story and photos by Tim Hailey and Genie Muldoon
Shutterbeauty Genie Muldoon captured Vantine and McBride side-by-side for 5
For the first time ever at a Mickey Thompson MIROCK Superbike Series event, Top Fuel motorcycles took to the meticulously prepped quarter mile at Maryland International Raceway. It was the WPGC Bike Fest this past weekend, July 25-27, and while just being there guaranteed a certain amount of history for both the series and the sport, no one was expecting a significant milestone moment. So when the scoreboards lit up with the world’s first ever side-by-side, 5 second motorcycle pass, pandemonium spread through the record-setting crowd.
Larry “Spiderman” McBride is also known as “First in the 5s,” a now 15-year old achievement for the Virginia racer and his tuner/brother Steve. But although the McBrides have run more 5 second passes than they can count, few have followed and the MTC 5 second club just closed its membership (limited to the first eight to do so) this past April with Ian King. And even though McBride and Korry Hogan sparred quite a bit with their 5 second bikes a few years ago, they’d never run 5s at the same time.
David Vantine lifts the front wheel high
Nitro newcomer David Vantine had raced with King for that last spot in the club but come up short. Riding Greg Pollard’s low-slung yellow screamer, Vantine was at MIR to run four match races with McBride. After running a 5.97 shakedown pass on Saturday, McBride slipped up into the 6s and Vantine was running between 6.10 and 6.34.
So no one was really anticipating anything other than the usual sensory thrills of Top Fuel motorcycles when McBride and Vantine lined up for their first pass on Sunday—not Vantine’s first 5, and certainly not the first ever side-by-side 5. But BAM! There it was. “I’m just glad I didn’t leave before the tree was activated!” said Vantine, who redlit by -.116, then ran a MIROCK record 237.46 mph on the 5.97 second pass.
Larry McBride burning out beneath the MIR tower
McBride ran a 5.79 in the other lane. “In 3200 foot air?” said McBride. “Those are impressive numbers. We had 110 grains of water, and we don’t like to see that. But our oxygen readings were good.
“I really can’t say enough about the track, the staff, and the other racers. It was actually an honor to be there. I’ve been racing 36 years and absolutely I’ve never been treated like that at a race track—ever. They really appreciate us being there. I can’t even say how many racers—at least a hundred plus—came up to me and said they appreciate us coming. I’ve never had track staff in the lanes come up to me and say they were sorry they called us up so early. I’m blown away.
“And Jason (MIR promoter Jason Miller) and his dad Royce (MIR owner) were so nice. They have water in the staging lanes, they have a canopy for the racers, they have fans. It’s phenomenal. The bands, the contests—I’ve never seen anything like it. And it was all so professionally run. And the way they prep the track, that’s a show in itself. Phenomenal.”
Joey Gladstone and the DME Racing vs Ryan Schnitz on the HTP bike
With all the hoopla over Top Fuel, Orient Express Pro Street had a chance to operate out of the high-pressure glare of the spotlight for a change. “It was nice,” said champion Joey Gladstone. His team’s DME Racing turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa has been at the forefront of the race for the sport’s first 6.80 street tire pass, and for once they got to work in the shadows.
And in the shadows they thrived, qualifying number 1 with a 6.95 and eventually hitting a top speed of 220 mph. Gladstone worked his way to a final round pairing with June runner-up Doug Gall. Gladstone took the tree, the stripe, and stretched his lead in the points. Pro Mod/bracket racer Mac McAdams made his Pro Street debut on “Wigsplitter” and won Pro Street B.
Rickey Gadson won DME Racing Real Street….
Rickey Gadson is once again a major player in DME Racing Real Street. After runner-upping in June on his turbo ZX14R, Gadson qualified number 2 this time around behind David Merks and his RS Motorsports turbo ‘Busa.
RS Motorsports had three bikes in the semis, with Merks losing to teammate Jeremy Teasley on a holeshot. Gadson then beat RS team boss Roger Starrette in the other semi to set up a June final rerun with class champion Teasley. Jeremy took the tree on his sinister black, nitrous-huffing RS Motorsports Kawasaki ZX14, but wheelied as Rickey’s turbo power came in smoothly and powered him across the stripe for the win.
…dedicated the win to Aaron Slemker and family
Gadson dedicated the win to the family of Aaron Slemker, who passed away earlier in the week in what can only be described as a freak accident while performing drills during Gadson’s drag racing school at MIR. Slemker, who’s father Tracy is the point man for high end carbon fiber manufacturer Montgomery Motorsports, was the youngest of a great racing family and will be sorely missed.
