motorcycle memo's w/Tom McCarthy

Ryan Schnitz Going Loud!

Photos by Tom McCarthy

Ryan Schnitz


On Sunday, Nov. 4, Pro Street racer Ryan Schnitz of Illinois defeated Justin Shakir of Connecticut with a stout 6.70 elapsed time to Justin’s, 6.87, to win the $5,000 first place prize in the 23rd annual Import Vs Domestic, World Cup Finals, sponsored by Haltech Engine Management Systems.


The Pro Street motorcycles were racing at the event this year by invitation only, with the class sponsored by Platinum General Services. It was quite a treat for the premier no-bars motorcycles to race in front of a packed house at one of the East Coast’s biggest car races of the entire year. The event was held at Budds Creek, MD, October 31 through November 4, 2018.

Justin Shakir


Of the ten P/St bikes, sponsored to entertain the fans by the XDA, the #1 qualifier was Ryan Schnitz, with Cecil Towner tuning for the HTP crew. Ryan ran a career best time of 6.622 at 217 MPH, making him not only low qualifier, but also moving him up to the #2 spot on the official G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) runs list for Pro Street Motorcycle. Ryan and Cecil then proceeded to take apart the eight-bike qualified field on Sunday, along the way defeating Jason Dunigan and Rodney Williford, to earn his way to the final round.


Ryan’s competition runs on Sunday included elapsed times of 6.74, 6.65 and a 6.70 finale to win the big one. His turbocharged, GSXR Suzuki, was on kill all weekend thanks to his crew led by Cecil Towner.


With the bulk of motorcycle drag racing action wrapped up for 2018, the majority of the racers are now making final preparations to race motorcycle drag racing’s version of the “Big Go” and attend the 42nd Annual Man Cup Mann Hill Garage World Finals. This will take place at the South Georgia Motorsports Park complex, in Adel, GA, on November 15-18, presented by Kibblewhite Precision Machine. Four full days of motorcycle drag racing action at one of the best, if not the best drag racing facility for motorcycle drag bikes. Many of the aforementioned Pro Street racers will be in Georgia for the big Man Cup event.


If the weather cooperates, as it often does at this time of year, record setting performances are the norm at this event. Last year the Pingel Top Fuel Twins class saw a 6.0 by Tak Shigemitsu of Japan, a stunning 6.85 by Kirby Apathy in Pro Fuel, and a world record 5.61 elapsed time by Larry McBride in Top Fuel motorcycle. No one would be a bit surprised if the Pro Street motorcycle record falls deeper at the Man Cup event. Insiders feel both the APE Pro Street class and the Shinko/WPS Real Street class racers are on target to break records in both classes. Qualifying for the Pingel Top Fuel Twin bikes and all professional classes will begin on Friday, evening, November 16. Please visit http://mancup.info/ for details.

In NHRA drag racing news, at the final race of the 2018 Mello Yello racing season, Matt Smith won the championship by getting the final round win over the only man left to challenge him for the championship, LE Tonglet. Last year’s champion, Eddie Krawiec, finished 39 points behind Smith.


In looking ahead to the 2019 season, Mike Scott, a noted Top Fuel Harley pilot, has announced he has signed on with Jay Turner Racing for all ten NHRA Mello Yello events in 2019. Mike is now sponsored by TRIDYNE PROJECTS and is out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


BIG PROPS to Brian “NHDRO” Welch, the leader of the No Hatin’ Drag Racing Organization, for his courage and innovation by embracing new technology that improves motorcycle drag racing by a bunch. In October of 2018 the NHDRO began using a “QR Code” system to ID all the drag bikes and their respective drivers.

Once clear of Tech, the drag bike and the driver’s information is generated onto a QR coded sticker that looks like an enlarged, pixilated B&W square code. It’s like a bar-code, but square. Once this sticker is attached to the machine, an event crew staff member in lower or upper staging can scan the code and the tower instantly receives full information on the driver and the bike, and this information drives the whole system seamlessly, making the entire racing operation run quicker, more efficiently. Over time, this system has the potential to impact all of drag racing. 



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