Boo Brown on 4.60 and John Hall’s New Bike

Longtime Eatmyink readers will remember “Boo Brown’s Racing Tips,” something I used to end my Boo Brown interviews with after each of his many wins back in the MIRock/IDBL days. So with the man himself winning FoSixty (AKA 4.60) at the Platinum Fleet Repair Spring Nationals XDA opener at Maryland International Raceway earlier this year, it’s time for another edition.

Ronnie Procopio took the number one qualifying spot with a 4.602, then redlit against Brown in the semifinal. Dystany Spurlock also redlit in the other semi, sending Jim “Not the Ohio Congressman” Jordan to face Brown in the final.

Jordan then cut his worst light of the event with a .154 to Brown’s .083. And while Jordan tried to make up for his light, running closer to the index with a 4.611, Brown’s 4.675 would turn on the winlight with a Bond margin of victory of .007 seconds—about 18 inches as Brown coasted across the line.

“I cut way off, hit the brakes, and made it close,” said Brown. “Way closer than I should’ve made it. I had 7/100ths at the tree and was literally on a .61 pass, so I easily could have made it a .62 or .63 and not even made it close at all.”

4.60 is clearly one of Brown’s favorite classes, what is it he loves about it so much? “It’s fast! Everything is happening so fast. It’s like bracket racing on steroids.

“As I like to explain to people, the faster you go, in this sport, the slower things become. Things that I think that I can do in that four seconds, I’ve noticed that a lot of people can’t do, you know. They’re more worried about riding the motorcycle, staying straight, or whatever.

“But for me, it’s like, slow motion. I can see everything, I can feel everything. I can tell whether my bike’s spun the tire. I can almost see whether I left first.”

Brown has a background going fast in Outlaw Pro Street way back in the day. For a lot of index racers or bracket racers, they’ve worked up to going this fast and, in some respects, Brown is going slower than what he used to.

“It’s close,” said Brown. “We were going 4.50s, 4.60s back in Outlaw. That’s been so long ago. But maybe just your own personal self, you get used to that speed where everything slows down. Not that I’ve gone much faster than what we’re going now. Like, I never really got into Pro Mod or anything like that, but It’s literally slow motion for me.

“But I can sense it. Down at the bottom end, I’m shutting it off and grabbing brakes, making the race closer just as if it was a regular streetbike.”

John Hall on his 4.60 bike (Terrence Belton photo)

Brown is also primarily responsible for the build of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racer John Hall’s beautiful new 4.60 bike—a real crowd pleaser with its long, Beasley Composites, Chuck B. and Derek Wisooker-painted, Hayabusa body. “A lot of people are intrigued by that bike,” said Brown.

This is the GS-motored bike that Mark Rendeluk ran in Pro Open at Man Cup races before switching to a turbo. Ehren Litten bought the bike and put Rodney Williford on it at PDRA races. Robbie Hunnicutt bought it, then sold it to Hall.

Brown thinks that his touch will make it a good 4.60 bike. “It’s strong and clean. Getting the body mounted and bodywork painted and fuel system and everything put on it, I did it in like three weeks.

“We’ve got like, a couple of little touches that we want to do, but we’re gonna hold off right now and let him get acclimated to the bike. Probably at the end of the year we’ll do an overhaul of everything, rewire it. Right now it’s good and it’s working, he’s happy and I’m ecstatic.

As for Hall, it’s been 11 years since he had to play the finishline. “Back to my old Englishtown bracket roots,” said the Connecticut racer. Hall moved on to Supersport at Prostar races and Real Street at AMA/Dragbike before taking the Pro Stock plunge.

“I’ve never seen a guy that has done all the racing that he has be so happy to ride a motorcycle. He was like a kid in a candy store in 4.60.”

Brown working on Hall’s bike (photo by John Hall)

But the bike started off unable to run the number, lollygagging down the track at 4.70 with a 1.17 60 foot. Brown and Hall’s crew chief Bobby Webb both like to take credit for switching the bike’s Pro Mod-sized 48mm carbs to something smaller—some 44s. It was the right move, and the bike came alive.

“When we finally found out what was wrong with the motorcycle, he went a 4.40 and you would have thought he’d just won the entire race.” The bike also dropped to a 1.04 60, all with no changes to the clutch, the tune-up, or the nitrous.

“The second race (this weekend in Virginia), he’s gonna get some testing in, which is gonna give me more data to tune.

“It’s insane how off that bike was. But it’s good now. Remember, it goes all the way back to some of our earlier interviews, where sometimes people try to make things way more complicated than they have to. It’s still evident 15-20 years later.”

Boo Brown’s Racing Tips…they’re timeless.

story by Tim Hailey, photos by Terrence Belton except where noted

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