Doug Gall may have lost the Pro Street final, but he won Crazy 8s
After Gall runner-upped in Pro Street, he came back around to continue dueling with the large Cycle Connection Crazy 8s field. After taking out number one qualifier Shayne Proctor in round 4, Gall eventually paired with defending class champion Teasley in the final. Gall took the tree and thus the win, as both bikes ran 8.91.
Ronnie Smith won 4.60
Louis Concrete 4.60 champion Kenny Cornell has struggled with his new bike so far this year, but this time around made it to the final to face Ronnie Smith. Cornell’s bike did its job, running 4.606, but Cornell’s .158 light did him in and Smith took the win. Pro Street B winner McAdams qualified number 1 with a 4.601 in the world’s quickest 2-wheeled index class, but broke while winning round 1.
“Fearsome” Andy Baumbach won 5.60
FBR Shop 5.60 number 1 qualifier “Fearsome” Andy Baumbach was going rounds in many classes at MIR and took an all-dragbike 5.60 final over June runner-up Ben Knight, who redlit this time around.
Brian Canoles won Trac King Clutches Top Sportsman
Trac King Clutches Top Sportsman showcased the quickest 32 of the whopping 158 bike Pro ET field. Wilson Burkhead qualified number 1 with a 7.71, but the final boiled down to Brian Canoles vs. Chuck White. This time around it was Canoles with the win after laying out a .034 advantage for himself at the tree.
Bob Carlson won Brock’s Performance Street ET on Saturday…
…and birthday boy Boo Brown won on Sunday
No one was busier Saturday night than Connecticut HVAC man Bob Carlson, who won Brock’s Performance Street ET over Brian Guarino and runner-upped to Mike Schulz in the Fast by Gast Pro ET final. Sunday’s wins went to Dale Hamilton over Dwight Robinson in Pro ET and birthday boy Boo Brown over Clay Davies in Street.
Saturday Fast by Gast Pro ET winner Mike Schulz
Sunday winner Dale Hamilton
Kelly Clontz Painted the Quarter Pink all the way to the win
MIR homegirl Kelly Clontz won the all-ladies Paint the Quarter Pink breast cancer awareness race for the second straight year. Clontz qualified number 1 with a 7.91, then beat Virginian Jody Butler in the final.
Afterdark Undergound’s biggest race had Lil’ Richard Gadson riding the Johnny Locklear-built Katrina racing Darion “Nanu” Payne on the HTP Performance-built N2Deep. “The race was locked in for third round of grudge,” said Gadson. “We had nothing but problems on all our previous runs. We almost paid the punk-out money because the bike wouldn’t go down the track clean, but we found the problem 15 minutes before that round. So it was like doing the race off the trailer.” Gadson and Katrina took the win.
Personally, I LOVE my beer ice cold with a sweet smile and healthy dose of cleavage
…and her sidekicks. MORE BIKINI PHOTOS
WPGC’s DJ Flexx with promoter extraordinaire Jason Miller and the huge crowd
Helllloooooo…..don’t forget the stunters! Genie Muldoon photo
The most anticipated event on the motorcycle drag racing and culture calendar also included the Mid-Atlantic’s hottest International Bikini Team models, MIR’s biggest East Coast Stunt Jam competition ever, bikini bartenders, custom bike show, huge vender midway, and the DC area’s best bands MC’d by WPGC’s DJ Flexx. Despite some iffy weather in the area on Sunday, the major DC motorcycle clubs streamed to Budd’s Creek for this can’t-miss event. “This was the largest MIROCK WPGC Bike Fest to date,” said Miller. “We had 760 racers and 6,646 people in attendance for the weekend! Thank you to the WPGC 95.5 for all of their awesome promotional efforts along with our loyal MIROCK Sponsors, and Dragbike Media who helped make this event what it is today. You guys and girls all rock!”
The world’s largest motorcycle drag racing series—the Mickey Thompson MIROCK Superbike Series—hits the track at legendary Rockingham Dragway for the 18th annual FBR Shop Summer Sizzler on August 15-17.
EARLIER: MIR’s WPGC Bike Fest goes NITRO!
Larry McBride’s going MIRock racing!!
What makes the most anticipated event on the motorcycle drag racing and culture calendar better? Nitro! For the first time ever at a Mickey Thompson MIROCK Superbike Series event, Top Fuel motorcycles will light the sky and rotate the earth at Maryland International Raceway’s WPGC Bike Fest, July 25-27 in Budds Creek, MD, USA.
