motorcycle memo's w/Tom McCarthy

July Racing Roundup

Larry “Spiderman” McBride


Motorcycle drag racing action in the month of July 2019 was heated up in a big way by the Man Cup motorcycle drag racing sanction rolling into Dragway 42 in West Salem, Ohio, for the Fast By Gast Nationals presented by Advanced Sleeve held July 12-14. It was a very hot, intense weekend with sunny skies, and high temperatures.


In Pingel Top Fuel class, coming into the event, Dave Vantine was in first place and Larry McBride was in fourth place. By the end of the event, with Larry taking the number-one qualifier position with a 5.82 @ 239 MPH, the championship point’s chase began to change. In qualifying, Vantine’s 5.91 @ 239 was a great number, but McBride nipped him on that one. Then during eliminations, the two met in the finals with McBride storming to victory, posting a quickest of the weekend 5.78 @ 252 MPH and vaulting from fourth place up into second in championship points.


During qualifying, Sam Wills qualified third with a 6.51, Mitch Brown next with a 6.52 and Chris Hand, was the number-four qualifier with a 6.62. Sam Wills and Mike Dryden have confirmed we will see more of them in Top Fuel competition this year.


Falicon Racing Pro Mod at the Fast By Gast nationals was dominated by none other than the title sponsor of the event: Mr. Fast By Gast his-bad-self - Mr. Paul Gast, who recently turned 70 years of age. Paul unloaded a 4.07 @ 172 MPH to qualify number one in Pro Mod. Then he continued to hand out 4-oh’s into the final round where he met Jeff House, who was also running 4-0’s this weekend. House put a light on Gast with an excellent .003 RT to Gast’s .028, to start things off and it was game-on to the stripe! Gast prevailed with a 4.03 to House’s 4.17 for the win and a great drag race was witnessed by all.


Qualifiers included, Brunson Grothus 4.13, Jeff House 4.13, Jim Fisher 4.21 and Mike Chongris 4.29. The Man Cup sanction’s next event will be on September 27-29, in Darlington, South Carolina, for Man Cup’s first visit to this racing facility.


Then on the weekend of July 26-28, the XDA motorcycle drag racing sanction hosted it’s 19th annual WPGC 95.5FM Bike Fest at Maryland International Raceway, the home track for the XDA sanction. With early arrivals on Thursday, testing and racing on Friday, it was a stellar, hot busy weekend of motorcycle drag racing.


In Orient Express Pro Street, Ehren Litten was the number-one qualifier with a stellar 6.54 on his Williford Racing Suzuki Hayabusa, followed closely by Richard Gadson’s 6.55 on Brad Mummert’s old school Suzuki GS-styled P/St machine. Ehren went out early in eliminations with a red light in E-1 and Gadson made it to the semi-final round where he lost to Jeremy Teasley’s 6.53 with a 6.58.

Jeremy Teasley


This set up a great final round match-up between Rodney Williford and Jeremy Teasley. Williford got out on Teasley and had JT for the first 660 feet of race track. Then his bike broke traction ever so briefly late in the run and it caused him to suddenly drift to the centerline, forcing Williford to lift. This leaves Williford just ahead of Teasley in championship points, with two races remaining in the season.

Ashley Cotnoir


In DME Sponsored Real Street action, Ashley Cotnoir silenced her critics by qualifying #1 with a personal best ET of 7.65 on her Suzuki, R/St bike. She then went on to advance through the fifteen bikes in competition to go all the way to the finals to meet the current DME R/St points championship leader, Mark Hylton. Hylton took her out with a holeshot 7.82 to her quicker 7.79 to administer a driving lesson she will long remember. He still leads in points 382 to 365 over Anibal Merced with two races to go.

Beau Layne


Of note, on August 2, 2019 during qualifying for the NHRA Northwest Nationals, Beau Layne suffered a top-end incident on his Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley and came off the bike at well over 200 MPH. It happened during round one of qualifying and Beau had just completed a pass of 6.40 @ 215 MPH in the left lane with Tii Tharpe going 6.48 @ 201 in the right lane. Beau then sat up a little too quickly.


“My body just acted like a sail,” he explained, and the 215-MPH wind caused Layne to momentarily lose control of the bike. It darted to the right quickly, in front of Tharpe and slammed into the RS retaining wall, tossing Layne from the bike. His TFH then motored on down the shutdown area, into the sand trap where the sudden deceleration tore the front end off the motorcycle.


Much to his credit and excellent physical condition, Layne was able to stand upright after the crash and was fully compliant with the NHRA Safety Safari. He was taken to a local hospital and was treated for injuries sustained in the crash. Layne was released within a matter of days and was soon home, walking about, recovering. He commented during a phone interview, “I’m not done by a long shot, but we have to get the bike repaired. I don’t see us making the next race, but we hope to have everything ready in time for the U.S. Nationals at Indy in September.”  



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