motorcycle memo's w/Tom McCarthy

Drag Bikes 2019 Full Tilt

Photos by Tom McCarthy


As the month of April in the year 2019 moves along, the motorcycle drag racing season is now reaching for high gear and going full tilt boogie. On the weekend of April 5-7, the Man Cup motorcycle drag racing sanction rolled into South Georgia Motorsports Park for the Exoticycle Spring Cup Nationals, presented by Roaring Toyz.


On the same weekend the PDRA began racing operations at GALOT Motorsports Park in Dunn, NC, featuring the Pro Nitrous bikes. On April 27-28 the AMRA will host the All Harley races at Bowling Green, KY, and on the same weekend, the XDA will host its Spring Nationals at MDIR, its home race track.


Also in April, the NHRA Pro Stock motorcycles began racing 4-wide at “The Strip” in Las Vegas and the Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harleys are battling it out at Baytown, TX, on April, 12-14. NHDRO will also be at Gainesville Raceway that same weekend. Now that spring has sprung, there will be motorcycle drag racing most every weekend – somewhere.


At the Man Cup event, initial racing was hampered by rain after a successful day of testing on Thursday. Friday, during the overnight, rain was deposited on the race course and with heavy fog and drizzle during the morning hours, track prep was delayed until close to noon.

Preston Bartlett


Jeremy Teasley


Despite Mother Nature’s best efforts to derail the Man Cup event, it was completed on Sunday, April 7. The winners in the professional classes were: Pingel Top Fuel, Dave Vantine; in Hawaya Racing Pro Fuel, Preston Bartlett; in Falicon Pro Mod, Paul Gast. Nitrous Express Pro Open was won by Jean Gosselin; APE-sponsored Pro Street winner was Chris Connelly; and in the Shinko WPS/Real Street class, Jeremy Teasley stood tall in the winner’s circle.


In NHRA Pro Stock motorcycle drag racing, after going winless in the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock Motorcycle season, Andrew Hines came out and won the Gatornationals and then during the NHRA 4-wide at Las Vegas, he qualified 4th and finished 4th. After the first two races in 2019, Andrew currently sits #1 in points, just ahead of Hector Arana Jr., who won at Las Vegas. Also in PSM news, Angelle Sampey was originally signed on for four races with Vance & Hines Racing; well, she has now inked a deal for the entire 2019 Mello Yello series. As of this writing she currently sits 12th in the Mello Yello point’s series.


The Mickey Thompson Tires, NHRA, Top Fuel Harley series after three races completed of a ten race schedule, Beau Layne sits on top of the championship point’s series with 237 points, Doug Vancil is at 205 points, going into the, NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, April 12-14, 2019.


At the recent Man Cup Spring Nationals, Dave Vantine, who won in Pingel Top Fuel, during E-2 and in the final round, Dave recorded a personal best of 5.745 @ 254.33 MPH and then in E-3 he posted a stunning 5.93 @ 253.71 MPH. His sudden major leap into the 250-MPH zone was no accident.


Larry McBride, who went out during E-1, decided to let his friend Dave borrow a motor. So suddenly sitting in the frame rails of Dave’s bike was a motor from Larry “Spiderman” McBride with the numbers 102 stamped on it. Elmer Trett, during his early days of Top Fuel motorcycle drag racing sometimes wore that number adorned on his T/F bike and Larry, always mindful of his mentor, has a special bullet with the numbers 102 carved into the engine block.


So, when Dave made his runs on Sunday afternoon and evening, he had a little extra riding along with him.


Also buzzworthy from the Man Cup event, Sverre Dahl of Norway was in attendance with his T/F motorcycle, “The Sunshine Express.” His T/F motorcycle which is a creation by his own hands, sports a Sverre Dahl motor that meets T/F motorcycle specifications. While the one-off piece is powerful and normally highly reliable, unfortunately, during Man Cup qualifying, one of his rod bearing gave up on him and egg-shaped one of his connecting rods. Due to the one-off nature of the build, no spares are readily available. So despite his stellar 6.11 right off the trailer, followed by a 6.12, he was unable to race on Sunday.


A big announcement was made Sunday, April 7, 2019 at the Man Cup event by Jay Regan, the leader of Man Cup, and Jack Korpela of website Cycledrag; the Man Cup World Finals, to be held November 21-24, this year will have live coverage in full by MAV-TV. This will include a full production van and live broadcast team on-site for the event. 



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