VOLUME XXI, NUMBER 10 - OCTOBER, 2019
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Editor & Publisher
CEO Jeff Burk
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DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Director: Casey Araiza
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ET DRAG RACING
NHDRO Finals at St. Louis
Words and photos by Tim Hailey
Second-generation racer Chase Van Sant won Pro Ultra 4.60 on his dad Bruce’s beautiful old Pro Mod.
Doubling up wins on an NHDRO race weekend is a big enough achievement, but doubling up AND securing a championship at the Midwest’s largest all-motorcycle drag racing series is something else altogether! But three of the world’s toughest sportsman racers — Joe “Big” Deck, Dustin Lee, and Ron Arnold — did just that Oct. 17-20 at NHDRO’s Kenneth R. Schwartz attorney at law Motorcycle Madness Nationals and World Finals at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in Madison, IL, just across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis.
Deck, of Morningview, KY, won the Hardcore Cycles Top Gas race and championship, and added an MPS Pro ET win as well. The Top Gas runner-up was popular Chicago no-bar racer Michael D’Addio, who gave up .060 at the tree. Deck’s Pro ET final round victim was Bill Hormuth of Hampshire, IL. Deck and Hormuth both had great lights (.017 and .018 respectively), with Deck’s 8.18 sticking closer to his 8.16 dial-in than Hormuth’s 8.91 on an 8.87. David “Skywalker” Thompson was the Top Gas number one qualifier.
Joe “Big” Deck
“We don’t overthink things,” Deck said about his key to success. “I’ve been chasing a championship since I started racing Top Gas, and I’ve finally done it. When you’re the last man standing at the end of the day, it makes you feel good.
“I’d like to thank Donnie Emerson, I wanna thank God for giving me everything I do, my wife and my kids, my racing family, and Dave Page. Dave does my motor work and I literally beat the eyeballs out of it. We appreciate Kenny Schwartz for sponsoring the race, and I wanna thank Niki and Brian (NHDRO owners Brian and Niki Welch) for doing what they do and putting themselves out there on the line for us.”
Saturday’s MPS Pro ET was winner Dustin “Biscuits” Lee, who also won Kevin Dennis Insurance Street ET on Sunday (after going to the semis on Saturday) and the Street ET championship.
“A win on Sunday and the semis on Saturday, it feels deserving to me,” the Tennessean said about his championship. “And winning Pro ET is always special to me at NHDRO, because myself being a no-box racer, it takes luck and I’m glad I had it.
“It was another great season at NHDRO. One championship, a second, a third, and a fourth. I wanna thank Brian and Niki for what they do for us!”
The Sunday Street ET runner-up was Jeremy Teasley, who redlit by -.006. The Saturday Pro ET runner-up was Joe Klemme.
The MPS Pro ET champion is second-generation racer Dalton Markham.
Saturday’s Kevin Dennis Insurance Street ET winner was Ron “3-Way” Arnold, who also won the M2.Shocks Crazy Comp race and the Penske Racing Shocks Street Fighter championship for a real multi-class weekend of success.
“Thanks, NHDRO!” said Arnold. “Thanks Fun For All Motorsports for all they do, and all my other million-dollar sponsors like dragbike.com, eatmyink.com, Brock's Performance, Renegade Racing Fuels, and Montgomery Motorsports. Thanks to all and I’m looking forward to next year.”
Arnold beat second generation racer Colton Gordon in the Street ET final and Pete Hubbard in the Crazy Comp final. Arnold’s .030 light to Hubbard’s .110 set the table for his winning feast. The one and only Joey DeSantis was Crazy Comp number one qualifier, and David Beshara is the Crazy Comp champion.
Even though his transmission still didn’t shift against Van Sant in the semi, Smokin’ Joe claimed the 4.60 championship by one point!
Riding a bike that’s older than he is, 21-year-old Van Sant then beat veteran racer Johnny Bond in the final for his first NHDRO win.
“My dad Bruce, and Rusty Kramer, built the bike prior to the 1996 IDBA and Prostar seasons and started racing Pro Mod in 1997 (the year Chase was born),” said Chase. “They built everything themselves, from the chassis to the motor and even the paint and fiberglass work. It’s unique and kind of known for running a GSXR head and a GS1150 bottom end.
“We were trying to decide where to go with racing and just around the time I was done with Junior Dragsters, the 4.60 class started to take off and it seemed like a perfect deal for us. We decided to get the bike out and use it as a good opportunity to do some great racing and get my feet wet with a big tire wheelie bar bike. We have loved the class and have had a blast trying to get a hold of the old bike again. This class is so awesome to be a part of and can be a great steppingstone into Pro Mod or something heads-up. We’ve talked about what’s next for us and we aren’t sure where to go, but for now we’re loving the class and trying to be competitive with some great racers!”
Gabe Frederick has taken most of the season off to be a new father, but stepped right back into his winning ways, qualifying number one and taking the Pro Street win over Indy winner Dave Roisen in the final. Even with a stout 203 mph trap speed, Roisen’s 7.14 was no match for Frederick’s 6.85.
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