Larry “Spiderman” McBride—the living legend of Top Fuel—will take on nitro newcomer Dave Vantine in a four-round match race at 3:00pm and 8:00pm on Saturday, and 1:00 and 5:00 on Sunday. “I’m excited, I really am,” said McBride. “I’ve seen how Jason Miller and his staff prepare the track there, and I’ve never seen anyone prepare a track like that. I haven’t run there since about ’94-’95 when I was running 6.70s, 6.80s at 195,198 mph on Harleys. So the 5.70s at 248 that we’re running now should be a big difference!”
David Vantine will find a great surface at MIR to run his first 5 on
And big entertainment for the fans and clubs that flock to the Bike Fest—as if there needed to be more at an event already jam-packed with the world’s quickest streetbikes, hottest bikini models, craziest stunters, the all-ladies Paint the Quarter Pink breast cancer awareness race, and the DC area’s best bands.
Will this be it? The first 6.80 for Joey Gladstone or anyone in Pro Street?
That famous MIR track prep might also produce the world’s first 6.80something street tire pass at the Bike Fest, as Orient Express Pro Street champion Joey Gladstone and challenger Jeremy Teasley both ran just a few thousandths of a second off the milestone with their turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusas in June. Gladstone ran a new ET record 6.903 at a mind-blowing 220.02 mph on the DME Racing ‘Busa, and Teasley just took two NHDRO wins last week in Indianapolis. Both bikes will be set on kill at the Bike Fest
Jeremy Teasley and “No Fear” are fresh off of 2 NHDRO wins
But this is no two horse race. An HTP Performance nitrous ‘Busa was the first to run a 6.90, and riders Danny Cox and Ryan Schnitz will be looking to improve on that number. And what about the expected return of Tony Ficher and the radical new DAS supercharged ‘Busa? What will that screaming monster do in its first weekend of competition? And Gladstone’s teammate Terence Angela? He always turns up the wick when the spotlight is on. And 3X champ Rodney Williford? Never count him out of any speed contest.
HTP’s Danny Cox and NHDRO’s Doug Gall were surprise finalists last time out at MIR
While maybe not a 6.80 threat, consistent players like Doug Gall, Darion “Nanu” Payne, Rendolf Torbed and more will be looking to clean up amidst the carnage.
Teasley on his DME Real Street bike
DME Racing Real Street has busted out with competiveness all over in 2014, and yet Teasley still rules the roost on his sinister black, nitrous-huffing RS Motorsports Kawasaki ZX14. As usual, Johnny Dobrin is right on his tailpipe with a turbocharged ‘Busa. Even Rickey Gadson has re-emerged as a player, runner-upping in June on his turbo ZX14R.
But wait, there’s more….Teasley is also the defending Crazy 8s champ
Teasley is also the defending champion of the wildly popular Cycle Connection Crazy 8s no-bar index class. He sits third in points so far this year behind Virginian Clay Davies and Kentuckian Ron Arnold. This race will be a turning point for the second half of the season for everyone in the top 10.
4.60 points leader Darryl Hollins
The world’s quickest, 2-wheeled index class, Louis Concrete 4.60, is also MIROCK’s fastest growing. While champion Kenny Cornell struggles in a tie for seventh, April race winner Darryl Hollins leads the points in this big-tire, race to the eighth mile.
Michael Ostrowski is the 5.60 leader
Taking an extra second to make the trip is FBR Shop 5.60, with Michael Ostrowski leading a tight group at the top including Robert Parker, June winner Michael Rankin and June runner-up Ben Knight.
Boo Brown leads Trac King Clutches Top Sportsman
Perennial champion of something each year, Boo Brown is so far leading Trac King Clutches Top Sportsman—the quickest 32 of every Pro ET field. By the end of the year, you can bet that George Shriver, Brian Canoles, Jimmy Shifflet, Jay Windsor and more will all be making moves and striking at Brown’s lead—now is the time to start.
The staging lanes will swell each and every day with Fast by Gast Pro ET and Brock’s Performance Street ET racers—the toughest in the world.
And speaking of tough, don’t forget Saturday’s Afterdark Undergound. HTP’s Cobra Kai. Kingpin, Cocaine and Mandingo will be looking to battle all comers, so bring it and don’t forget to pack your wallet.
B I K I N I BABES!
Sunday will bust loose with WPGC’s DJ Flexx, live music, the East Coast Stunt Jam competition, bikini bartenders, custom bike show, huge vender midway, and of course the famous MIR bikini contest featuring the lovely ladies of the International Bikini Team. All the major DC motorcycle clubs will be streaming to Budd’s Creek for this event and your club will want to be in that number.
This is THE ONE can’t miss motorcycle drag racing event of the year, THE ONE that drags them in from the deep south, the midwest and beyond. Like you’ve got something better to do? Pack that trailer, load that cooler, bring your bleacher cushions and parasols and BE THERE.