event: NHDRO Summer Celebration
when: August 8-10, 2014
where: Lucas Oil Raceway Park, Clermont, Indiana USA

NHDRO Thrashes to Race the Rain

story and photos by Tim Hailey

These geese welcomed the rain and bade farewell to racers as they trailered out of LOR

NHDRO, the Midwest’s largest motorcycle drag racing series, took over the legendary quarter mile of Lucas Oil Raceway for the Summer Celebration during Indy’s Motorcycle Weekend on August 8-10. But just like in Columbus, NHDRO was racing the weather on a weekend that was actually much drier than forecast....until it wasn’t, and Canada geese found the LOR wetlands more suitable than did high horsepower dragbikes. All classes will wrap up at the Fall Fury Finale in September.

Still, there was a lot of on-track action as NHDRO hustled the program along with a sunny Saturday and many rounds of competition run on Sunday.

Rob Budgell on Mark Paquette's Pro Street bike. MORE PRO STREET PHOTOS

McIntosh Machine & Fabrication Pro Street stalled after two rounds, but many favorites didn’t make it out of E1. Rob Budgell returned to action after a few years’ hiatus, this time not on his own bike but on Mark Paquette’s turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa. Showing no signs of rust, Budgell qualified number 2 with a 7.05 but lost to John Chant on raceday when he threw a rod in third gear. Unheralded Chant then advanced when Frankie Stotz and his turbocharged Honda CBR1000RR were shut off with a leak at the starting line. Chant will meet champion Doug Gall in the semis in September.

Gabe Fredrick qualified fifth but couldn’t get down the track against Joe Robbins when it counted in E1. In a minor 9 vs 8 upset, Tyler Fisher rode Ronnie Mitchell’s “Sandra Dee” past James “Crow” Teasley, who showed his chops on a Pro Street bike this weekend.



Jeremy Teasley qualified number 1 on “No Fear” MORE PRO STREET PHOTOS

Crow’s son Jeremy Teasley qualified number 1 on John Drake’s “No Fear” ‘Busa and had no trouble vanquishing his brother Cameron in round 1. Jeremy then went on to beat Fisher and will face Indy homeboy Justin Doucet in the semis.

Phil Stoll rode Mitchell’s “Rizzo” to the Dunigan Pro Street Shootout wiN. MORE PST PHOTOS

Phil Stoll rode Mitchell’s “Rizzo” to a win over red-lighting Doucet in the always-intense Dunigan Pro Street Shootout on Saturday night.

Keith Lynn gets his shot at #1 Pro Comp qualifier Mark Paquette in September

Schnitz Racing Pro Comp again saw Mark Paquette qualify number 1 on his turbo-methanol Kawasaki Funnybike, though not at the incredible pace he set back in July. He’ll once again face rival Keith Lynn on his gas/turbo/nitrous Kawasaki in the final when racing resumes in September.

NHDRO offered up its largest payout ever in many classes, especially Route 21 Top Gas and Millennium Trailers Super Comp. Payouts were based on participation, but that bad forecast kept many bikes shuttered in their garages at home. A garaged racebike never collects a Big Check, so it might be time for those whose glory days are collecting dust in the corner to sell to someone who likes to race so that the NHDRO will have to dole out those $10K payslips, ya heard?



Top Gas #1 qualifier Greg Mallett

Greg Mallett likes Big Checks, and qualified number 1 with a perfect 8.200 in Top Gas. He’ll face Carlos Guzman in the quarterfinals when racing resumes in September. Donnie Emerson faces K. Williams, and “Chicken Head” Chad Otts has a bye to the semis.

Jim “Put it on the Underhill Tab” Underhill qualified number 1 but is out already

Jim “Put it on the Underhill Tab” Underhill qualified number 1 in Super Comp with an 8.905 but lost to Doug Gall, who’ll face Guzman in the quarters in September. Clark Proctor will face Dalton Markham, and Mark Eskew will square off against Brian Selner.

