Orient Express Pro Street champion Joey Gladstone took the win in another all-DME Racing Pro Street final against teammate Terence Angela. After qualifying number one with a 6.822 at 213.16 mph, Gladstone took out Tony Ficher to reach the final. Angela took the tree by .021, but Gladstone powered by for a scant 7.018 to 7.042 win.