Please note that all of these guys actually like to ride their racebikes and would prefer to have fought through more rounds for $10,000 per class. Those of you who sat home and watched TV can recover from your shame by showing up at the next event, or sell your unused racebike for cable bill money to someone who will.



Doug Gall qualified .001 off from perfect in Catalyst Racing Composites Crazy 8s

Gall qualified .001 off from perfect in Catalyst Racing Composites Crazy 8s 8.88 index and is still alive along with a whole bunch of other no-bar badasses—including Jeremy Teasley, Ben Knight and Chris Panko—when the race resumes in September.

Paul Phillips was .004 away from the Tsukigi Racing Streetfighter 9.50 index for number 1 in that class and lives to race another day in September.



Saturday’s G&G Metal Spinners Pro ET winner Mark Eskew

Saturday’s G&G Metal Spinners Pro ET win went to Mark Eskew over Chad Isley in a f*#ing incredible final. Isley had a .004 light but Eskew was only .007 off his dial for the win.

Walter Sharp won Kevin Dennis Insurance Street ET on "The Greatest"

Walter Sharp lived up to his name, taking Saturday’s Kevin Dennis Insurance Street ET final over Ron Arnold, who took the tree but broke out by .008.

Brian Welch's cut-throat taunt to Doug Gall was, well, ineffective

Port-Tech Grudge never fails to be the most fun scene in motorsports, whether big money’s on the line or not. Gall races Super Comp on the NHDRO grudge bike “Lightning,” and he challenged NHDRO promoter Brian Welch to the 60 foot. The $100 challenge was that Gall on “Lightning” could out-60 big-boy Welch on “Thunder” by 2/10ths, something he was able to do twice. See? Doug Gall’s not afraid to show up and take Welch’s money.

Hurley Davis burns out during Saturday's grudge session

As always, the crowd hung close to the starting line until the last pair closed the night down promptly at the witching hour. NHDRO starts on time and runs late, keeping everyone in shade or dry as the need be beneath KD Kanopies.

NHDRO promoters Brian and Niki Welch cherish their loyal family of racers and sponsors, and look forward to hosting their biggest Finals ever September 26-28 with the Fall Fury Finale right back here at Lucas Oil Raceway.

NHDRO thanks Schnitz Racing, McIntosh Machine and Fabrication, Route 21 Racing Apparel, Catalyst Racing Composites, Tsukigi Racing, Millennium Trailers , G&G Metal Spinners, Kevin Dennis Insurance, Port-Tech, and KD Kanopy.

EARLIER: Indy's Fastest Motorcycles are at NHDRO this Weekend

Mark Paquette’s turbo-methanol Kawasaki monster!

Of all the bikes blazing concrete, asphalt, and clay at Indy’s Motorcycle Weekend on August 8-10, the absolute quickest, fastest and loudest will be tearing up Lucas Oil Raceway at NHDRO’s Summer Celebration. Everything from the world’s quickest streetbikes to all-out, big tire, wheelie bar dragbikes will be hitting the legendary quarter mile to chase NHDRO’s largest payout ever. Live music, a supersized return of the bikini contest, and even a TV production crew laying down tracks for a 30-minute show will compliment the hottest on-track action that Indy has to offer.

Getting close to Pro Street action at NHDRO

McIntosh Machine & Fabrication Pro Street bikes are svelte, 650 horsepower daggers applying mind-bending torque through narrow, street-legal rubber to 6.90 ETs and 215 mph trap speeds. With two wins in June on John Drake’s “No Fear” turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa, Jeremy Teasley enters the August event with the points lead. But he’ll face strong challenges from Frankie Stotz and his alcohol-burning, turbocharged Honda CBR1000RR, Phil Stoll, Bud Yoder, Tyler Fisher, the side-mount turbo ‘Busas of Gabe Frederick and champion Doug Gall, and many more. A 32-bike field will yield a $6000 payday for one of these edgy riders.

Keith Lynn and his gas/turbo/nitrous Kawasaki

Contrasting with Pro Street bikes are the wide-slick, tube frame brutes of Schnitz Racing Pro Comp. Champion Mark Paquette’s turbo-methanol Kawasaki Funnybike went from a standing start to a startling 198 mph in only 660 feet and 4.01 seconds last time out, and everyone knows there’s still more in the bike. He’ll need to keep up the pace to stay ahead of the gas/turbo/nitrous Kawasaki of Keith Lynn, the turbo ‘Busa of Chris Cutsinger, the nitrous Suzuki GS of Les Stimac, and a whole field of other contenders. A full 16-bike field means a $4000 check for one of these warriors.

Top Gas studs Bradley Shellhaas and Greg Mallett

Route 21 Top Gas 8.20 is NHDRO’s Big Daddy index class, featuring Midwestern veterans like “Kounselor” Kenny Schwartz, Doug Fisher and June winner Mike Wagner, as well as blazing young racers such as Greg Mallett and Bradley Shellhaas. A 64-bike field means a whopping $10,000 for the winner!



Eric Cooper

Millennium Trailers Super Comp slows the index down to 8.90, allowing for a healthy dose of streetbikes to compete with dragbikes. July winner Ben Knight is racing towards a championship vs. the likes of Brian Selner, Ron Arnold, Eric Cooper and Luke Slemker. And just like in Top Gas, a 64-bike field means $10,000 for the Super Comp winner.

Doug Gall!

Catalyst Racing Composites Crazy 8s 8.88 index is one of NHDRO’s streetbike-only index classes. Arnold, Knight, and Gall also race this class, along with Crazy 8s studs like Bill DeShong, Cameron Teasley and Matt Ehora. A 64-bike Catalyst Racing Composites Crazy 8s field means $5000 for the winner.

Ryan Schnitz

Tsukigi Racing Streetfighter is a tick slower at 9.50 but every bit as popular as its quicker index brother. Norwalk terror Kevin Adams won last time out and will face racers Chris and Shawn Books, Chris Panko, Ryan Schnitz, and many, many more. A 64-bike field means $5000 for the winner.

Dalton Markham

Bracket classes Kevin Dennis Insurance Street ET and G&G Metal Spinners Pro ET feature the event’s biggest fields racing round after round to see who knows their bikes better, who can run their number, and who can play the best finishline games. Practically everyone listed above will also be battling for bracket racing gold, along with Jeff “Not the Rainbow Warrior” Gordon, Denny Helms, Andy Frame, Rod Bland, Ronnie Woodall Jr. and more. And don’t forget Friday’s bonus ET race.

What?! Joe Marasco (left, with Sandy Kosman at Atco waaaay back) will be in the saddle?!

Friday will also highlight Buckeyes vs. Hoosiers, with fifteen of the best Indiana racers (including Schnitz, DeShong, Mike Studebaker) matching up against fifteen of Ohio’s best (Teasley, Gall, Joe Marasco, etc.) on streetbikes only—true hand clutches off of an instant green tree. Whoever wins this battle will never, ever shut up about it.

Will Orange Crush honor its commitment to race?

Saturday’s Port-Tech Grudge session races deep into the night with clandestine gangsta bikes like Orange Crush, The Fugitive, Thunder and Lightning. Loudmouth trash talking entertains between races and nobody—NOBODY—leaves this riveting scene until the last pair takes the stripe.

Don't stop the Body Rock

You like riveting scenes? Few can rival the NHDRO bikini contest—a train wreck of scantily clad ladies seeing who can top each other with ribald, humorous and athletic stunts in front of a large crowd composed of men and women who simply cannot look away—and why would they? It’s the perfect sunset start to a full night of action on and off the track, taking place beneath NHDRO’s KD Kanopies.



NHDRO promoters Brian and Niki Welch are committed to making the Midwest’s largest motorcycle drag racing series BIGGER than ever, so be a part of NHDRO’s family of racers and sponsors on the Midwest’s BIGGEST motorcycle weekend. With payouts and action like this, how can you stay away?!



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